Ever watch Cesar MIlan and start doing the hissing sound while abrutly touching your dog? if so, Why were you doing it? Most dog owners don’t truly know. There has been an obsession with dog owners who think everything their dog does him trying to dominate them. I will explain why this is false and the trouble with this thinking(the owner is being reactive out of fear) what a truly dominant dog is like.
Many dog owners seems to think their dog is trying to take advantage of them by not listening. I challenge this idea and ask them. Does your dog really know what you are asking of them? Has he/she demonstrated that they understand? Just because us humans realize something quick doesn’t mean your dog can. Your dog is not being alpha when he jumps on you. He’s not being alpha when he is not listening. I understand that many people want to have their dog under control. Sometimes this idea goes to the extreme.
I watched someone give their dog a correction because he didnt come when called. In fact the dog was sniffing a spot where a previous dog had just marked. The dog was distracted not trying to alpha the owner. This reactive behavior puts the owner on the defense instead of being proactive about training their dog. Being reactive in a sense means the dog is controlling you. To avoid this I have rules that the dog must follow and their are consequences no matter what. This is an example of a proactive approach.
Dogs are like wolves!!! I hear it all the time. Many people assume that this is the case. They even quote the study about the whole alpha wolf to plead their argument. It was a study done in the 1970s. I cant remember the study but I do remember a key fact about it. Those wolves that were studied were born into captivity not the wild. It like being born in jail. Of course there’s going to be an alpha top wolf. You have a bunch of wolves fighting over limited resources. An alpha wolf in the wild is actually just a male wolf who is responsible and head of his nuclear family. He lets his children win in fights sometimes and plays around with them but is serious when its time to get to business. Wolves are predators.
Dogs on the other hand are oppurtunist. They were scavengers. This is how dogs evolved. They first used to go after human scraps when humans would leave the area. When humans would come back some of the dogs would scatter away, but some of them stayed even though the humans made them nervous. Those were the ones that survived by being close to humans. They learned that humans would feed them if they get close enough and stick around. Now these are in my own words about what happened, but you get the point. Wolves and dogs are different.
What is a true alpha dominant dog? In my opinion , this is a very calm dog. This is the dog that doesn’t bark or lunge at people just because theyre in his space. These very rare dogs are good by themselves. In fact, the only time they have a problem is when you force them to do something they dont want to do.
I remember a rottweiler I met who seemed to be in his own world. He would lay down in his section. When you walked by him you could feel his eyes piercing through you. I felt what he was saying with his eyes. He said “ you better walk around me or there will be a major problem that will need to be solved”. He wasn’t reactive. I didn’t even notice him giving me much thought. But I felt his gaze.
Like I said. These dogs are incredibly hard to come by. Most dogs who are reactive are insecure. A dominant dog is secure and doesn’t need to showboat. But if you cause problems for him your life will be a living hell. I can bet that most dog owners don’t have a dog like this because genetics play a huge factor and most people are looking more how the animal looks rather than doing a background check on what were the dog’s parents and their parent brothers and sisters temperament like.
So ease up with this whole dominant dog thing. Your dog just wants something and its your job to teach him the rules to get what he is allowed and how to behave.