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Exerpt from Brad Pattison book - Unleashed

6768 Views 22 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  kblover
An excerpt from Unleashed.... some people see "alpha" everywhere

Alpha Dog Test
Not sure if your dog thinks he's running the family circus?
Here are some telltale sings that your pooch has assumed the role of pack leader.
  • He's always pulling at the leash, taking the lead position on walks and trying to control his movements—an yours

  • He's always jumping up on other dogs and people or growling and barking excessively to take on a dominant and protective role.

  • She hogs the human furniture, particularly the bed and the couch, and growls territorially when she's expected to share these spaces


  • She ignores you when you use basic commands like “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Come”

  • She cooperates with your commands when it suits her, but when it doesn't, she tries to manipulate you, either by growling aggressively or by showing exaggerated submissiveness—such as shrieking as if she's in pain, twirling around in circles or dropping down and rolling over like a diva who's had her crown stolen.

Watch out for any of these signs of master manipulation. They are indications that your dog is challenging your leadership. These manipulative tactics then become learned behaviour when owners have a track record of submitting and caving in to their dog's controlling behaviours.​
When submissiveness is "alpha" you know these are the opinions of an idiot
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:( Woah...so...I went over this list...and my puppy Willow is 5 for 5. OH NOES GAIS WHAT DO IZE DOOOOOO?!

So here was the break down...well first, she pulls at the leash (backwards and forwards...that manipulating alpha puppy, how dare she?). Now mind you, we're just starting lose leash training and meanwhile during walks she's so busy tracking from scent to scent that nudging her along is sometimes mega-work and when she's not tracking something she's running high-speed ahead to find the next smell. I know I’m just making excuses for her dominating behavior.

Then there's the barking thing. It's taken a lot of work to get her mostly quiet, but, attention barking, built up unreleased energy, scary shadows, june-bugs and moths being seen through the window that MUST be hunted, and (oh god Crio...you may appreciate this) my neighbors *gulp* making "noise" (quotes intentional) at 11pm that I can't hear but apparently the loppy-eared one can. That obsessive barking isn’t for a mirid of reasons...it’s because she believes she's a pack leader.

And then pfft, to top it off...every. time. she's having high energy fun she's a growl machine. And when she's getting good pets and appreciating them, she makes this goofy growl that sounds like a stereotypical cartoon mobster going "yeah, ya see, I like it, yeah, mah belly being rubbed, so it some more, yeah," (it's her happy noise). Oh gosh...that’s not her mannerism...it’s not that she’s happy, she’s trying to show me who’s boss...*worried face*

Then she's a total couch and bed hog. Now I'm a bad mommy I guess and have encouraged her alpha status by letting her sleep with me because she's terrified of the crate after being perma-forced into it for two weeks after surgery and the association of crate = pain + lack of movement happened, but, it's not that she's trying to have some weird body-heat sharing pack-huddle, it's that she's hogging the bed she's supposed to be sharing! :eek: And...when I scooch over to give her room ('cause I'm not cuddly when I sleep) and she comes over and collapses right back on me....dag-nabbit...how did I not see it before that she's trying to force me off? :mad: Guys, I thought with your help I was doing good with Willow now, and we were making good progress towards where we want to be, but apparently I need some big-big time help.

Then the ignoring...I mean *cry* it's not that an untrained dog is untrained. It's not that I haven't varied the time or amount on my reinforcers enough or that she's not excited by the reinforcers she's getting. It's not that my actions have led her to not be addicted to the game for that session, and when outside it's definitely not that the distraction level is too high or that we're moving too fast...noooooo...she's ignoring my basic training with her maliciously...'cause, dogs :confused: apparently are not 'by the moment' creatures but are capable of malicious intent...she’s showing that she is the one who does what she wants when she wants...yep.

And...the last one *gulp*...oh goodness...I think, well, I think I need to get some private sessions with someone 'cause obviously, we're just...this is bad. :( I mean...I thought when she was no longer doing what I asked that it was possible that she was tired of our training game for that moment or that the difficulty or distraction level had gone too high to quickly and needed to be stepped back. I thought when she didn't want to start it might be because she’s sleepy or over-stimulated and needed to play to release energy before I started asking her to do stuff. And I thought the twirling and downing was because she really wanted something I had, but didn't know what it took to get it, and so started doing the spin trick or down trick since that’s what I ask her to do for special treats and toys. :mad: I also thought the "diva" thing where she privately digs at the ground, kicks her feet and again privately not-happy like grunts and growls was her releasing the over-stimulated dog energy (I mean after she's caught on that I'm not impressed with her current attitude she always goes from nip-happy high-speed running rocket-dog to privately doing the "diva with broken crown" tantrum, ending it with good shake off and coming back to me as calm dog :rolleyes: )...but obviously...it's just sheer manipulation. HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS BEFORE!?

Gais...gals...I mean...if I so much as crouch down next to my puppy she rolls over on her back until I happily say "okay!!! let's play some yeah?" If I sit on the floor she runs high speed over to me and lays with her head in my lap and occasionally jumps (oh goshh...jumping too :() up with licks a many at my nose, if I leave the room for 2 minutes and she can't see me, she sits at the door whining away, when I get home for lunch or from work she lays down, sits pretty, spins, sits at my feet and is unbelievably eager until I give her attention and if I don't she gives a look like I took her favorite toy, tore it apart in front of her and then threw it in the trash-can, if something spooks her even a tiny bit she runs to me and hugs my leg...and I've just been nervously waiting for the submissive peeing to kick in...but...well I have I have nothing to worry about 'cause clearly, she has it in her head she's the leader of my group...

tsk. tsk. I better "take control" of my house now 'cause sheesh, my dog obviously thinks she's in control.
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