Training Your Alpha Dog
What You Need To Know To Train Your Alpha
Make sure your dog knows that you’re his master. This can be easily done with a few training techniques. They’re all fairly simple, but something’s you will have to continue to do for the rest of the dogs life probably. That depends on you and your dog. If your dog receives the message and accepts it, staying submissive to you, then you can probably stop some of the training. Keep on an eye on him though. It’s important to remember that your dog doesn’t want to be alpha, that’s responsibility and stress on him. So why did your dog take this position for himself? There could have been a few reasons. Your dog may have felt there was no alpha around, and so he was obligated to do so. Some dogs are natural alphas, if this is your dog or you suspect it is, I suggest keeping up with all the training. Other dogs are naturally submissive, training them will be much easier because once they see you trying to take charge, they’ll just let you. One more thing you should know, that is very important, is that everyone in the house has to help train the dog. In a dog pack, everyone is on a certain level. So if you train the dog to be submissive to you, that doesn’t mean he believes that he is going to be submissive to others. That leaves alpha behavior in the dog, and can still lead to aggression.
Walking Your Dog
One of the smallest things you can change that will have the biggest impact, is how you walk your dog. If you don’t walk him, you should consider starting to. Walking is a great way to bond with your dog, and show him who is in charge. Your dog should never walk you, if they are pulling you down the street you have to stop that behavior. It may only seem like excitement, but he’s leading you and showing alpha behavior. Wrap the leash around your hand and force the dog to walk next to you. if he continues to pull, just pull him back and keep him next to you. you don’t have to say anything to him, he will start to understand quickly. However, when the dog starts to pull, a simple “no” right before you pull him back can help. (or whatever words or command you’ve taught your dog that means “no”) This won’t happen over night, you should at least walk the dog once a day so he can begin to understand and get used to it. If you wait days between each walk, the training will take much longer. Given a few days to a week, depending on how stubborn your dog is, you’ll be having more pleasant walks and have sent a big message to him. No matter how your dog is, you should never stop practicing this with your dog
Training Your Alpha With Food
Training has to continue in the house as well. Make sure your dog knows a few commands along the lines of “sit” and “lay down”. If he doesn’t yet, start practicing those on a daily basis. Even simple training like that helps with alpha behavior. Once your dog knows the basics, start using them. Make your dog work for his food before you put it down for him. Not to say he should be performing a circus act, just make him sit before he gets it. This shows that you’re in charge of his food, a very important job for an alpha. Do the same with all of his treats, make him earn it. If he refuses to sit for you, walk away from him for a minute. This will show him that he has to do it in order to receive his food. Come back after a minute, and try again. This technique may or may not have to be continued, that depends on your dog. If he understands it and accepts the message properly, just continuing to see you refill his food dish may be enough.
I personally see this one as an extreme measure to take. If your dog is still showing some alpha behavior, kick him off the bed. That’s your space, and it’s a privilege to share it with you. However, your dog may be seeing it has his space too. In a dog pack, the alpha has a special place he sleeps. If you find that your dog gets off the bed when you tell him to, there’s probably nothing to worry about. That means he knows it’s your space, and he’s just there. If he is being stubborn and refusing to get off the bed, then he doesn’t see why he should because to him, it’s his bed. Making him sleep in a dog bed on the floor, or anywhere else in the room other than your bed, will send an alpha message. If you need to, keep him out of your room completely. It’s the same alpha message, but with a little bigger point to it. It’s your space, and he isn’t allowed there.
Contact with Your Dog
You shouldn’t be pulling on his tail or his ears, but your dog should let you touch him in certain ways. This is something to be careful of if your dog is already showing alpha aggression, because he may try to object. Your dog should let you hold his head still. This training is best to start with as a puppy, and can help your dog be better around children. If you can touch his food while he’s eating, that’s a very good sign. You should also be able to put your fingers in his mouth, any child will do this and it needs to be something your dog accepts. Don’t do it constantly, do these things in small intervals and at random times. If your dog isn’t a puppy, and has shown alpha aggression, it’s important to attempt this kind of contact once he begins to be submissive, not before. It’s normal for even a submissive to pull away a little, as your fingers in their mouth isn’t comfortable. The important thing to see is how they react to it. if they seem irritated, or stressed, that’s not a good sign. Many submissive dogs will pull away because they know they shouldn’t bite you, so remember just pulling away a little is fine. If you’re able to look into your dogs eyes, that’s another good sign. When you do, they should break eye contact. Looking away, or even lowering their head to look at the floor is good. To dogs, eye contact is a directly saying “I’m your alpha”. This is another thing you don’t need to attempt until you’re sure your dog is starting to be submissive. It’s also taken as a challenge for a fight, if they don’t want to submit. Which is why it’s important to remember to never look into the eyes of an unfamiliar dog.