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The Alpha of a Dog Pack
In the wild, dogs live in packs with a well-understood hierarchy. The pack leader or "alpha dog" eats first, gets his choice of mate, leads when the pack is on the move, and sits or stands higher than the subordinate members of the pack.
This is completely untrue. wild dogs (canis familiaris) feral wild dogs are not known to form packs. they will form loose tranisient relationships with other dogs in the area, Wild dogs are scanvangers not hunters. the pack is more of hinderance than a help.

What Ever Happened to the Term Alpha Male
In much popular writing the term is still in use today. However, keen observers may have noticed that during the past few years the trend to wane. For example, 19 prominent wolf biologists from both Europe and North America never mentioned the term in a long article on breeding pairs of wolves. The article, titled “The Effects of Breeder Loss on Wolves,” was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. In the 448-page, 2003
Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, edited by Luigi Boitani and myself and written by 23 authors, alpha is mentioned in only six places and then only to explain why the term is outdated

...Rather than viewing a wolf pack as a group of animals organized with a “top dog” that fought its way to the top, or a male-female pair of such aggressive wolves, science has come to understand that most wolf packs are merely family groups formed exactly the same way as human families are formed. That is, maturing male and female wolves from different packs disperse, travel around until they find each other and an area vacant of other wolves but with adequate prey, court, mate, and produce their own litter of pups

...The issue is not merely one of semantics or political correctness. It is one of biological correctness such that the term we use for breeding wolves accurately captures the biological and social role of the animals
So the human model is not far from reality. all throughout animal behavior model the "pecking order" is coming under fire. Even where the term was first coined in observing chickens and rooster. It is now though much for linear hierarchy theory is more of a projection on the animal by those that observe them than actual ever occuring.

Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs by L. David Mech
The prevailing view of a wolf (Canis lupus) pack is that of a group of individuals ever vying for dominance but held in check by the "alpha" pair, the alpha male and the alpha female. Most research on the social dynamics of wolf packs, however, has been conducted on non-natural assortments of captive wolves. Here I describe the wolf-pack social order as it occurs in nature, discuss the alpha concept and social dominance and submission, and present data on the precise relationships among members in free-living packs based on a literature review and 13 summers of observations of
wolves on Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. I conclude that the typical wolf pack is a family, with the adult parents guiding the activities of the group in a division-of-labor system in which the female predominates primarily in such activities as pup care and defense and the male primarily during foraging and food-provisioning and the travels associated with them.
* note bold added by me for emphysis.

A Talk with Ray & Lorna Coppinger Authors of Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

Also, our first visit to Pemba in east Africa solidified the concept of the village dog -- the idea that dogs in many parts of the world, and no doubt since their beginning -- are like pigeons, rats and cockroaches, carrying out their lives in the company of humans but with no overt assistance in either their feeding or reproduction. The village dog is a key to understanding the earliest evolution of breeds.

...The alpha wolf model of dog training certainly does appear frequently in print, but we wonder if it was ever really incorporated into serious dog training. We suspect it was never very useful in training dogs, and that almost everybody intuitively knew that. It was "say one thing, do another."

Certainly all the new techniques, such as click and treat, are not based on dominance. We've watched top trainers like Terry Ryan and Ken McCort, and never saw any hint of "I'm the dominant wolf." People who try modifying aggressive dogs don't try to "dominate" them into submission. Everybody agrees that would be a disaster. Imagine training a wolf by dominating it. Quick way to get killed.
A Fresh Look at the Wolf-Pack Theory of Companion-Animal Dog Social Behavior
when it comes to seeking information about the “natural
dominance hierarchies” of dogs, perhaps feral dog behavior would be a better
model. Five studies on feral dogs were located (Beck, 1975; Boitani, Francisci,
Ciucci, & Andreoli, 1995; Fox 1987; Macdonald & Carr, 1995; Nesbitt, 1975). became abundantly clear that urban and
nonurban feral dogs tend to live not in socially structured packs but rather form amorphous group associations. Often, groups of two or three are observed developing a loose association and then dissolving it within a short period. It is believed that ecology has a lot to do with this. Urban feral dogs are scavengers, getting handouts or knocking over garbage cans; they are not hunting large prey. Moreover, the survival of pups is almost nil; unlike wolves, when pups are born, usually only the mother cares for them. The primary method for feral dogs’ maintaining their numbers is by the recruitment of stray companion-animal dogs. Thus, the natural pack behavior of dogs appears to be very loose, changing, and unstructured, as opposed to tight, constant, and highly structured. The question that begs to be asked is this: If wolves in nature (not captive) develop social structures completely different from those of feral dogs (not captive), should one assume that captive wolves will develop the same social structures as dogs in captivity?
The Social Organization of the Domestic Dog
A Longitudinal Study of Domestic Canine Behavior and the Ontogeny of Canine Social Systems

This study shows that the existence of the phenomenon "dominance" is questionable, but that in any case "dominance" does not operate as a principle in the social organization of domestic dogs. Dominance hierarchies do not exist and are in fact impossible to construct without entering the realm of human projection and fantasy

...Aggression is not relevant to the social organization of the domestic dog. Dogs do not use aggression in organizing either binary or larger social systems. Aggression leads to the complete disintegration of interactions. Furthermore, it damages the attacked dog as a functioning part of any social system. Thus, the first and most basic, important rule governing relations in the domestic dog’s binary interactions and in the emergence of social systems is: aggression will not be used.

13,219 Posts
Teaching Your Dog to Think of You as Alpha
These simple habits will teach your dog that you are the pack leader:
These techniques are genral know as status reduction exercise. The have been a number of studies on Status reduction exercise and they have all come to the same conclusion they have no effect on reducing aggression in dogs.

Debunking the Dominance Myth
So-called dominance exercises were - and in some circles still are - widely recommended to prevent the dog from taking over the entire household. These exercises include not feeding him until after you've eaten, letting him through doorways only after you, forbidding access to furniture, and not playing tug-of-war.

In reality, there is no evidence that these procedures prevent dominance aggression or any other behavioral problem. In fact, one study found no correlation between playing tug-of-war or allowing a dog on the bed and the development of aggressive behavior.
If You're Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too, Says Veterinary Study

Using 'Dominance' To Explain Dog Behavior Is Old Hat
Contrary to popular belief, aggressive dogs are NOT trying to assert their dominance over their canine or human “pack”, according to research published by academics at the University of Bristol’s Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.
This is not to say these exercise are without value. Some are great at controling pet hair if thats your thing, Or help instilling impulse control in a dog which does make it easier to live with. But to infer some convoluted heirarchal , status seeking on the part of dogs is projecting human values onto the dog.

Ignore puppy "complaints" such as whining or barking for attention. You decide when to go for a walk, not the dog.
another piece of age olds advice that is simply useless. While dogs are not children their can be useful analogies made. Dogs just like kids do not engage in attention seeking displays simply to amuse themselves. They do so because a basic need is not being met. Babies cry when hungry or have a wet diaper. Would you sugest we should ignore the crying of babies? Studies done on this prove just the opposite, Babies that have more atttentive parents that meet their needs when request in a more timely manner actual cry less than those who have parents that tend to ingnore them. This applies to dogs as well. It is best to anticipate their needs and meet them before they need to ask. but if they do ask meet the needs quickly if only for a breif moment in the long term creates a dog that ask for attention less often not more.

see Understanding The Structure Of Attention Seeking Behaviour

Adapted from Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, by Dr. Karen Overall

the premise you can eliminate attention seeking behaviors by ignoring them is simply wrong. The behaviors exist for two reason
1. some need of the dog is not being met.

2. the behavior the dog engages in has been demonstrated to get the humans attention

At best ignoring the behavior will eliminate that particular annoying attention seeking behavior but only after and excuriate extinction burst period, that if the human could not endure ignoring the behavior to begin with how does any sane individual expect them to be able to do so when the behavior becomes exponatential worse? and even if you do all that the basis for the behavior, an un met need exists so that just leaves the dog to find an even more obnoxious behavior to replace it. The only way to solve attention seeking behaviors rationally is to elliminate the cause in the first place.

he or she must first understand that you are the pack leader
There is no evidence of multispecies packs in the world. Further more there is no evidence that dogs think they are human or vice versa. They know the difference.
Dogs do what works for them, that is they are in it for their self interest. Therfore it is all about resource and control of resources, Manipulate the dogs access to desired resources and you have them eating out of your hand. What those resources are depends on the individual dog.
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