The alpha roll is somewhat of a misunderstood exercise when it comes to dominance in dogs. This short article is to provide you with some canine knowledge to prevent bad habits from getting worse as well as keep you safe.
I hear many trainers as well as good intentioned novices tout this exercise as a way to fix all problems when it comes to dominant behavior. But to understand why it is a dangerous battle for you to attempt lets first explain what an alpha roll is.
When you have a dog that is challenging you in some way, the old prescribed method to assert your dominance is to take the dog physically, and place him on his side or back. While he is on his back the above mentioned technique instructs you to stare into the dog's eyes until he turns away. It is simple enough to describe on paper, however as a dog trainer I URGE you to seek another route. Here's why: The book or that neighbor or friend that gave you this one size fits all recipe for disaster WASN'T ABLE TO EVALUATE THE PROBLEM AT HAND.
One size does NOT fit all. Every challenge that a dog partakes in does not hold the same weight. It is a sliding scale to say the least. Every dog's temperament and drive threshold is also different. Size is relative. The bite may be smaller, but a bite is a bite is a bite!
Pick your battles. If your dog has true aggressions and true behavior problems consult a professional. If his only answer is to roll your dog, find someone with a bit more experience. When you do this to your dog without understanding the whole picture you risk, not only getting a bite, but you also compound your original problem.
Alpha rolling a dog should NEVER be attempted by someone that isn't absolutely sure of the outcome. It is simply an accident waiting to happen.
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