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How can I tell if my boy is Alpha or not?

Chibi
March 12th, 2008, 03:05 PM
I am just sort of curious about how I can tell if he is naturally Alpha, or Beta. Would him being an Alpha make him harder to train? He was the smallest and shyest of his brothers, and he follow me around like a baby chick follows a mother hen.

He has just recently found his voice and will bark if someone comes in the yard - he used to just hide behind me. :laughing: I try to remember that he is just doing his job and don't reprimand him for being a guard dog, but is this a sign that he is alpha?

Ford Girl
March 12th, 2008, 03:17 PM
You will be able to tell when he plays with other dogs, maybe not yet tho, cuz he's still so young. :lovestruck: But as he grows up and socalizes with other dogs, you will know if he's the dominent or the submissive, it's obvious in play, and usually if they are good friends, they take turns being the "top dog". You will see dogs that are on either end of the spectrum to the extreme, and some who are happy go lucky, not a care in the world.

With you, you always need to be the alpha, he never gets to play that role with humans...thru out their development, they will try it with their humans, some will constanly push it, other will test the waters every so often, and others fall in to place, no questions asked...(thats the kind you pray for :laughing:)

I dont think barking is part of it...it's natural for them for sure, but not a sign of alpha status. And it's ok to correct them for obsessive or rude barking.

Chibi
March 12th, 2008, 03:21 PM
In the book Dachsunds for Dummies it explains that the dog was bred to bark to alert their human to their prey, and that they make excellent watch dogs because of it; thus, I should not get mad at him if someone he does not recognize comes into the house or comes into the yard as long as he is not going nuts, or lunging. He just trots up to me, sits by my feet and lets our a "BARK!" and then grumbled a bit to himself. :laughing: It's when he barks at the Shout bottle that he gets told off - he has a hate for bottles, they drive him nuts, especially colorful ones.

When I left him with my parents he would not bark at their boxer - unless he was safely tucked in his crate, then he felt a lot braver.

luckypenny
March 12th, 2008, 03:21 PM
Honestly, not all dogs are alpha all the time, nor non-alpha. It can depend on their environment and who they're with (other pets and humans alike). My Lucky is alpha in the home with the girls, but not with humans. Ava behaves like an alpha outdoors with Lucky and Penny but not with humans either. And Penny behaves like an alpha with more hyper or young dogs (not mature calm ones) and always alpha with humans with the exception of the members of our family.

I don't think it really matters whether a dog is alpha or not :shrug: . What's important is that he/she respects humans and is well-mannered with other dogs. Usually, consistently practicing NILIF, and appropriate training, helps to avoid any issues related to heirarchy between a dog and his/her family members.

Chibi
March 12th, 2008, 03:25 PM
NILIF?

Any tips on how to be the alpha leader in your dogs' eyes?

luckypenny
March 12th, 2008, 03:53 PM
Here you go...

http://pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

As for "alpha leadership," I'd encourage you to reconsider this theory as the term "alpha" is often over-used, misunderstood, and misconstrued. Assuming a leadership role? Yes, and having your dog respect you as leader is what you should aim for. Respect being the key word. Your goal should be for your dog to want to do as you expect, out of respect and learned positive association, not out of fear of being punished or reprimanded.

Here's an article you may find of interest:

http://www.sfspca.org/behavior/dog_library/reconsidering_dominance.pdf

Ford Girl
March 12th, 2008, 03:53 PM
NILIF?

Any tips on how to be the alpha leader in your dogs' eyes?

Google NILF, alot of us use this with our dogs. :) It works.

LP - you're right about enviroment makes a different, Dazy's always alpha at the dog park and with strange dogs, but at home with her dog friends and our little cat, she is not at all, she happily lets them be the boss. With her humans - depends on her mood! :rolleyes: But we try our best.

Chibi
March 12th, 2008, 04:49 PM
Thanks for all the advice. :D

Harley's_Mom
March 13th, 2008, 08:23 AM
I'd never heard of NILF so I Googled it and found out that it's how we've trained Harley....lol. We took him to puppy classes when we first got him and that's the method the trainers use, we just didn't know what it was called. It's worked very well for us.