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Staceybob

The Alpha Roll-Over Debate

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I don't do it. It's better to show your dog 'your the boss' through walking and just by the way you hold yourself.

I find that walking directly towards my husky, staring straight in his eyes, that he immediately tucks his ears back and lowers his head. A sign of submission.

The only time I use force is if he's been bad...then then I grab him by the scruff of the neck and squeeze like a mother wolf would do to discipline her pups. I only lighten up when I heard him whimper/yelp, but it's not like I do it to deliberately hurt him. It always works.

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Our Demon started a fight between himself and his Dad, Koda. Dunno what happened (I think he just p'eed him off with his insistant pestering) and a mass scrap ensued! Needless to say I dived in and yanked the 2 apart and Demon was still growling at me looking ready to challenge me and go for me, which, he did do. He tried to sink his teeth in my forehead and cheek with his main top n bottom fangs. As I was wearing glasses at the time, he couldn't get a good grip, thank-god! Needless to say I lashed out and he felt the tip of my steely boot to his butt and he sank down wincing. My elderly mother was scared stiff and now refuses to mind them if I've gotta nip somewhere just in case. We've had a few repeats, but now it's just a quick grab of their scruffs and twist this lose fur/skin and they calm down, just end up being a bit noisy about it.

After thinking about these spats,while I'm separating them, Demon is growling at Koda, Koda thinks he is growling at me and then tries to protect me from Demon and vise versa! Thank-fully, these spats are becoming very few if any now. But I think I was damn lucky that day as if I didn't have my glasses on, I dare say I would have either lost an eye or had my face ripped open. I don't condone what I did, but it woke him up not to change me or go for me like he did. We're all best of mates and ply fight all the time, but he soon knows not to over-step the mark.

Ian & The Ingleby Krew

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I've never done(did) this as training for my husky. But once, when he got out of the yard, I was taking him back holding his harness(with my hand). For some reason as we got close to the yard, he got aggressive and growled at me, showing his teeth. I would have none of that from my dog! He ended up on his back with me grabbing him by the fur on his neck and me yelling no in his face. I wasn't about to have an aggressive dog towards me or anyone else. :angry: That is the ONLY time I remember he has ever tried to be like that with me. But like I said, never done it as training.

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To be truthfully honest if a dog respects you as alpha and they do something they KNOW is super wrong I believe they roll over themselves. Foxy does this. We got her at just under a year old and after a few months of showing her what is and what is not acceptable in the house hold she caught on that we rule the roost not her. When she would do something extremely bad like bite at a cat for no reason or chew up something she darn right knew not to chew I'd walk up to her tell her in no uncertain terms no bad dog and she would flip on her back. Now whether that's a submissive response or fear response I'm not sure but we never physically made her do that she would do it on her own. I don't think physically rolling your dog would do anything more than provoke them personally if you feel the need to physically make your dog submit you are not fulfilling the alpha role in your household. Or I'm just full of hot air lol idk.

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I've no idea what you mean by Does your dog submissively show you respect? :lol: :lol:

I roll my dogs over but not as a sign of dominance etc its while we're all messing about, they'll lay down, I'll give them a gentle push and 9 times out of 10 they then go over onto their sides of backs looking for a fuss. If they dont get the fuss I get whined at and pawed until I give in and give them the belly rub they're looking for :lol:

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The only time I use force is if he's been bad...then then I grab him by the scruff of the neck and squeeze like a mother wolf would do to discipline her pups. I only lighten up when I heard him whimper/yelp, but it's not like I do it to deliberately hurt him. It always works.

I don't get what you mean - you said you hold him down until he cries out, but don't deliberately hurt him - is forcing him to the ground until he cries not hurting him? :blink:

Our Demon started a fight between himself and his Dad, Koda. Dunno what happened (I think he just p'eed him off with his insistant pestering) and a mass scrap ensued! Needless to say I dived in and yanked the 2 apart and Demon was still growling at me looking ready to challenge me and go for me, which, he did do. He tried to sink his teeth in my forehead and cheek with his main top n bottom fangs. As I was wearing glasses at the time, he couldn't get a good grip, thank-god! Needless to say I lashed out and he felt the tip of my steely boot to his butt and he sank down wincing. My elderly mother was scared stiff and now refuses to mind them if I've gotta nip somewhere just in case. We've had a few repeats, but now it's just a quick grab of their scruffs and twist this lose fur/skin and they calm down, just end up being a bit noisy about it.

You have to be very careful when separating dogs that you don't get any redirected aggression. It's really common for people to get bitten/injured when separating fighting dogs for that reason - not because the dog is being human aggressive but because the human got in the way of a dog fight.

When she would do something extremely bad like bite at a cat for no reason

Getting a bit OT now but just saw this and wanted to point out - there is no such thing as biting a cat for no reason, lol. The dog could likely be prey driven and biting/grabbing the cat when it catches the dog's prey eye.

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By submissively displaying respect, they roll over on to their back by themselves with out having to make contact with the dogs body.

Stacey xxx

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dogs learn through whats safe and whats not safe, so IMO if you are rolling your dog its going to learn your not safe, it will antisipate your behaviour and submit before you get a chance to touch it. Does this mean your dog respects you as the dominant leader? No, its just doing what it needs to do to avoid something it doesn't like.

Its the same as when people think their dogs know whats right and wrong -eg dog wees in the house then looks sorry (scared) its only because it knows what your reaction will be because it weed. Its not safe to be around you when it has urinated so its showing apeasing behaviour to avoid punishment.

I have never Alpha rolled a dog, I have pinned a dog, which is totally diferet and has only been done in self defence or restrain of a dangerous dog....did that dog learn to submit to me? heck no, it still tryed to eat me the next day. If i had continued to pin it every day then maybe it would have learned i was unsafe and therefore it should avoid being punished or maybe it would have snapped and taken my face off....

Both of my girls show me submission, if i enter a room and they are already lying down they will turn to raise their stomachs to me. This is respect for me. I have never had to put them in this position they just do it. Merlin is a totally different case and i don't even think he knows what subission is. being nurological he doesn't learn new behaviours and has never shown any signs of submission despite being beaten and abused. The only responce he can show is fear (which could be miss read as submission by people who don't know better)

IMO if you want your dog to respect you you need to show it respect first. You need to befriend a dog before you can tell it what to do. It needs to trust you and know you are safe before it is libal to do anything for you. Dogs are selfish animals, they only look out for number one. They do not need to work in a pack to survive, they just co habit with humans and other dogs. They are only out to look after number one and if you are not a valuable resource to them then you have no purpose.

I work with rescue dogs, some of which have horrific pasts, some of which are aggressive, submissive, nervous, scared and some of which are dangerous and have injured people and dogs in the past. I would never alpha roll one of these dogs to get it to submit to me. If i had to pin a dog in order to defent myself / restrain a dangerous dog it is done calmly, quietly and quickly. It is not an act to get the dog to submit, it is an act to handle the dog safley so that it and anyone around it is not injured.

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Sorry for bumping but...something to add to the debate.

"Forcing the dog onto its back is the equivalent of an abusive parent beating a child to force it to say, 'I love you.' Although he or she may have forced the words out of the child's mouth, they cannot force the statement to be true.... Forcing a dog into a submissive position is the Doggish equivalent of this scenario. Even worse, this technique may actually anger the dog enough to provoke it to attack.
... Forcing a dog into an alpha roll, or shaking the dog, both constitute physical aggression. Physical aggression is not communication. If there is good communication, then such confrontations need not occur."

- Stanley Coren, "How to Speak Dog"

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Well I don't believe in throwing a dog to the floor its cruel. I would never force my dog to the door but I understand about putting fingers on the neck but not to the point it would hurt the dog and I would never do it to aggresive dog as its the dog right to bite.

Sorry - are you saying that an aggressive dog has the "right" to bite????????

That's like saying a serial killer has the "right" to murder..................

If we give an aggressive dog the "right" to bite, then we are doing that dog no favours as it will inevitably end up put to sleep. We are also doing no favours to the other dogs or people it chooses to exercise its "right to bite" upon.

I don't believe in any particular school of dog training, but I believe there are serious weaknesses in any training philosophy which espouses a "one size fits all" approach. I worked for 40 years as a youth worker with what are now fashionably labelled "feral youth" - gang members, drug dealers, burglars etc etc. What became very clear to me in that work is that different kids needed different approaches. Some would respond to the quiet, supportive word, some, who had never had any kind of boundaries put on their behaviour needed an initial big shock which suddenly clarified for them the fact that they couldn't get away with everything. Dogs are much the same (although often more intelligent and manipulative). Because of this, I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say that I would never use the Alpha roll, because I can visualise the odd occasion on which it might be appropriate. I would say, however, that it is not a technique to be used lightly or without understanding, or in isolation from other methods. It is, for me, an emergency technique, not an everyday practice.

In this as in so many other areas, the key is education. If so many owners brought their puppies up firmly and authoritatively with ample love and affection, there would be very few aggressive dogs around (apart from the few with damage caused by physical or mental trauma).

Mick

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"Forcing the dog onto its back is the equivalent of an abusive parent beating a child to force it to say, 'I love you.' Although he or she may have forced the words out of the child's mouth, they cannot force the statement to be true.... Forcing a dog into a submissive position is the Doggish equivalent of this scenario. Even worse, this technique may actually anger the dog enough to provoke it to attack. ... Forcing a dog into an alpha roll, or shaking the dog, both constitute physical aggression. Physical aggression is not communication. If there is good communication, then such confrontations need not occur."

- Stanley Coren, "How to Speak Dog"

Sorry but this is complete nonsense. If you "pin" a dog, you are not trying to force it to say "I love you" , you are simply giving it time to calm down while removing the threat of another human or dog being harmed. Despite Coren's book being entitled "How to Speak Dog", the reality of this statement is anthropomorphic nonsense!

Mick

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Diesel was Alpha rolled by a total stranger at a show a while back becasue he was nervous. Was completely unnecessary. He didnt learn anything. He is scared of people so for a total stranger to do that has only made things worse.

D always rolls on his back if he does something wrong and i stand up.

In my opinion you shouldnt have to force a dog to be submissive. A dog should be submissive because of how YOU raise it

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Sorry but this is complete nonsense. If you "pin" a dog, you are not trying to force it to say "I love you" , you are simply giving it time to calm down while removing the threat of another human or dog being harmed. Despite Coren's book being entitled "How to Speak Dog", the reality of this statement is anthropomorphic nonsense!

Mick

Mick often I agree with you but I find the above a really strange thing to say.

SO many people are bitten alpha rolling/pinning their dogs to the ground, that you cannot possibly imply that by doing so, you are removing the threat of a human being harmed. And needless to say, the goal of 'calming' a dog by alpha rolling it is rarely achieved. You cannot force a dog to respect you and teaching it that the way to win is by being bigger and stronger, you are setting yourself up for trouble.

If alpha rolling a dog was a method that actually worked without such a huge risk and actually it got good results, I'd be less adamant that it was utter rubbish. But it's neither a good training method nor a safe one, and I struggle to understand why anyone would actually use it in this day and age when we know so much better.

And regarding the above about dogs having the 'right to bite' - I think dogs have the ability to bite in self defense, it is a simple flight or fight reflex. If you back a dog into a corner by pinning it to the ground one of those natural instincts/reflexes WILL take over and the only person you have to blame for being bitten in that instance is yourself.

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One personal story that might be helpful...when my puppy was very little, she would growl if I came near her food, and would try to take my food in a mean way. I started taking her food away in the middle of her eating, and I'd make her sit before I'd give it back. Once, out of desperation, I quickly flipped her over and put my face close to hers. It didn't hurt her, but I think it suprised her. She immediately calmed down and I scooped her up (she was very young) and she licked me from head to toe. She seemed to get who was her leader after that. She's still a husky and a handful and greedy, but we are friends. Not all agree with flipping the dog over like that, which is fine too. I'm not promoting it, or even necessarily suggesting it. Just a shared experience.

BTW, I live in the arctic, where there are no trainers, obedience schools or breeders. We never really know if our dogs are purebred or crossed with the angry neighbor dog or a wandering wolf (maybe someone on this site can tell me what the heck my dog is crossed with). My puppy was still tiny, and I needed to nip this in the bud before she grew into a giant food-protective dog. Many dogs are shot up here because people ignore these problems because they have cute little puppies, forgetting that they will grow up and possibly become a scary, unpredictable animal.

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Mick often I agree with you but I find the above a really strange thing to say.

SO many people are bitten alpha rolling/pinning their dogs to the ground, that you cannot possibly imply that by doing so, you are removing the threat of a human being harmed. And needless to say, the goal of 'calming' a dog by alpha rolling it is rarely achieved. You cannot force a dog to respect you and teaching it that the way to win is by being bigger and stronger, you are setting yourself up for trouble..

Which is why I said:

Because of this, I couldn't put my hand on my heart and say that I would never use the Alpha roll, because I can visualise the odd occasion on which it might be appropriate. I would say, however, that it is not a technique to be used lightly or without understanding, or in isolation from other methods. It is, for me, an emergency technique, not an everyday practice.

I see it as an emergency technique to be used by those who know what they are doing when it is absolutely necessary, not an everyday way of treating your own dogs. We always assess dogs coming in to rescue as well as we possibly can, but (a) people often lie about their dog's behaviour; and (B) dogs often behave in an exemplary manner until they feel more confident about their surroundings and then start to push the boundaries. So, very very infrequently, we have had extremely human and/or dog aggressive huskies which have either attacked us or our dogs. Now I don't know about you, but I am not going to stand by while one of my dogs, or a member of my family gets badly bitten. I would rather grab it and pin it down until it calms down, after which it can be isolated while we work with it. If I get bitten during this process, tough! I would prefer me to get bitten than my dogs, my wife or kids. Interestingly I have been bitten quite a few times by dogs over the years, but never while pinning one down to calm it.

Mick

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I don't agree with it in the sense that this shouldn't be your first option and also if you're not doing it correctly you could make things worse. However I think if you have tried other options or it is necessary and you're confident you can perform it safely then it is up to the owner

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I see it as an emergency technique to be used by those who know what they are doing when it is absolutely necessary, not an everyday way of treating your own dogs. We always assess dogs coming in to rescue as well as we possibly can, but (a) people often lie about their dog's behaviour; and (B) dogs often behave in an exemplary manner until they feel more confident about their surroundings and then start to push the boundaries. So, very very infrequently, we have had extremely human and/or dog aggressive huskies which have either attacked us or our dogs. Now I don't know about you, but I am not going to stand by while one of my dogs, or a member of my family gets badly bitten. I would rather grab it and pin it down until it calms down, after which it can be isolated while we work with it. If I get bitten during this process, tough! I would prefer me to get bitten than my dogs, my wife or kids. Interestingly I have been bitten quite a few times by dogs over the years, but never while pinning one down to calm it.

Mick

I'm with Mick on this one. "Emergency technique" is the perfect way to put it. I've employed it several times over the years, and always out of what I considered to be necessity - I was willing to put myself at risk to subdue the dog to protect another dog/cat/person. As he mentioned (and as I touch wood), I have never been bitten performing an alpha roll.

I was really debating how or if I should weigh in on the subject. Because while I have and would use it if necessary, it is NOT something I would EVER recommend to anyone to do. @Bec is right in that so many people have been bitten trying to do it. I have never attempted it on a dog I did not know. I do not use it to achieve dominance over my dogs. It has only been used in extreme circumstances there the dog needed to be physically restrained for the safety of itself or others, and given time to calm their shit.

For example: the last time I did it was back in August. There was a dog fight between my one of my sister's dogs and Scout. There were so many factors involved in leading up to the fight that I won't go into detail (some of which I was unaware of until after the fight), but the short end is Dakota wanted Scout to play. Scout didn't want to. Dakota mobbed him rather aggressively to encourage him to play. Scout avoided, then finally growled at her, his entire posture saying "just leave me alone." Dakota attacked. My sister and I, both being idiots, got in there to break it up. We both got bit by Dakota. Scout also took a bad bite, and that's when he lost it. When we got them separated he wanted to rush back in and finish the fight, and he successfully pulled away once. The second time I got him away I rolled him and pinned him until he calmed down. Which he did. I let him up and he quietly came with me to the house so we could tend our injuries (I had a bad bite to one of my fingers and my hand is still recovering. My sister had a puncture to her thigh. Scout's leg was torn open below the wrist joint. Dakota was unharmed).

It was a bad situation, it could have been prevented, and since then I have made a point of learning safer ways to interrupt a dogfight. My sister managed to drag her dog away and lock her in a kennel, while I put mine on the ground until he relaxed rather than try one-handed to drag a straining 65lb dog away. I was then able to quietly lead a willing dog out of there. An emergency technique, not to be used lightly. It has its place in working with dogs, but is not something that the average dog-owner should even think of using.

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Ok mick no I never said its ok to allow a dog to bite I just said I wouldn't place my hand near a aggressive dogs mouth as they will bite I use have jasper who will bite in fear but is sub missive naturally

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I hate the term 'alpha-roll' and i don't like the way people try to argue the point over whether wolves do it in the wild. I know for certain that my German Shepherd (Pharoh) does it to unknown males if given a chance so, as far as I'm concerned, it's in the nature of a dominant dog to roll and pin another dog. The way Pharoh does it does not include use of teeth or anything overtly aggressive: it's a push over and a paw to hold the other dog down.

I frequently handle 'difficult' GSDs: my first objective is to make friends with them. If I can't (and normally nobody else is prepared to risk themselves to try) then they will never be homeable and will face a one way trip to the vet. I will do whatever it takes to gain their friendship but I will occasionally face one who does not respond to bribery. In those cases I need every trick in the book and I seldom fail. I have found that tentative touching makes the dogs more liable to react, whereas a good firm contact seems to give them confidence that they're in safe hands.

Over the past couple of months I've pinned dogs twice. Once was when a dog attacked another: he grabbed the victim by the throat and would not let go. Having tried the normal techniques (verbal command, water spray, physically pulling) I had to pick him up, hold him upside down and he only released when I covered his nostrils with my hand. When he released the other dog I had to prevent him from biting me so I put him straight to the ground and held him pinned by the throat until he calmed down. It took a couple of minutes and then he visibly relaxed. When I released him he jumped up and was friendly to me - and not in a submissive way.

The other occasion was when a dog I had on lead in a passageway went for another. I went to grab him by the collar but he whipped round and bit me hard. So I grabbed him by the throat, lifted him and pinned him in a corner. So it wasn't a roll as such, but an exhibition of superior strength and force. Once again, the dog calmed down after a minute or two and I could release him without fear of being bitten.

In both cases the dog didn't become some quivering wreck, peeing itself when I approached. But the dog did accept that I was in control.

Being in control is important. In fact if you are not in control of your dog, you shouldn't take it out in public. Lots of people get funny about not 'dominating' their dogs. The word domination literally means being the master, being in control.

Several people have highlighted idiotic uses of a roll/pin as an example of why a roll should not be used: but thats crazy - wrong tool for the job maybe but it does not mean that tool does not have a purpose. Us it in the correct context and it serves a good purpose.

---- edit ...

And I'd like to stress: if you use a roll and pin on a nervous or submissive dog it will have an awful effect. It's only relevent with a dog that is over-confident and dominant.

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I hate the term 'alpha-roll' and i don't like the way people try to argue the point over whether wolves do it in the wild. I know for certain that my German Shepherd (Pharoh) does it to unknown males if given a chance so, as far as I'm concerned, it's in the nature of a dominant dog to roll and pin another dog. The way Pharoh does it does not include use of teeth or anything overtly aggressive: it's a push over and a paw to hold the other dog down.

This.

In the fight I mentioned, at one point Scout had Dakota pinned to the ground and on her back. That was actually when she got Scout by the leg and tore it open, and he shook her hard at that point (and we intervened and probably made things worse).

Twice I've seen a husky pin another dog in aggressive situation. Neither time ended with injury to the other dog, and both times it was the husky going "you need to stop what you're doing NOW."

I truly hate the wolf-dog comparison. Wolves aren't dogs. Dogs aren't wolves. What I think happens on a base level is that trainers want people to understand that dogs are animals, not humans, so it's far easier to draw a comparison with a wolf than a person. And in a world where people humanize their dogs and think of them as children, it can often help things to click by having them think of their dog as a descendant of a wild animal rather than a person in a fur coat.

Where it also leads to more confusion is the idealistic myth that we've built up around wolves - they've gone from bedtime story monsters to mystical beings embodying the nobility of the Wild. Wolves are these happy, caring packs that never argue because they have such an eloquent body language they can live in harmony and respect. No. Wolves kill each other in territory disputes, ostracize members of their packs, sometimes bully the weak, drive out those in direct sexual competition - be they male or female.

Being in control is important. In fact if you are not in control of your dog, you shouldn't take it out in public. Lots of people get funny about not 'dominating' their dogs. The word domination literally means being the master, being in control.

I agree. And I think this is because humans have a very different idea of the word "dominate." It's aggressive, it's totalitarian, it's ruthless. I firmly believe that dogs want to be one of two things - a leader or a follower. If the human does not show they are the leader, this leads to instability. Someone needs to be the leader, so the dog will assume the roll and expect the humans to follow. Just as some humans are born to lead and others are happy to follow, some dogs are the same way. These "alphas" (wolf-word likely gets used because it is a simple way to describe it) need humans who can say "yes, you may be a good leader, but I'm a better one." In my experience, so long as the dog knows which it is, it will be happy. It's interesting to take a "dominant" dog that the owner can't do anything with, give it some direction and watch as the dog practically says to you "thank god! I didn't want to be making the decisions but someone had to! What next?"

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Just as some humans are born to lead and others are happy to follow, some dogs are the same way. These "alphas" (wolf-word likely gets used because it is a simple way to describe it) need humans who can say "yes, you may be a good leader, but I'm a better one." In my experience, so long as the dog knows which it is, it will be happy. It's interesting to take a "dominant" dog that the owner can't do anything with, give it some direction and watch as the dog practically says to you "thank god! I didn't want to be making the decisions but someone had to! What next?"

Nicely put!

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I have never had to 'alpha roll' Sabien and I don't think I would as I would feel uncomfortable doing this to him and I am not sure it would achieve anything with him. Sabien knows if he has been naughty by my tone of voice and that is enough. On two occasions when he has been told off as he put himself and me into a dangerous situation and I raised my voice he got onto the floor and rolled onto his back of his own accord without me touching him. He shows me his belly when I walk past him at home anyway (he loves a belly rub!) without me ever having to assert myself over him in this way.

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Which is why I said:

I see it as an emergency technique to be used by those who know what they are doing when it is absolutely necessary, not an everyday way of treating your own dogs. We always assess dogs coming in to rescue as well as we possibly can, but (a) people often lie about their dog's behaviour; and (B) dogs often behave in an exemplary manner until they feel more confident about their surroundings and then start to push the boundaries. So, very very infrequently, we have had extremely human and/or dog aggressive huskies which have either attacked us or our dogs. Now I don't know about you, but I am not going to stand by while one of my dogs, or a member of my family gets badly bitten. I would rather grab it and pin it down until it calms down, after which it can be isolated while we work with it. If I get bitten during this process, tough! I would prefer me to get bitten than my dogs, my wife or kids. Interestingly I have been bitten quite a few times by dogs over the years, but never while pinning one down to calm it.

Mick

Thanks for clarifying your position, Mick.

I'm with Mick on this one. "Emergency technique" is the perfect way to put it. I've employed it several times over the years, and always out of what I considered to be necessity - I was willing to put myself at risk to subdue the dog to protect another dog/cat/person. As he mentioned (and as I touch wood), I have never been bitten performing an alpha roll.

I was really debating how or if I should weigh in on the subject. Because while I have and would use it if necessary, it is NOT something I would EVER recommend to anyone to do. @Bec is right in that so many people have been bitten trying to do it. I have never attempted it on a dog I did not know. I do not use it to achieve dominance over my dogs. It has only been used in extreme circumstances there the dog needed to be physically restrained for the safety of itself or others, and given time to calm their shit.

I find it interesting so many people would use it as a safety measure because there are other ways to achieve the same result that carries less risk for the handler.

Over the past couple of months I've pinned dogs twice. Once was when a dog attacked another: he grabbed the victim by the throat and would not let go. Having tried the normal techniques (verbal command, water spray, physically pulling)

Water spray to break up a fight?? How many times have you found that works for serious fights?

I had to pick him up, hold him upside down and he only released when I covered his nostrils with my hand. When he released the other dog I had to prevent him from biting me so I put him straight to the ground and held him pinned by the throat until he calmed down. It took a couple of minutes and then he visibly relaxed. When I released him he jumped up and was friendly to me - and not in a submissive way.

The other occasion was when a dog I had on lead in a passageway went for another. I went to grab him by the collar but he whipped round and bit me hard. So I grabbed him by the throat, lifted him and pinned him in a corner. So it wasn't a roll as such, but an exhibition of superior strength and force. Once again, the dog calmed down after a minute or two and I could release him without fear of being bitten.

In both cases the dog didn't become some quivering wreck, peeing itself when I approached. But the dog did accept that I was in control.

In those instances did that solve the behaviourial issues you had with the dog completely after that for good or did you have to do more work with it?

The problem with advocating and using the method as you have outlined above for a "exhibition of superior strength and force" is that it only works (and I use the word 'works' lightly) if you can guarantee you are bigger and stronger than the dog.

What happens when you have a dog that is bigger and stronger than you and physically cannot pin it to the ground? What happens if the dog overpowers you and then learns that it can beat you by being physically stronger?

What happens if you rehome one of these dogs you "fix" to a person who isn't physically capable of grabbing a dog by the throat, lifting it in the air and pinning it against the corner for a couple of minutes? Personally I find that image sickening and it disgusts me that people handle dogs in this manner unless it was an emergency situation where they were in serious danger of being injured or worse.

The reality is that truly rank/dominant dogs are rare, and attempting to pin one of these dog like you described above will not end well for the person attempting it.

Being in control is important. In fact if you are not in control of your dog, you shouldn't take it out in public. Lots of people get funny about not 'dominating' their dogs. The word domination literally means being the master, being in control.

And again you can have amazing control over your dogs without force, and if you are a handler who isn't physically capable of over powering your dog then gaining force without needing to be bigger and stronger is a must.

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I agree. And I think this is because humans have a very different idea of the word "dominate." It's aggressive, it's totalitarian, it's ruthless. I firmly believe that dogs want to be one of two things - a leader or a follower. If the human does not show they are the leader, this leads to instability. Someone needs to be the leader, so the dog will assume the roll and expect the humans to follow. Just as some humans are born to lead and others are happy to follow, some dogs are the same way. These "alphas" (wolf-word likely gets used because it is a simple way to describe it) need humans who can say "yes, you may be a good leader, but I'm a better one." In my experience, so long as the dog knows which it is, it will be happy. It's interesting to take a "dominant" dog that the owner can't do anything with, give it some direction and watch as the dog practically says to you "thank god! I didn't want to be making the decisions but someone had to! What next?"

A lack of leadership from an owner does not make their dog dominant.

A dog isn't going to step up and suddenly become "dominant" because their owner is showing no leadership. All dogs need leadership and to know what the rules and boundaries are, if they don't get this, they will do what they want because they have no reason to do otherwise - that isn't dominance.

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