As antiquity of their wolf genesis, alpha dominance is a concept that is generally associated with a dog pack, consisting of a leader called the Alpha Dog. Do we know what an alpha dog is like? What are its behavioural traits or characteristics? Why is it necessary to train and tame them before the aggression has aggravated to a different level altogether? Let’s Find Out.
Here’s a small story to begin with.
Residing in Mumbai is a family who found a puppy lying across the roadside in Lonavala and her face and neck had white paint all over. The puppy seemed to be around 3 months old when it was found. As pet lovers, they felt compassionate towards the puppy and took her home.
On reaching home, the puppy was all playful and happy go lucky, however, she was an aggressive pup when it came to her food. She allowed none to be around her while she fed her hungry stomach. With no background of the puppy’s past and why is she showing such behaviour, they maintained a certain distance while she would fill her tummy. As she grew up and turned 8-9 months old, the aggression in her with regards to her food grew and she attacked anyone who was 10 feet near her, one of the victim bit by her was the maid. This caused the family to fear the pup’s behaviour and soon contacted Mr Saket Gokhale, a canine trainer residing in Dahisar, Mumbai and handed over the pup to him to be examined and trained.
Mr Saket on his meet with the little one first tried to evaluate her and understand the cause of the food aggression. Since the pup was rescued, it was difficult to understand the reason for the aggression. On the other hand, the family hadn’t set any ground rules since the very beginning and being pampered and allowed to do what she wanted to, she developed the alpha behaviour in her and was stern in her behaviour with regards to her food.
Now under the guidance of Mr Saket, she has improved and has subtle to an extent. Currently, she shows no signs of aggression and has become an obedient dog. What Mr Saket did was, he laid ground rules for her and made sure she obeys all of it. He ensured that the pup is well aware of how she has to behave, when and where and in front of whom. He has also educated the owners about her training and “if the owners continue to follow the same, she will get back to a stable lifestyle guaranteed”, says Mr Saket Gokhale.
Every dog has a different personality and from a growl to a nip to bite, the alpha behaviour in them gradually develops, it’s never from the beginning. It can be caused through various issues, i.e. hormonal, medical, and neurological genes, etc. However, a professional trainer can identify such kind of behaviour well.
“Training the alpha behaviour in dogs and curing the same can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 months depending on the level of dominance and aggression it possesses”, says Mr Uday, an expert trainer with an experience of 25 years.
He also added, “Bad breeding can develop this behaviour and correcting the dog at the right age, can avoid such a situation. Various methods used for training by experts are jerking, training collar, pinch collar, etc. Some good trainers like him also use natural herbs to solve the behaviour problems”. He admits that as a trainer being harmed by an aggressive alpha is a possibility and considers it as a professional hazard, however, precautions can avoid casualties.
He believes every dog has the alpha behaviour in them, but it depends on how they are controlled, trained and what level it has been captured it all along. He urges every dog owner to set a strong foundation in terms of training for every dog and with the foundation he means obedience. Commands like ‘No’ and ‘Come’ should be well understood and followed by the dog and would avoid the dominant behaviour in them.
Lastly, sincere advice by the experts to all the dog owners out there!
- Get consultation with regards to the personality of the dog, and how it must be trained
- Evaluate the personality and know about a stray before adopting it,
- Read about dogs and their personalities
- Lastly, if the alpha behaviour is found in them, make sure they are treated and trained well before any situation worsens.