Alpha Males: What Sets Them Apart from the Pack?

Alpha Males: What Sets Them Apart from the Pack?

There is no mistaking an alpha dog when you see one. They stand out from the pack, often larger and more muscular than their counterparts. But what really sets them apart? What makes alpha males so dominant? And how can you make sure your dog becomes one? In this blog post, we will answer all of these questions and more!

What is an Alpha Dog?

An alpha male dog is the leader of the pack, and he will act as such. He will be confident and assertive in his decisions, leading and expecting other dogs to be submissive and follow him.

This alpha-based dominance is often seen in breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, or Pit Bulls. Physically speaking, alpha males may be larger than their counterparts or have more muscle mass. They may also display dominant body language by standing tall and keeping eye contact with other dogs and, in some cases, even pet parents! But that's another blog for another day.

Where do Alpha Dogs Come From?

Long ago, wild dogs ran in packs and required a leader to make decisions on their behalf regarding food, direction, and living quarters. Our domesticated hounds haven't lost this instinctive need for leadership, and often if they are the only dog in the pack (family home), they will believe they are the alpha dog by default!

What Does an Alpha Dog Look Like?

The most important factor that makes an alpha dog stand out from the rest is his behavior. An alpha male will show leadership qualities by taking charge of situations - they may bark to get attention, decide where to go when walking, and take the lead when playing. He will also be more willing to take risks and challenge other dogs, showing an unwillingness to back down in a confrontation.

Do You Have a Dominant Alpha Dog?

Alpha dogs display certain characteristics; if you think your pet may be a dominant dog, see how many of the below behaviors match theirs.

  •  Growls when claiming food/toys
  • Tries to take food/treats before they are offered
  • Holds the gaze of humans
  • Barks or howls when out with their pet parents
  • Claims certain areas of the house (beds, furniture, sofa)
  • Insists on shoving past pet parents to gain access to or leave the home
  • Refuses to obey basic commands
  • Constantly on the alert to defend their pet parents
  • Jumps, humps, or lies on top of people/visitors

Training Alpha Dogs

When training an alpha dog, you should use positive reinforcement (treats/praise) to encourage good alpha behavior. When necessary, you should use correction techniques such as verbal reprimands or leash corrections to denote bad behavior - this will show him that certain behaviors are unacceptable. Also, while it's important to demonstrate your dominance over him, you should also encourage leadership by allowing him to make decisions during walks, such as choosing the route or how far he wants to go.

The Final Woof on The Subject

Finally, remember that every dog has its own personality and may not be suited to be an alpha dog. Timid or shy hounds may not be the right fit for the alpha dog role. Although alpha dogs are special and can bring strength and leadership to their pack; they also require the right guidance and training to keep your home a happy one!

Image by Myléne from Pixabay