Do alpha dog training methods work as proclaimed? Should you try it out? Before we answer these questions, let’s understand what alpha dog training is all about.
There is no single method of alpha dog training. There are numerous methods that come under the umbrella of alpha dog training. Alpha dog training is all about using your position as a leader to teach your dog the necessary behavioral lessons. So, if your dog desires to go out, he will have to wait for you to open the door.
If he wants to eat, he will have to sit calmly until the food is ready. Along the same lines, your dog won’t use the home furniture or your bed without your consent. Basically, your pet will follow a social hierarchy and observe you as a leader.
You can think of it as a ‘leadership model’ training, where you make it clear that you are the leader of the pack. As a leader, you decide the rules for everyone in the house, including the dog.
For those who don’t know, the roots of alpha dog training method dates back to the 1930’s. It looked at the pack-oriented mindset of a dog. You might have heard about ‘wolf’ packs before.
Most people know that dogs descended from wolves. So, they view their family as a pack. Often, when dogs are given equal privileges as other family members, such as using your bed, eating together, a dog views itself as the leader of the pack.
Now, this can give rise to problematic scenarios, especially when an alpha dog considers himself superior to the pet owner. In other words, alpha dogs may not acknowledge humans as a leader of the house, which can result in bad behavior.
Just like younger kids in our house are taught rules and guidelines, dogs should be taught certain house rules as well. Alpha training is a training approach that focuses on gaining dominance over the dog in an attempt to discipline him.
Alpha Training Methods Discussed:
Dog trainers who use this training approach usually resort to harsh scolding, choke chains, shock collars, and objects along the same lines to discipline their pets.
Some pet owners also use physical force to subdue their pets. An Alpha Roll is a controversial Alpha dog training technique, which involves pinning a misbehaving dog to the ground and holding it in that position to discourage bad behavior.
As you can tell, it’s a dangerous training technique that can backfire in a big way. There have been instances of dogs turning aggressive and biting their owners.
In short, if you be aggressive towards your pets, don’t be surprised if they respond aggressively too. After all, they learn a lot from you. Interestingly, most of the studies done on alpha training were done on captive wolves. Since dogs closely resemble wolf behavior, it’s assumed that what worked on wolves will work on dogs as well.
It’s like relating chimpanzee behavior to human behavior. Although chimpanzees have the most human-like behavior, they are not humans. Likewise, dogs are not wolves.
This brings us to the next heated question of how well is alpha dog training received by the masses. Is it still a popular dog training method like it used to be a decade ago?
Is Alpha Dog training well-received in today’s age and time?
Frankly speaking, alpha dog training is not well received by everyone out there because some pet owners end up taking undue advantage of their leadership position.
Needless to say, this results in them harming their pets, either mentally or physically. In worse case scenarios, it also leads to the dog thinking that his owner is overly aggressive or insane.
Modern-day dog trainers have critiqued this method stating that alpha training techniques fail to look at the underlying causes of bad behavior, which results in the dogs feeling frightened and anxious.
As you can tell by now, alpha dog training can be problematic for the human-pet relationship. Even if your dog obeys your order, he may be acting out of fear, anxiety, and insecurity.
Dogs love supportive human companions and not overly dominant companions. You should be the ‘boss’ in the relationship. But, a friendly boss. In other words, don’t be a drill sergeant to your pets.
After all, dogs respond well to confident and unwavering leadership as opposed to random acts of physical dominance. So, how do you make your dog view you as an alpha leader without you having to frighten or punish your pet?
Alpha Dog Leadership Tips: How to Be a Good Leader to your Dog?
Well, you don’t have to do anything extraordinary to achieve this feat. You simply need to understand the dog’s psychology. As most of you might already know, ‘food’ is the way to any dog’s heart.
So, you will have to gently convince your dog that you will provide him with food on an everyday basis, no matter what. Once the dog learns that you are his lifelong food provider, he will accept you as his boss.
Food treats work best when used in conjunction with proper training. Every time you treat your dog for obedience, the likelihood of your dog repeating the desired behavior is quite high.
Of course, it will take a little bit of experimentation to figure out which food item your dog loves the most. Cost should not be a problem because food treats won’t be offered daily.
Once your dog learns how to behave well, you can stop offering treats. Science has shown that this theory of positive reinforcement usually works. Therefore, this is what everyone uses in today’s age and time.
After all, this theory conveys a message that you are in control of everything, and your pets should listen to our commands. If they fail to do so, they won’t get anything of what they want. If they need a treat, they will have no choice but to listen to you.
Agreement and disagreements on alpha dog training methods have been a subject of constant debate for years now. That said, current studies have cited that establishing yourself as a leader at the expense of harming your pet is bound to create a long-lasting dent in the human-dog bond. So, it’s time to drop training methods that involve harsh punishments.