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old post on aggression traing

topaz_n29
March 20th, 2005, 05:46 PM
Hi..i just finished reading an old post on sumone who had a prob/their dog being aggressive at odd times etc. I read w/interest the controversy on training tactics..i must say i had never heard of the "Alpha Roll" before.I have had dogs all my life..from a baby..i have had Sheps..labs and various breeds. Living in the bush..i always took them as pups on a 25 foot length rope.on walks. when they got to the end of course they stopped..i called them bak and gave a treat and praise. after about a week of this..they went off the rope..they all never went more than 25' ahead off me..not even ran into the bush off the road after a squirrl or chipmonk. If a vehicle happened around..i called them to come, sit, stay..till it went by. It got to the point if they heard a vehicle they did same on their own. I can put their food down and walk away..they will not touch till i say ok. That from jumping up at the dish in my hand. All furniture was off limits to the big dogs..the little ones went on the couch or bed..no prob..with the others..they had their own beds.
If they try to squeeze past me going out the door..i say "excuse me?" and just look at them..they wait. They have never growled at me for taking from them a bone they found in the bush.They stay on their property(160 acres).
I can also leave my food on a tv tray..say "mine" and walk away..they will not touch it..I do all the training on my dogs and anyone else family or friends are to use the same words i use to them.."down", "no" stay etc. I always said my dogs love my hubby but they respect me..lol
Please do not jump at me..but i just wanted to say what i have done..I respect everyones veiws one training..so just wanted to voice mine..ty so much for listening. :grouphug:

mona_b
March 20th, 2005, 06:08 PM
No jumping from me...Just want to applaud you.I too did my training simular as you.I have never had any problems with my boys.Or any of my previous ones.I only had males.Training is VERY important.And takes time and patience..... :thumbs up

I must admit though,my big boys were/are allowed on the bed and couch.... :D

topaz_n29
March 20th, 2005, 06:12 PM
I forgot to mention..yes my shep/rottie does sleep with me..but is not allowed on the bed during the day..and he must wait till i put his sheet on..this was due to the fact as a puppy he ripped a handmade quilt i made..lol..live n learn

mona_b
March 20th, 2005, 06:14 PM
Definately live and learn...... :D

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 06:15 PM
What do you mean by alpha roll? I learned to dominate dogs by pinning. Is that what you mean?

topaz_n29
March 20th, 2005, 06:25 PM
Yes..it seems so..it was said..that they pinned the dog down..in some replies it was referred to as "alpha roll"

matt
March 20th, 2005, 06:47 PM
Alpha roll is one of the most risky moves you can do on a dog. If the dog is large and strong it is a great way to get you face bit off. Few people can pin and role a large dominant dog. I'm 245lbs and I would NEVER try this! I have heard of a women that was doing Shutzhund training with her dog (GSD), the dog has just tried to go after another dog. The owner corrected , the dog resisted , she Alpha rolled the dog and as a result.... major reconstructive surgery. Bad idea. Also there are other safer ways to establish who the Alpha is.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 06:51 PM
If you learn it properly, you learn that it should never be done with an aggressive dog as it can aggravate the dog more.

If you can't get your dog to lie down without correction, you can't pin.

matt
March 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Aggressive dog or not.. pin any dog and watch it become aggressive very quickly. There are better , easier methods for most people.

mona_b
March 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM
I grew up with GSD'S and raised 3 of my own.And I have to be honest,I have never had to "pin" them down.Ive never had to dominate any of them.I have never had to show them who was boss.And I raised 2 at the age of 3 months.Both males.Both socialized from day one.They were easy to train.And listened very well..... :)

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 07:15 PM
I have never had a dog become aggressive with me for pinning. There is a time and place for it. I usually end up with adult SPCA-specials and most come with issues. I also do it with dogs at the dog park but only after I have been working with the owners for a long time and the dog knows me well. It is a gradual process. The first time you pin your dog should only be for a couple of seconds and should be in your home. You don't hold a dog down while he is screaming and growling. THe worst I have had is a bit of squirming. BUT you HAVE to know HOW to do it. An experienced person has to show you the right way and the wrong way.

If you go up to your dog who is lying down and hold him down gently, does he bite you? No. That is how you start. Don't attempt to dominate a dog if you are inexperienced and or don't know the dog.

matt
March 20th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Prin , the fact that you have not been bit YET is good but please be careful! I'm not sure of your training experience but also be very careful of the type of dogs you pin. If the dog is that easy for you to pin (given your experience) then I'm sure there is a easier way for EVERYONE to help establish pack order. I have rarely seen this method recommended by experienced trainers. I think it is actually a bit out dated personally.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 07:25 PM
Ya but a lot of people think that any type of hands-on training is out of style.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 07:27 PM
By the way there are a lot of things I do with dogs that most people would be afraid of doing. Think of me as Mowgli. I spent way more time in my youth alone with dogs than with people. Anybody who knows me knows that about me.

Lucky Rescue
March 20th, 2005, 08:36 PM
Agree with Matt. This is dangerous and unnecessary. Dogs see this as a very aggressive act. A dominant dog may react with aggression of it's own and I fail to see how it teaches the dog anything other than that you are violent and unpredictable.

How about a 100lb person who owns a 180 lb Mastiff (for example) or someone who has arthritis, or someone in a wheelchair or any number of people who, for one reason or the other, cannot outmuscle their dogs?

Obviously they are finding other ways to control their dogs, as wrestling them to the ground would be impossible.

My dog obeys me because of a combination of training, attitude and respect.

Prin
March 20th, 2005, 10:51 PM
That's the thing though, you are not supposed to do it to aggressive, or very dominant dogs. And if you do it at a very young age when they are small, it is much easier. And you shouldn't even try if you can't out muscle your dog. That's what I said before. There is a time and place for it and it doesn't apply all the time. For some dogs, just grabbing the neck fur is a super aggressive trigger. It depends on the dog and the situation completely.

topaz_n29
March 20th, 2005, 11:23 PM
To me i guess it is something i would never do. As I feel i have gained the respect of my dogs by just relating to them ..letting them know what i want from them..i find most dogs are just so happy to please..yes there are different strokes for different folks..but i never had to pin down my kids..nor my grandkids to get them to do the things i wanted them to do..mind u my hubby now thats a different story..lol.The point is...for me i talk to my dogs like i would to the humans in our family. I could almost carry on a conversation w/them..I'm not saying there aren't some issues with my shep/rottie that we are still working on..but they are such minor things.. he's only 2 yrs. old. As far as any thing major he is great. He's wonderful w/my grandaughters..2 yrs. and 1 yr. but i would never leave him alone w/them of course. LIke i said before..whatever works i guess. But i know of no reason at all..that i wud have to pin Kassidy or my new little puppy..to gain their respect....thx for all the input..i keep finding so much info on this site.
New things, things i wouldn't do and things i would..i think thats what this site is all about..is why i enjoy it..ty for your time.. Top :grouphug:

Lucky Rescue
March 21st, 2005, 12:23 AM
That's the thing though, you are not supposed to do it to aggressive, or very dominant dogs.

Why would you do such a thing to submissive, non-dominant dogs then? Under what circumstances?

I have a submissive, totally non-dominant dog and I cannot imagine any reason I would do something like this to her....?

Topaz - :thumbs up

Prin
March 21st, 2005, 12:47 AM
It's for the ones in between. Like there is a sweet lab at our park who is 9 months and she is on the edge of thinking she is the alpha dog and tests and tests. The owner is old (over 80) and his son bought him this puppy (bad idea). I showed him how to do it (the way I do it is make them lie on their side (voluntarily) and then gently hold them there for a couple of seconds-- it's really not that aggressive). This way, he can do it slowly and at home. It's more for dogs that constantly test than for aggressive or dominant dogs.

It just points out to the dog that you are stonger than it is. Even if the approach is gentle. It's really hard to explain without showing. It's not like a football tackle and 9 times out of 10 it's not nearly a struggle. It's more of a reinforcing thing. Like I said, if you have trouble getting your dog to lie down, you don't do this.

There are many techniques for dominating a dog and this one works in some cases. Others work in other cases (like just grabbing the neck fur or simply getting a dog to lie down). My dominant one just gets put on her side (mainly when she acts aggressively). I don't hold her at all.

For submissive dogs (like my big Boo) you can dominate all you want but it will have little to no effect. Submissive dogs, in my experience, work better for praise and acceptance.

I'm not saying this is for every dog for every occasion. I'm just saying this is one technique that works in with a few dogs.

wjranch
March 21st, 2005, 06:55 AM
Why would you do such a thing to submissive, non-dominant dogs then? Under what circumstances?

I have a submissive, totally non-dominant dog and I cannot imagine any reason I would do something like this to her....?

Topaz - :thumbs up

If my dog is rolling willingly to have a belly scratch, or to just stretch out and I decide to 'hold' him in that position..... I do not consider that an alpha roll.

This "Alpha roll" is generally (from what I've read in other posts) being suggested to folks who are already having trouble with a dominante dog...and who don't know what to do about it...
It would seem to me that these people are already telling us they are NOT familiar with dog training, and certainly not able to handle the consequences of such an action.
I think the 'roll' shouldn't be done by anyone, too risky... you should use the NILIF method in all aspects of the dogs world and you will find the dominance issue disappear almost like magic ;)

topaz_n29
March 21st, 2005, 10:16 AM
I used the word "settle" w/my shep/rottie..at supper time when hubby and i were eating..as a puppy he wud ..of course be annoying the other dogs, barking and bugging them..it took me a few times..of just saying the word "settle"..he wud usually be in a sit position while i was trying to do this..i wud gentle pull his front legs forward till he was flat on the floor..stroke on his head and back..tell him good boy and treat..i use this when people come in the house also..now at supper he just lays by my feet..as they all know if they wait patiently for us to finish eating..they all get their cookie. :grouphug:

Prin
March 21st, 2005, 10:38 AM
If my dog is rolling willingly to have a belly scratch, or to just stretch out and I decide to 'hold' him in that position..... I do not consider that an alpha roll.

This "Alpha roll" is generally (from what I've read in other posts) being suggested to folks who are already having trouble with a dominante dog...and who don't know what to do about it...
It would seem to me that these people are already telling us they are NOT familiar with dog training, and certainly not able to handle the consequences of such an action.
I think the 'roll' shouldn't be done by anyone, too risky... you should use the NILIF method in all aspects of the dogs world and you will find the dominance issue disappear almost like magic ;)
Once again, it is not for dominant dogs. It is not for people who don't have any other control either. It is not to be used on a dog you are not VERY familiar with. And it is not to be used by someone not familiar with dog training. Did I make that clear enough? It is a useful tool among many when training a dog but it is certainly not the first one you pull out.

Natasa
March 21st, 2005, 10:55 AM
I also think that a roll should not be done. It simply is too dangerous, especially giving that sort of advice on the internet. You donít know if people on some msg board are familiar with dog training, if they have control over their dogs or if their dog is dominant or not. Not to mention that is absolutely unnecessary.

I donít understand the need to dominate dogs in physical (forceful) way. Iíve never wanted or had to pin my dogs down for any reason.

Sadie's Mom
March 21st, 2005, 02:45 PM
How does this all apply with small dog though? My dog weighs 8 lbs, so the whole danger element isn't really there. And if she is being aggressive, I don't pin her in order to dominate her, it's moreso to calm her. I'll just hold her on my lap and rub her tummy and speak softly. Is this different than the alpha roll? What kind of message am I sending her when I do this?

heidiho
March 21st, 2005, 02:56 PM
Why does it seem everyone seems to think that all dogs are the same??I dont get it,what works for one dog just might not work for another.....Just curious..

Prin
March 21st, 2005, 03:56 PM
Exactly Heidiho!! Yey.

As for the little dog, Sadie's mom, pinning is one form of immobilization. Another form is lifting a dog about a foot off the ground. If you hold her on your lap, the height can be construed as a dominant position for the dog to be in but the immobilization would be dominance on your part. Sort of a mixed message. Being on your lap without the hold would be allowing the dog to be dominant and being immobilized is you asserting dominance (this is why it is usually done on the floor, not on a higher surface...)

if a dog is showing aggression, never lift it above whomever he is aggressing.

matt
March 22nd, 2005, 06:18 PM
I think there may be some confusion with "Alpha Roll". The kind of "pinning" etc that is being referenced is not what most professional trainers would define as a alpha roll. The Alpha roll is much more forceful then is being described. This is meant to be domination AGAINST a dogs will and usually done on very strong dogs that are " genetically dominant" or as some would refer to as "RANK DOGS". To Alpha roll a dog like this you need to be a very, very experienced trainer. For example adolescent bouts of dominance that a dog usually grows out of would not be a circumstance for the "ALPHA ROLL". This type of "rank dominance" is usually seen in the large ,naturally protective breeds i.e- common in some working Rott's, Malinois, GSD. Few people can "ALPHA ROLL" a 120lbs dominant Rottie. :thumbs up

Safyre
March 22nd, 2005, 07:47 PM
can someone explain that acronym NILIF for me please?

I was told by my breeder to flip Justice on her back and hold her there when she got snippy and tried to be dominant as a pup. I just turned her on her back, held her there till she calmed her butt down, and let her go. Thavn't done it since she was 4 months. *shrug*

twinmommy
March 22nd, 2005, 10:01 PM
Isn't it " Nothing In Life Is Free" ?

twinmommy
March 22nd, 2005, 10:04 PM
here ya go, btw, total coincidence that the author's dog is also Gypsy. ( I googled this)

NILIF
Avoid circumstances that elicit the aggression -- at least temporarily. Later you'll be able to work on desensitization, but only after you've gotten the dog's cooperation, not resistance.
Maintain an aloof attitude toward the dog. This is accomplished quite easily by crating the dog (or isolating it from the family in a small area with a babygate). This crating will be 90% or more of the time for a few weeks. This seemed to make Gypsy much more willing to do ANYTHING I wanted her to when she was out -- she was so thrilled to have ANY attention that she was beside herself.
Two-three times a day for 3-5 minutes maximum practice QUICK sits and downs for food. (If you don't know how to train this, go to a class.) You are working for speed and attitude here -- so reward correct behavior generously with praise and food. If your dog has fear problems, ignore or minimize the need for corrections. Don't make these training sessions a chore -- they should be fast and fun, not a battle. When the dog is IMMEDIATELY and CONSISTENTLY and with ANTICIPATION obeying the commands, she is ready for the meat of the NILIF program. Gypsy does the most lightning fast downs I've ever seen -- as fast as a border collie crouches when herding sheep.
At first, priveleges are still restricted, but you'll gradually be able to add priveleges. Don't rush things -- if you have a bad day, just go back to the prior level where things were successful and start over. Don't go from confinement/isolation to full house priveleges in a day -- keep doors shut, start with limited amount of "free time". (This step is my modification to the program, but it worked for me, so I recommend it.) Gypsy got 20 minutes her first day -- twice.
NILIF -- Nothing in life is free. This means the dog must PERFORM to get anything it wants. For Gypsy, because we were trying to reduce dominance that was already present, I chose to use the "down" command because it requires her to throw herself into the most submissive posture available. I have since started peppering "sits" into the program, just to keep her paying attention -- but the dominance problem is long gone, so I'm less concerned with how submissive she is. "Wanna cookie?" -- nothing in life is free, so the dog must "down" on command for the cookie. (BTW -- when you start introducing NILIF, carry food AT ALL TIMES -- you're still rewarding the dog for submitting - this is NONCONFRONTATIONAL. Reward for a LONG time, then wean off food sporadically, but still praise the behavior.) "Wanna go outside?" - dog must "down". "Wanna drink of water?" -- that's right. You're catching on. The dog gets NO freebies. She must *earn* everything -- food (you should see her slam her body on the floor for dinner!), play, petting, water, going out, going for a r-i-d-e, getting T-R-E-A-T-S, coming inside. Gypsy even has to "earn" the right to work on the agility equipment ... partly because I think it helps her attitude ("Ohboyohboyohboy, Alpha-mom made me down, I must be about to do something Good"), and partly because she's so excited to be there that she needs the extra control.

Prin
March 22nd, 2005, 11:07 PM
I think there may be some confusion with "Alpha Roll". The kind of "pinning" etc that is being referenced is not what most professional trainers would define as a alpha roll. The Alpha roll is much more forceful then is being described. This is meant to be domination AGAINST a dogs will and usually done on very strong dogs that are " genetically dominant" or as some would refer to as "RANK DOGS". To Alpha roll a dog like this you need to be a very, very experienced trainer. For example adolescent bouts of dominance that a dog usually grows out of would not be a circumstance for the "ALPHA ROLL". This type of "rank dominance" is usually seen in the large ,naturally protective breeds i.e- common in some working Rott's, Malinois, GSD. Few people can "ALPHA ROLL" a 120lbs dominant Rottie. :thumbs up

I don't think there is any confusion. I think that for the people of this board who have not trained dogs extensively, pinning an aggressive dog should only be done by a trainer. There are less intrusive ways of doing the same thing to a regular house dog-- like the method Safyre was taught. Nobody here is pinning strange, aggressive dogs, so the do-or-die style pinning doesn't really have to be discussed.

By the way, if anybody tries to dominate a totally aggressive dominant dog, I suggest you do other things before the pin because if you do this to a dog you don't know, you will not predict their reaction properly and that could be deadly. I've seen people dominate strangers' dogs at my park and almost get ripped apart.

You have to have a connection with the dog ALREADY established to do it. And you have to be TAUGHT how to do it. You have to test a bit and win in many small ways before you attempt to win in a huge way.

Safyre
March 23rd, 2005, 10:44 AM
I had never heard of NILIF ... but it seems rather basic, and what most people are going to do anyways, if they have looked into puppy training.
Thanks for explaining

twinmommy
March 23rd, 2005, 09:08 PM
It has worked wonders in my house, we were already doing it after reading "alpha boot camp" a link I got on this site. It's basically the same principles. :thumbs up

matt
March 25th, 2005, 08:37 AM
I still do honestly believe that what is being described in not really a "ALPHA ROLL" but a hybrid version of it. When I speak of a truly dominant dog I'm refering to a dog that has pack dominance issues. All dogs seem to go through their little phases. A "DOMINANT" dog IS NOT the same as a aggressive dog. One has nothing to do with the other. Dogs with rank issues CAN get aggressive to the owner as a test of rank, just like nature intended. A TRULY DOMINANT DOG can be trained to understand it's place BUT it is a ongoing realationship that CANNOT be trained with a ALPHA role. It is the things you reinforce everyday that help keep this IN BALANCE.

As Prin said there are other methods to use. I feel that 98% of the dogs we think of on this board never need to be pinned. Bouts of dominance can be rectified with solid, consistent obedience training which I would always suggest first. Physical pinning is fine but other methods (OB training ) should be used ongoing to establish true leadership. :)

Prin
March 25th, 2005, 12:04 PM
I think in some situations, pinning a dominant dog is warranted. When I got my husky-lab, she was trained to the core but was still the alpha of her previous home. We were told never to bring her to play with other dogs because she was so aggressive and snappy. I dominated her by pinning her in our house first and then at the park whenever she would snap, she would come and lie down at my feet.

Dominant dogs are not always aggressive, they are only aggressive when tested. They are inclined to win, no matter how aggressive they have to be to do it. Pinning a dog is a test that you have to win. If you are not certain to win, don't do it.

Doing an "alpha-roll" and making a dog lie down on its own and then holding it there are the same thing. They are both dominance by immobilization. The only thing that varies is the human strength involved. Like I said before, if you can't get a dog to lie down for you, you should not be pinning it. That is why I say, make him lie first.

The other thing I have noticed is that when you pin a dominant dog, they stand up as soon as you let go, but if you pin a submissive dog, they don't rise so quickly. (My big Boo actually fell asleep when I was pinning him once...) It's a neat measure. Some dogs put up a fight but when they are dominated, you realize it is just testing, it's not actual dominance, and they get up really slowly.

I think I said this before but I will say it again-- never pin a dog or put a dog in a submissive position around other dogs. The dog has to be submissive to you but it doesn't have to be submissive to the whole world. There can be a very aggressive reaction when you let go if there are other dogs hovering over.