An Introduction to Alpha Dog Training

Alpha dog training becomes necessary when your dog starts behaving like he is the head of your household. Aggressive behaviour, efforts to dominate and disobedience from your dog may be the signs that indicate the need to begin alpha dog training without delay.

Dogs have pack mentality, which simply means they need to know their place in the group and they must have clear indicators of authority and leadership.

To re establish your position as the alpha dog or pack leader in the house, you will need to make your dog aware of his status. There are some simple methods and exercises to do this.


As the leader, you will need to communicate your command and control to your dog. Your voice, stance and posture will have to be authoritative and confident.

Show Him His Place

Your dog needs to learn that his status is below yours in the house. You will need to reinforce this by making him earn whatever he gets. Give him a command and allow him to eat only after he obeys. If he wants to go out and play, make him abide by your order and only then allow him out. If he doesn't obey, don't give in to his demand. Take a break and start again.

Pecking Order

In a pack, eating is a vital aspect of displaying leadership and control. Do not allow your dog to eat before you. Let him watch you eat and only after you are done, serve him his food. Do not give him scraps and leftovers while you are dining. Let him understand that as pack leader, you get to choose the best parts of the food first. Similarly, don't allow him to lead you in a walk or when you enter the house with him. He must allow you and the rest of the family to pass first. The sofa and the bed must be out of bounds for your dog. He must comprehend that the most comfortable spots in the house belong to you - the pack leader - and not to him.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is a simple yet effective method of showing who is boss. When you have eye contact with your dog, make sure he turns away his eyes first. This will reaffirm your alpha position to him.

Alpha Dog Exercises

To reinforce your position as the leader, you can employ some exercises and get great results. These exercises may not be your dog's favorite to begin with but given patience, they will help the dog understand his position and become comfortable with it.

Exercise 1

Stand astride your dog with his head facing to the front. Bring your hands together under his chest and lift his front legs off the ground. Hold this for a few seconds and gradually increase the time. Decide on a word such as "No" or "Stay", and say it firmly if he resists.

Exercise 2

Turn your dog onto his side. Gently but firmly, hold his neck down with one hand, place the other hand on his ribcage and maintain eye contact. Say "No" or "Stay" if he struggles. Once he calms down, keeping your hold on him, slowly rub his rib cage area and speak calmly. When he gets comfortable with this exercise, turn him onto his back and repeat the same actions.

You can start alpha puppy training when you first bring him home. Gentle yet firm voice commands and consistent actions will establish your alpha dog position quickly. Never hit your puppy or your adult dog. It will lead to fear rather than obedience, and can ruin your companion's faith and trust in you. If your dog shows dominant behavior and aggression, use the exercises as a means to remind him of his place. A dog belonging to a pack is more content than a solitary one, and knowing his position will make him relaxed and confident.