Undomesticated dogs live together in dog packs. There is only one leader of the dog pack. Your dog sees your family as his pack. It is natural for a dog to want to be the pack leader. Your dog will attempt to take on the position as the pack leader, or alpha dog, if you have not assumed that role with your dog.
The alpha dog leader calls all the shots. The focus of attention for dogs in the pack is continually on the alpha dog. The alpha dog is always defending his position as the leader of the pack. Usually the alpha leader will never give up his position voluntarily.
Who is the alpha dog in your family? If it is not you, your dog will take the leadership role on himself. An alpha dog is not always male, in a dog pack the gender does not matter. However, because male dogs are usually larger in size than the female of the same breed, male dogs are usually the alpha leader. In your household a female dog will take on the alpha dog role if the position has been left vacant. Life, within your family can be very difficult if your dog takes on the role of the alpha dog leader.
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When your dog feels that he is the alpha dog within your family he will exhibit bad or destructive behavior. Pulling on a leash, chasing, and aggression are all examples of a dog feeling he is the alpha dog leader in his sphere of influence.
If your dog begins to think of himself as your equal it is because he is confused as to who is the alpha dog. The qualities of an alpha dog leader must be demonstrated by you at all times. It is through your confidence, body language and tone of voice that you demonstrate your abilities as an alpha dog leader. If you want your dog to accept you as the alpha dog leader you must feel comfortable in that role.
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The alpha dog maintains his dominance through small deliberate acts. For instance, within the dog pack the alpha leader always eats first. When it is the pack’s turn to eat there may be little left. The alpha dog also shows its dominance by pushing his way through the pack instead of going around. The alpha dog controls the things that are within the pack’s sphere of influence.
Why is the role of the alpha dog within a dog pack necessary to understand? Why is the dog pack hierarchy important to you? The answer to that question is obvious. Being the alpha dog leader does not and should not require the use of force or being abusive in any way, physically or verbally. You become the alpha dog leader in the eyes of your dog by imitating the practices of an alpha dog.
It is easier to establish yourself as the alpha dog with a puppy than it is with an adult dog. It is especially difficult with an adult dog if the dog has been its own alpha dog leader. Maintaining your role as the alpha leader is something you must continually work at, even with a puppy. Being an alpha dog requires a twenty-four hour commitment.
I trust you have gained something from this article. I also have a review of another high quality guide you might want to consider here: Clicker Training Your Dog