Some people believe that the only way to transform a disobedient dog into a well-behaved one is to dominate him/her and show them who’s boss. However, the “alpha dog” concept in dog training is based more on myth than on animal science. More importantly, it leads misguided pet parents to use training techniques that aren’t safe, like the “alpha roll” and can increase aggression. Dogs who are forcibly rolled onto their backs and held down can become frightened and confused, and they’re sometimes driven to bite in self defense.
Keep in mind that ditching the “alpha dog” concept doesn’t mean you have to let your dog do anything he/she likes. It’s fine to be the boss and make the rules—but you can do that without unnecessary conflict. Be a benevolent boss, not a bully. Good leadership isn’t about dominance and power struggles. It’s about controlling your dog’s behavior by controlling his/her access to things they want as well as marking clearing actions or cessation of actions. Clear, concise training will help you achieve your leadership position.
YOU have the opposable thumbs that open cans of dog food, turn doorknobs and throw tennis balls! Use them to your best advantage. If your dog wants to go out, ask him/her to sit before you open the door. When he/she wants dinner, ask them to perform a task to earn it. Does your want to go for a walk? If he/she is jumping up on you with excitement, wait calmly until they sit. Then clip on the leash and take your walk. Your dog will happily work for everything he/she loves in life. They can learn to do what you want in order to earn what he/she wants.
For more information or assistance with clear, concise training through our canine training courses