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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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There are a lot of old school methods that I do advocate for some dogs. This is not one of them. It will at best forever damage your relationship with your dog, at worst it will start a brawl that win or lose, you lose.
The alpha roll was thought to be something dogs did to each other to show dominance. The actual roll is voluntary on the part of a submissive dog. Force a dog to give you it's belly is demeaning and with a weak dog will have lasting impact, with a strong dog will get you bit, or mauled.
I would be leaving this trainer far behind. Continuing even if you don't follow his rules is lining the pockets of a trainer who needs to stop training.
 

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Run away. Far away. I have no problem with correcting a dog but the alpha roll is total nonsense and way outdated.
 

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Your trainer hasn't actually studied dog training since '95 at the latest lol

I'm absolutely NOT an all positive guy by the way, Alpha rolls just need to go the way of withholding water during summer 2-a-days to "toughen the boys up"
 

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-snip-

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.

-snip-
I didn't even read the OP first time, glad I did or I'd have missed this gem. :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Guess your trainer missed the whole, we domesticated animals because they have physical gifts we don't but we're smarter than they are thing. If you get a chance, tell him I said thanks though. That was the hardest I've laughed in a couple months.
 

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@Steve Strom your technique was incomplete, it was very clear that he needed a good what-for rub down to finalize your authority. :p

Op, At 3yrs old, I bet your dog rolls himself for that wonderful belly rub, why would anyone want to force a position that a dog freely offers? It doesn't make any sense to me.

My boy rolls himself if he even thinks there's a smidgeon of a chance that he will get a belly rub from me. And the paw over the hand thing, poo on that, the paw is on top of hand, hand is above the belly or chest. When my boy lays his paw over my hand, my hand comes down closer to the chest, inviting more rubs. Lol.

It's also Interesting about the trust factor with such a vulnerable position and I don't know if it is a generalization, but when I think back, as a pup maybe 6mo and under, there was very little submissive self rolling and there was no need to force one. I can't remember when he started asking for belly rubs and offering that vulnerable position for them but dh remembers that at first, he only offered it to me and then the rest of the family members.
 

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Scarlet can’t flip over fast enough if I say “I’m going to slap your tummy!” (Yeah, I know that sounds obnoxious). If I was to try to alpha roll that girl, she would definitely bite me. No doubt.
 
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