When someone ask about a problem they are having with a dog invariably there will be two types of answers. Several people will say you need to be the pack leader or “Alpha.” Immediately this will be countered by several who proclaim, “The dominance theory of dog packs has been debunked!”
The “debunked” people think that anytime someone mentions “Alpha” they are talking about alpha rolling a dog for every little infraction. In fact, the alpha-roll is hardly ever used by a real trainer.
Alpha is another term…ready for this…” Leader.”
So, when someone says you need to be the Alpha…they are saying you need to be the leader of the pack.
They are not saying, “Beat your dog into submission, and alpha roll that sucker every time it looks crosswise.”
Your remarks to a question for help stating: “The dominance theory has been debunked. Use positive teamwork and partnership instead.” Does nothing to help that person with their problem!
What exactly do you mean? How are they supposed to do that?
If you don’t have the answer why did you even respond?
This shouldn’t even be a debate. You should actually do some research instead of surfing headlines or hitching your wagon to someone else’s ideals pulled out of context.
This is not a subject that can be understood by reading one sentence. Dog behavior is complicated, and there are no one-line answers. If you really want to understand things start with this article from Ralf Weber.
Ralf Weber is a certified dog trainer (IACP CDT) and behaviorist. A professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and an AKC evaluator for Puppy S.T.A.R., Canine Good Citizen, and Community Canine certifications.