Pack alpha leader

sled dogsYes. I am guilty.

Guilty of letting my dogs run like wild wolves. I even let them sleep on my bed and I’ve confessed to everyone about it. I’m supposed to be the ALPHA leader of the pack.

But as fellow dog owners, you know what I’m talking about when I say I can’t help it (a lot of the times). They look at you with those round eyes, cute button nose, and a tilted head. When you eat, they look at you like they’re some starved animal from a third word country. And when you don’t let them in your bed, you start wondering if they’ll wake up as dog jerkies, cold and stiff because you didn’t let them into your warm bed. Besides, how can a little treat/one time in my bed damage my relationship with my dog? They know I’m the master and they’re the beast. Simple. Right?

Well, depends on who you ask. If you ask me, SURE. If you ask the Dog Whisperer dude or It’s Me or the Dog lady, they’ll probably slap me a couple of times and spit in my face. 

Yeap, I spoil them like they’re my biological kids. Please, put me in prison and throw away the key. I need to be the alpha pack leader but it’s hard to resist. And the worst thing is, I think they KNOW that they have this power over me so they ABUSE it. Those ratty little beasts.

In fact, people gripe when I tell them what I do. They tell me something like this:

Put Yourself First
The Alpha always, always comes first. The first to eat, the first to enter the shelter, the first to choose the softest, most comfortable resting place. 

You, as Alpha, need to establish a routine of being “First”. 

  • Eat first, then feed your dogs their meal.
  • Go through the doors of your house first.
  • Get comfortable in bed first, before allowing your dog to settle.
  • Be the first on the sofa when relaxing.
  • *sigh* So I started looking for “alpha” pack leader advices and  I think I broke pretty much every advice dog trainers give on the web.

    But I did observe a very interesting from my dogs.

    So I have two dogs (well, technically three – you can see pictures here). The youngest and the most energetic dog Cocoa (the blackest dog) is the de facto leader of the three. Why? He has the most muscular/strength, most stamina, loudest bark, and the cutest mannerisms of the three. That and he bothers the other two till they run the heck away from him. 

    The story was that there was only TWO dogs before. Lucky (the old looking one – black with white patches) and Brownie (the golden chihuahua). Life was good with the two dogs since I have two hands, I can give them equal amount of petting. Then Cocoa came along and the competition for my attention and hand began.

    Brownie got pushed out of the game day 1. He’s a standard chihuahua – wimpy and tiny. Girls love him but I personally prefer tough (or tough looking/acting anyway) dogs. Cocoa managed to bully/out-alpha Brownie early on in the game. But then I noticed this power struggle between Lucky and Cocoa. 

    The first day that they met, they would try and hump each other. I thought, “great, now they’re gay”. Apparently, that’s the case because male dogs humping each other is a sign of trying to assert dominance. In fact, it was kinda annoying because they would wrestle and try to hump each other from the moment they woke up in the morning to the minute they fell asleep at night. Literally 24×7 for at least 3-4 days.

    But alas, it seems that Cocoa has won the alpha dog position from Lucky successfully.

    His leadership is pretty obvious when I walk them. It used to be Lucky leading Brownie before Cocoa showed up. Now, Cocoa determines where the other two go. Being the barky dog that he is, Cocoa barks frequently at random things and subsequently the other two dogs bark more too.

    The most interesting alpha dog behavior is when they eat. Lucky or Brownie will shy away from their food when Cocoa is there. It’s as if they’re not hungry, even if I hand feed them. And if i’m not there around their food, the other two won’t even go near their food. It’s as if they’re waiting for Cocoa to leave or to give them permission to eat.

    So I did an experiment. I put Lucky in a separate room and fed him. And surprise surprise… he ate just fine.

    Interesting what kind of simple experiments you can do with your own dogs. Forget Animal Planet, read this blog instead.

    *self pat on the back*

    There’s plenty more stories about my trio dogs. More to come later on.

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