I am Alpha!

Heh, not really ๐Ÿ™‚

As you guys know by now I don’t buy into the whole ‘dominance theory’ thing…mainly because it has been disproved by science (see this post for linky links with info) but also because I just don’t feel the need to dominate or scare my dogs. We get on perfectly fine as is, thanks!

People who believe in dominance often ‘alpha roll’ their dogs. That is force them onto their sides or backย and hold them there,ย to show they are the boss. Celebrity idiot Ceser Millan is well known for doing this and has even been quoted saying “it’s for the benefit” of the dogs. What aย ****.

Anyway, this may surprise some of you, but I alpha roll Kasper all the time! Not for dominance, but for fun! If he’s lying down I’ll go over and flip him onto his side; he either breaks out in play, or enjoys a belly rub…or both ๐Ÿ™‚

This is from last night


See how distressed he looks?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Obviously I don’t pin him down if he doesn’t want it, but I roll him for several reasons…

  1. It’s fun! We both enjoy it
  2. It gets him used to being comfortable on his back and is useful for handling exercises
  3. We’re constantly working on ways to help Kasper become used to being restrained
  4. Idiots have actually tried to do this to him, so I want him to be prepared and as comfortable as possible

Kasper also knows play dead, which is another useful way to get him onto his side.

And of course the alpha roll transgressed into play…



We had a mega training session with the dogs today as it was too hot to take Zoey for a walk. We trained for about half an hour total, with lots of play and rough and tumble in between.

Kasper is learning to touch a target with his nose (I’m using a yellow rubber coaster). He’s already picked up that he has to touch it whether it’s down low or up high, but hopefully I can teach him to go touch it when I’ve stuck it to a wall. Then I can teach him to close doors! Fun, fun, fun ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m working with Zoey on her staying by my side as I turn in a circle. It’s pretty cool. I didn’t use a lure, she already knows to target my palmย so I just used that. I got a video; my favourite thing about it isn’t how well she does, it’s howย happy she looks! She’s eager, alert, and trying hard…and look at that easy, relaxed tail wag!

And both pups doing down stays


After training / play is over…they were *so* tired! Kasper was panting ๐Ÿ˜€


Sleeeep time!


I have also taken possibly the cutest photo of Zoey ever…but you’ll have to wait for my next post for that ๐Ÿ˜‰


10 thoughts on “I am Alpha!

  1. It is interesting that Cesar Milan has softened his approach to training dogs and acknowledges two significant facts:
    1. There is merit to positive reinforcement training.
    2. He has no scientific evidence to back up his “dominate” approach. In his defense, he does note that his system of training quite simply worked.
    One issue with any domination approach is the chance of rebellion later! I could hit a 13 yr old child over the head with a baseball bat and they would probably cooperate until they reached their later teens at which time they would hit back. Who would want a Rotti, a Staffi, a GSD etc. rebelling?????? For anybody reading this who still thinks Cesar’s way is the best way ….. please read his latest book.

    • I have only watched a few episodes of The Dog Whisperer, some YouTube clips and read a few pages of one of his books…some of the things I read or see him doing astonish me, it’s like he doesn’t understand dog body language at all!

      I always think how my pups would react with dominance / punishment training…it would break Zoey’s heart, and without a shadow of a doubt Kasper would be biting people in a matter of weeks.

  2. She’s loving that training, they both are and that’s how to get the best from your dog not dominance or fear based training techniques, a happy dog will always give you more. Love zoey giving a paw to your legs after the turn well done xx

    • Aw thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚ Zoey practically taught herself the leg touch, I just captured it with a clicker! She’s great for offering new behaviours, it makes training very easy!!

  3. Two quotes come to mind re dog training:
    1. (given that a dog’s mental ability replicates a human 3 yr old) – “If you wouldn’t do it to a child, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it to a dog!”
    2. Your dog can cooperate because it wants to, or because it is scared of the consequences. Which do you think is most appropriate?”

    • Love some of the articles on their FB page, and I got to fill in a survey about Zoey, whoo! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜‰

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