Every pack has an alpha dog, that character that drinks milk first and grabs all the toys. Their leadership potential comes off instinctually right from puppyhood. But to become an alpha, it’s survival of the fittest.
Is your dog showing signs of a dominant dog? Stay tuned to learn more.
How can you tell an alpha dog from the pack?
Alpha dogs are often calm, confident, and laid-back type. Usually, they call shots around.
When a pack member needs something, they growl their way to alpha, not the other way round.
All dogs live under the pack mentality. They perceive humans as pack members and overall leaders.
Social Ladder among Dogs
The social ladder is typical in the dog’s world. Unlike single dogs, homes with multiple dogs are disruptive and unbearable.
When the subordinates are unhappy with the existing alpha, conflicts and fights become the norm.
And since alpha is more potent, the subordinates are left with two positions; omega and beta.
From a distance, alpha dogs watch the submissive dogs fight for the remaining positions
What makes dominant dogs act out?
- When a newcomer contest for the alpha position after the former alpha dies; they feel it’s their rightful position
- They hate it when you treat all the pack members equally without showing particular attention to them
- When socially matured dogs start establishing social packs in-between age one and two
- When a puppy reaches adolescence (6-12 months) and starts challenging them.
- When you interfere with alpha’s food, toys, and beddings; hell breaks loose
- Owners empathizing with the submissive dogs by offering them praises and toys while ignoring the alpha
- Owners changing pack’s daily routine and patterns. This makes dominant dogs aggressive.
Characteristics of a Dominant Dog- the Alpha
- Becomes aggressive when senses competition
- Enjoys it when receives all the attention
- Doesn’t follow orders
- They always come first when they see a stranger approaching
- They Bark and growl at people while in their owner’s company
- Dominates certain spots like old pieces of furniture
- Mounts other dogs
- Jumps frequently on peoples legs
- They have the habit of pushing people while playing.
Training your Dominant Dog
There is nothing wrong with your dog being the alpha type—however, some behaviors are intolerable. For instance, when they overstep their boundaries and stop regarding you like the ‘big alpha.’
Unless you control their behaviour, they are likely to put you on a leash and take charge. The best way to tame an alpha dog is through training.
And since you are aware of their insolent side, don’t fantasize about a smooth ride. However, a bacon-flavored bone can save the day
During training, emphasize the need for;
- Peaceful co-existence among pack members,
- Following orders
- Controlling their aggression.
- Seeing human’s as the overall pack leader
Behaviors to expect after training
- Reduced frequent growls and barks during mealtime. Your dog understands that growling isn’t the right way to ask for food.
- Specific time and place for meals. Your dog will no longer stare at your family while eating
- When to jump on your bed; if you insist on having your dog there.
- To always come after you instead of competing for entries.
- Restricted areas of the house are no go zone
Alpha dogs can be hard to control, mainly when untrained. If you are not firm and assertive as the owner, you will likely fall under the beta and omega category. They will put you on a leash and take charge of the pack.