When your dog begs for food, do you toss him a piece?
When he barks at the door, do you let him in?
Do you touch your dog when he jumps up on you?
You can see here that in canine social circles, submission is a voluntary behavior, requiring very little physical force.
It makes sense that there should be a hierarchy in the home. Dogs can and do understand this setup very well, they even find comfort in not having to be the boss. But how do we accomplish this? Do we grab our human children by the back of their necks and shake them or pin them to the ground?
There are no shortcuts to establishing good leadership.
Today, leading canine experts agree that alpha rolls may force your dog to respond with aggressive behaviors as an instinct for self-protection. This can spiral out of control all too quickly. This behavior also shows your dog you are not to be trusted. Lack of trust will undermine your efforts to establish a solid relationship with your dog. True, some dogs are more difficult to inspire to pay attention, but the fact is, your dog will do just about anything you ask of him if he A) understands what you are saying and B) is convinced of the amazing rewards that come as a result!
There are certain situations that may require your dog trainer to schedule an in home dog training session at your house. However, most of the time the answer is no, you do not need to pay for training at home. What IS required is that YOU practice regularly at home.
If you have selected the right dog trainer, he or she will instruct you how to practice at home. Now, you might say "duh, I already know that!". But I like to go beyond the obvious and remind parents that:
Your pet dog will only listen and behave where you have practiced!
The Truth about Exercise
An "Alpha Role" is where one wolf, dog (or human, for that matter), uses brute strength to pin another to the ground, while yelling or growling in the face of their victim.
In Home Training
Do I need in home dog training?
If we understand that dogs communicate primarily through body language then, would it make sense for them to come towards us when we are facing them or moving towards them? What we are telling them at that moment with our bodies is to stay put or back off! You will have the best luck by turning and moving away from your dog! Our dogs see the direction we are facing as the direction we are headed. If we stand facing them we are telling our dogs we are coming their direction. Even Lassie would run a few feet away from the humans she was coaxing to follow her as in a game of chase!
Without basic dog obedience, problem behaviors will seem to multiply. Our dogs will simply bounce around in search of structure making many mistakes along the way. Naughty behaviors can all too easily be unintentionally reinforced as our pets discover the fruits of their misbehavior. So, rather than allowing them to practice pulling or stealing food, let's fill their lives with alternative good behaviors, which are more productive ways of getting what they want!
In fact dogs crave activity. And this is where exercise and basic obedience training comes in. If we do not provide our dogs the activity they need, they will surely find it in any way they can. And without consistent boundaries, your dog will not understand you when you tell him "no"!
"Oooh getting into the trash is yummy!"
Now I am not saying this will happen with every family pet (there is a much bigger conversation to be had about hierarchy within the family and each individual dogs natural ability/tendency to be content in their role/position in your family unit). Regardless, it is important that our pets are well mannered and well adjusted members of our family and community, just like our human children.
A few tips on training your dog at home:
A) Practice in every room of the house and various parts of the backyard, then move to the neighborhood and varying locations
B) Do it all ON-LEASH (yes, on-leash in the house, unless your dog is already off-leash trained!)
C) Under a variety of conditions (quiet, noisy, early, late). This will generalize your dogs good behavior across multiple circumstances and locations.
We should teach our dogs patience by not giving them everything they want whenever they demand it! I am not saying to withhold love, attention, toys or cookies by any means. To the contrary, these things can and should be given generously. What I am saying is give these things on YOUR terms, and at the time and place of your choosing. This is just a small thing that reaps great rewards!
This is a principle known as NILIF (nothing in life is free). Barking at you incessantly "is" a demand for something, jumping up or shoving their nose in your lap is a demand for attention, just as scratching at the door and so-on. We would not tolerate a grown man throwing a temper tantrum for not getting his way, so let's ensure our pets don't do the same!
Teaching patience will go a long way towards a long and enjoyable life with your family pet!
L.A. School For Dogs
How can I get my dog to come to me?
The short answer?
Make 'come' a game, and ask your dog in canine body language!
“Come” is one of those elusive commands that challenge many dog owners.
And it just so happens that this behavior is not among some of the natural communications between dogs.
Think about how difficult it was for Lassie to get anyone in the show to follow her! How did she say “come with me now”?
The connection your dog will make is that when you call 'Chloe come', your dog will instantly think of the great game of chase you are inviting them to, complete with treats, toys and affection. Remember, dogs crave activity. If you are boring they will look for their activity elsewhere.
The key to a well adjusted pet is patience.
Like human children our dogs can learn to act-out when things don't go their way. Yes, dogs do throw temper tantrums, however their tools are not hands and feet but claws and teeth! If allowed to continue, seemingly harmless ways of acting-out can manifest into many negative behaviors such as separation anxiety, barking, destructive chewing and even aggression.
The original study (circa 1940) that led to Alpha Rolling was based on an observation of wolves submitting to those of higher "status" in the pack by voluntarily rolling over for the other as if saying “uncle”. This wrongly led researchers to believe that a person could force a dog into submission in this manner.
Obedience and Exercise
Does your dog sit, down, stay and come the first time you ask, with a hand signal OR a verbal cue?
Will he or she wait at the door until invited inside or when going out for a walk?
Or does your canine family member act more like a thief by stealing food and shoes or remodeling the furniture?
Alpha Rolls-Don't do it!
Debunking The Myth
There are several techniques that work together in getting your dog to come to you:
Practice this several times per day with some extra, extra yummy treats reserved just for "come"! Good Luck!
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Migrating over distance for food is a built-in drive, even in our domesticated pets. I like to call it hunting because that is the most accurate way of describing what is happening. I would rather not call it scavenging however, that is a large part of a dogs heritage. "Hunting" for food and prospective mates ensure proliferation of the species and is still highly ingrained in most breeds. Therefore, dogs are perfectly willing and happy to earn their food in this way. In fact it has a soothing almost hypnotic affect on dogs. It's almost as if, they have completed a task or job, there is peace in the Valley and sleep, lounging around, and play are the order for the rest of the day.
Another important asset to exercise is the establishment of social status. The strongest typically find there way to the front of the pack, and the weakest fall back. By the end of the day, the strong eats first, gets the strongest mate, and so on.
So it is important to recognize how your dog will see you if you creep along behind him/her, stop when they stop, go when they go, turn right when they do and so on. You are indicating that you are relying on your dog to lead the way, let you know when there is danger or something to chase!
Walks are one of the best dog training tools full of motivators for our dogs to learn to behave in exchange for what they want. For example, once your dog has learned that in exchange for walking nicely next to you for a spell, you will reward him with one of life's greatest rewards, freedom to run or smell about, he will do it willingly over and over again knowing he will soon get your permission to do his thing!
Your dog should first learn to "heel" or walk next to you with a loose leash before he can have the perspective that a 'free' walk is special and earned.
This is where I say, if you don’t know where or how to begin getting through to your dog, find a professional dog trainer whose basic philosophy agrees with your own. You will want a trainer with broad experience and techniques. You may only need a session or two to get you on the right track. Just remember to listen to your intuition when interviewing a prospective trainer.
REMEMBER: We cannot even begin to train our dogs unless we first engage them. By controlling resources, keeping it fun, and using our voices properly, you are well on your way to a beautiful relationship with a well-behaved and happy pet!
Additional resource: wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_roll
Teaching Your Pet Patience
Frustration Tolerance and Impulse Control