(What Dog Owners Should Know Regarding Alpha Roll)
An Alpha Roll is when you physically push your dog onto its side or back into a submissive posture and keep it there, ostensibly to show them that you are the dominant one in the relationship and that they should submit to you.
Dogs are compared to wolves by proponents of the approach, who argue that in order to have a good connection, you must take command, otherwise your dog will try to impose dominance over you.
Science-based, force-free training methods, on the other hand, have been shown to be more effective, as well as ensuring that you and your dog have a lot healthier and happier connection.
Dogs aren’t wolves, and wolves don’t roll as Alphas:
The first research on wolf behaviour, which took place in the 1940s, were conducted in a captive setting. These wolves had never met before and were brought together at different phases of their life. There was a lot of friction as a result of this, and there may be a power struggle inside the group hierarchy.
Since then, famous wolf behaviour specialist David Mech and others have demonstrated that in their true wild setting, a pack is frequently made up of related individuals, there is rarely a hierarchical conflict, and the “Alpha” idea is obsolete.
A wolf seldom pins down another pack member in an attempt to control them. When there is tension in a group, you may notice a member turn over into a passive, submissive position voluntarily.
Dogs exhibit this appeasing behaviour as well, demonstrating that they are not a danger and merely want to live in peace. An Alpha Roll is not a canine or wolf’s natural activity.
It’s also been established that dogs are considerably diverse from their wolf predecessors in terms of behaviour, thus applying the same ideas to all dogs isn’t suitable.
Why the Alpha Roll Is Not a Recommended Training Technique:
In 2009, a research published in the Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour found that these unpleasant treatments typically result in additional undesirable behaviours.
When a dog is confronted with such aggressive and strong training methods, it may become scared. They frequently freeze until they no longer feel threatened, or until they feel compelled to protect themselves, which can lead to a violent outburst. Above all, you are training your dog using approaches that do not develop a trusting relationship.
What Are Some of the Best Training Options?
Instead, using reward-based strategies to teach your dog an alternate desirable behaviour is considerably more successful and compassionate.
When requested to get off the sofa, a dog that growls is not attempting to control you. If your dog growls at you when you try to get them off the couch, it’s not because they’re trying to be bossy. They just want to stay in that warm location, and they’ve learnt that if they growl, they’ll usually be left alone.
If you don’t want your dog on the sofa, invest in a comfortable dog bed and spoil them with delicious treats every time they visit. Work on a “off” command as well, in which your dog is rewarded for getting off the sofa when requested.
When your dog jumps up, it’s typically because they’re happy to see you. Another popular misconception is that your dog leaps on you to demonstrate its dominance. Your dog, on the other hand, is most likely leaping up because it has been accidentally encouraged in the past for doing so. It may have appeared charming when your dog was a puppy, and the behaviour was encouraged, but now that your dog is an adult, this behaviour is not so welcomed. Some dogs leap up because it gets them the attention they want, even if it comes in the form of the owner continuously pushing them away.
Get your dog to provide an alternate behaviour by rewarding it with a nice food anytime all four paws are on the floor. When visitors arrive, ask your dog to go to its bed and give it a treat. Ensure that all family members and visitors are on the same page; instruct them to turn their backs and ignore the leaping up to avoid encouraging the behaviour.
Assist your dog in understanding that guests to the house are not to be afraid. Perhaps your dog has snarled when a stranger enters your house. If your dog is afraid of strangers, it is natural for them to express their discomfort by growling, which is a universal communication method. If you respond by placing them in an Alpha Roll, they may link strangers with this unsettling move, making them even more fearful and more prone to turn to violent behaviour.
It’s far more effective and kind to educate your dog that he doesn’t have to be afraid. Don’t force your dog to socialise with visitors. Provide a safe haven, such as a cage or the option of going to another room. Reward your dog whenever it has a positive interaction—perhaps it gets closer to the guest or glances over at him or her—if it is comfortable being in the same spot. Teach your dog that interacting with people is a positive experience!
Your relationship with your dog will strengthen and you will notice longer-lasting benefits if you train with these force-free, reward-based approaches.