German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought it might be interesting to get some input from various owners on what they do to set their dog up for success and how they maintain the alpha status in their pack (a pack can be just one dog!). Everyone can always use new ideas and ways to help their dogs be the companion they want. This could be a good resource for ideas :)

I will go first:

Setting my dogs up for success: When training something new I do not attempt to do so in an environment where there are distractions. If I know for certain that they are not going to respond immediately or pay attention I am teaching them to not respond. Instead I will do it when their attention is fully on me (or the reward at hand)

Maintaining Alpha Status: Dinner time - I prepare their food while making them sit and wait. If they get up and start to dance around, I leave the kitchen and their food. I return back and try again, once they are sitting and behaving I put their food down but still do not permit them to eat it until I say so. I have to give the command that they are permitted to eat. If they help themselves I pick it up and leave again. Return and start over from the patient sit, put it down, and release them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,126 Posts
Excellent advice on how you teach your dog a new command. For meal times, I just put his food dish down on the floor and go sit at the table and eat my dinner, my dog and I are too hungry to wait :) But I am in charge of the door. I go first - my dog has to sit/stay until I say okay - if he attempts to charge thru the door - he has to go back to the sit/stay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
482 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Excellent advice on how you teach your dog a new command. For meal times, I just put his food dish down on the floor and go sit at the table and eat my dinner, my dog and I are too hungry to wait :) But I am in charge of the door. I go first - my dog has to sit/stay until I say okay - if he attempts to charge thru the door - he has to go back to the sit/stay.
I dont have to leave or ask any more it happens occasionally but after about the first week or two they get it and rarely move. They get their dinner made while I am making our human dinner and breakfast while I am making my coffee, so its nothing for me to walk away. There are times I "accidently" on purpose forget to release them. They will bark at me to remind me but I just ignore them. The Alpha always controls the food ;) Its a daily reminder that I am in charge and it seems to keep good balance.

I think I am going to do the door now too. This is exactly the kind of info I am after new things to do! Thanks for the response!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,155 Posts
I think it's important to have structure and be a good leader, but I don't necessarily believe in alpha stuff.

I think setting a dog up for success is part of being a good leader. I really don't do much structural/leader stuff anymore being that my dog is 7 1/2 and is so well behaved and I feel like he's earned some freedom :) But, when I have a foster dog, I practice NILIF with them and make sure they are on a good schedule and try not to set them up in situations where they will fail.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i train and socialize and never worry about alpha status.
when i feed my dog he lays near the kitchen entrance.
when i finish making his food i set the bowl down and he
enters the kitchen and eats. if he comes in the kitchen and i don't
want him in the kitchen i can say "out of the kitchen", "go
to your bed", "out", i can point to another room without
saying anything and he leaves the kitchen, "move Loki", etc.
if he's eating and blocking the entrance to the kitchen i can
say "move over" and he'll move left or right depending on which
way is blocked. when i say "move over" he never lifts his head
from the bowl, he shifts his body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,250 Posts
I've been trying to get my 11 week puppy to do the same. I am getting her to sit but she doesn't understand the stay command yet. Is she too young for this method?


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
No, it just takes time. :) my 10 week old pit bull pup has been sitting and waiting for his food for a few weeks now. Repetition! ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
I don't really think "alpha" status is what I am going for. We're not a pack of adult unrelated wolves vying for resources, we're a pair of humans with a dog that is dependent on us. I guess I do see myself as her guardian and leader, but more in a parental way.

I use NILIF for meals, going places, sometimes even being pet and getting to sniff the ground. I don't pay attention to her when she acts crazy. If we are on a walk and she acts up, I have shown her that we do not move forward until she returns to my side and calms down. Also (this is really important) I try to send her ONE clear signal at a time and let her process it. I don't pelt her with commands and jangle the leash around if she doesn't get it. I try very hard to always be calm, gentle, and straightforward.

This is the first dog I've had where I really questioned the notion of "control," because her personality has already developed and I just have to play to her strengths (she has many). I cannot force her to be a harder dog, or have more drive, I can only show her that good things come from me and she should pay attention to that.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,283 Posts
i don't intentionally do any alpha stuff i am aware of, for convenience i do stuff like sit my dogs when i am placing there food in the bowl (is that alpha?) and when the bowl hits the floor i leave em be.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top