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How To Become The Alpha Dog

What is the “Alpha” Role And Why Do I Need to Become The Alpha Dog ?

If you and your dog are having a tug of war over who will be the alpha dog, you need to quickly establish that you will be holding the alpha role. For those of you who are asking “What is the “Alpha” Role? The answer is really quite simple: who is boss in your pack.

Your pack can be just you and your dog. Or if you have more than one pet, then it includes them and all humans in the home, they’re all part of your pack. In order to both communicate and live with your dog in a peaceful environment you need to understand what the alpha role is and why you need to become the alpha dog. How to Become the Alpha Dog

Your dog depends on you to survive. Through evolution and years of domestication, it has learned it needs to cooperate and adapt to a world with humans. Of all the different animals that have been domesticated the dog is the only species that is willing to accept man’s authority. However, it still has the instinct to test its pack position. Even that sweet little Maltese girl who lies at your feet ever so quietly can assert herself as alpha dog.

The entire pack operates under one leader. The pack lines are clear. The pack leader, which is the alpha dog, will eat first and then the rest of the pack is allowed to eat. If your dog growls at you when she is eating, she is telling you that she is the alpha dog and you must wait to eat. If you have this problem, it is important that you correct it as soon as possible.

Here are some tips that will help you become the alpha dog in your pack:

  1. You should not tolerate growling, as this is your dog seeing herself as the alpha dog and you under her. Firmly tell her “no,” and let her know it is not acceptable for her to growl at you or anyone else including the children.
  2. Never allow your dog to go through the door first. If she rushes ahead of you, then pull her back and firmly say “no,” then wait and you walk in first, followed by giving her permission to come in.
  3. If your dog is having alpha dog issues, then she should not be allowed to sleep in any bed with humans, because this is an alpha position. Instead, place a doggie bed beside your bed to establish your role as alpha dog. A dog that knows her role in the pack can sleep on a bed with humans including children.
  4. Socialize, socialize and then socialize some more. This is one of the most important things you can do. Introduce your dog to as many new places and people as you can.
  5. Never allow your dog to ride on your lap when in the car. It is unsafe and it confuses your alpha dog position in the pack.
  6. You should not baby your dog too much as she needs to learn to be a dog. Overprotecting her or limiting her ability to be independent can cause your dog to become flighty, fearful, and paranoid. When there is a new experience confidently tell her its okay and do not baby her. As alpha dog your dog should be confident in your decisions.
  7. Do not play tug-of-war with your puppy. Play fetch and have her release the ball. You should use common sense and not be too harsh.
  8. If your dog is continuously leaning on you or putting her paws on you, or nudging you – this is not affection it is your dog attempting to play alpha dog, and she is disrespecting you.

It is important that you establish your alpha role early. In fact, the sooner your dog knows you are alpha dog, the easier everything will be for you and your pack including training and obedience.


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