The Alpha Dog Behavior Tips

May 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Dog Behavior

So where does alpha dog syndrome come from and why is it so common in dogs? Well partly because of their nature as dogs are known as pack animals. The leader of the pack is typically named the “alpha” or the animal that is the most dominant of the group.

It is amazing to realize that even dogs have complex social roles. For example there is an established second in command, third in command and it is important that everyone in the pack understand who the alpha dog is as well.

The alpha is responsible and coordinates when it is time to hunt, move, and sleep. Although your pet will most likely not have to hunt for their bag of kibble, you get the idea.
So how does this really translate to you and “sprinkles” your pet westie? This is because your animal will look at you and each family member as a member in their pack. Being as such it is important that you maintain the alpha dog behavior position and that your family members hold a higher status than your animals.

So, naturally the fact that you are much larger than your animal will help that in itself and you have controlled feeding times, play times and typically control when the animal can rest or go play outside as well.

If you feel that your dog has alpha dog signs there are some areas of the house and some general things that you can do to help your 4 legged friend.

1.) Do not allow your dog to growl or bark at you or your family members as this is a sign of alpha dog.

Obviously, barking can be good as well to alert you when people are in your yard such as door to door book salesmen so you can act like no one is home.

2.) The bed is a dominant spot in your household.

If you feel that your dog is acting aggressive then do not let the animal sleep in your bed or in your family members bed either. Make sure that the animal has their own bed or spot that they can sleep in.

3.) Teach your dog some simple commands such as sit, roll over, down, good dog and bad dog – these simple phrases will help the animal understand that you are the one in charge. This method works well with positive reinforcement such as a treat or goodie when the animal listens to you.

4.) The most important rule is that if your dog acts aggressive to you or other family members you need to make sure that the dog understands that it cannot act that way and seek additional resources, vet or animal behaviorists advice.

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