My trainer is advocating alpha rolls---- thoughts? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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My trainer is advocating alpha rolls---- thoughts?

Good evening!

I have a 3 yo GSD. I've been going to a very well recommended and popular trainer. My GSD loves the classes, and I've seen such an amazing progression in his manners and training I was glad I chose this trainer.

Now I'm questioning him, a bit.

We were in class the other day and he began teaching us how to "alpha roll" our dogs. I had never heard of this before, as I'm a relative new dog owner. Our trainer mentioned this is a good technique when your dog is aggressive towards another dog or human, but also recommended to us doing this EVERY day, to prove, as the owner, that we are stronger / dominant.

I hated doing it. It felt weird. And my GSD didn't like it much either.

My trainer also said that if an owner isn't strong enough to do an alpha roll in case of aggression, that owner may need to rethink about having that type of dog.

I didn't think much of this until a couple days later, when I brought my GSD over to my parent's house. They've been thinking of getting a GSD as well because of how awesome mine is, but they are getting a bit older and, remembering what my trainer said, I realized they might not have the strength to "alpha roll" a GSD.

So---- I decided to do my research, and to my heartbreak I found that this technique is pretty much frowned down upon today, ESPECIALLY as my trainer suggested as an everyday dominance thing.

How bad is this technique, really? Does it have a place in training, or even a scary situation where the dog is overtly aggressive? Do I need to find another trainer?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 08:53 PM
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I would either tell the trainer I’m not going to do it or find another trainer. It’s not necessary. If a dog is dominant or aggressive, it will make it worse.

You are the consumer, you are paying his salary. If he gets defensive, walk away.

Last edited by LuvShepherds; 04-21-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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What he wanted us to do with "alpha roll", and while the dog was on the ground, lovingly pet him. But if the dog tried to get up before the time ended, or placed paws over our hands, we needed to keep / force our dogs on the ground until they calmed down again, the loving pet them.

Said we were bonding when we did this.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:01 PM
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spring rolls , yes, jelly rolls , yes , alpha rolls? heck no.

conduct yourself as a calm , consistent , leader human , not as a "dog" in the scuffle.ala

alpha roll more or less disappeared until it resurfaced in the Monk's of New Skete . Lots of owners were
bitten by their dogs.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:02 PM
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I would definitely rethink that trainer. That is a very good way to get bit right in the face. It will cause your dog to lose trust in you. There is no need to do it, and I would suggest you not do it again. I am glad you decided to read more about it!

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:03 PM
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There's no reason to ever "alpha roll" any dog.Your dog at 3yrs old is extremely unlikely to act aggressively.You would have seen any temperament issues he has long before now.Sounds like you and your dog have a wonderful relationship right now.I sure wouldn't damage that relationship by being a bully towards him and losing his trust.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:06 PM
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Absolutely NOT. Run far, Run fast. Even the person who studied wolves and came up with the original theory of the alpha roll now says his entire theory is garbage.

the whole dominance theory is junk and very old school.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:07 PM
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I'm not someone who believes all dogs are trained to perfection and learn boundaries simply by giving them treats....having said that if I was using a trainer and in your shoes....myself and my dog would make a 180 degree turn and walk away....Period......Daily Alpha Rolls ?????
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanes' Dad View Post
I'm not someone who believes all dogs are trained to perfection and learn boundaries simply by giving them treats....having said that if I was using a trainer and in your shoes....myself and my dog would make a 180 degree turn and walk away....Period......Daily Alpha Rolls ?????
My replies are needing acceptance by moderators, so hopefully all of them don't happen all at once, haha.

Yes. Daily. He called in a bonding exercise. By forcing them to the ground, you are proving your dominance. And then you massage / pet them lovingly to calm them down, to "bond" with them.

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to find another trainer.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Absolutely NOT. Run far, Run fast. Even the person who studied wolves and came up with the original theory of the alpha roll now says his entire theory is garbage.

the whole dominance theory is junk and very old school.
pretty much my thoughts exactly
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