I'm so confused!

Posted by deanna
Aug 22, 2008
Aaauugh...I've been reading the sitstayfetch book, and going through all these posts for ideas on my new pup's aggression, and I've got to say...I'm so confused!

I've been given some good advice, and I'm grateful for it...but it conflicts so much with...everything else! The book says let my two dogs fight it out to determine who is the alpha dog, and then treat them accordingly. Another great idea says, whoever has seniority is the alpha dog, automatically. Then there's the theory that alpha is a bunch of nonsense, and I don't know what to think! I truly think my new puppy may be the alpha dog, for those of you who follow that school of thought. After he bit my older dog, the older dog does appear to cower towards him when they're in the room together. And according to the book that I just paid for, that's fine! I'm not entirely sure the dogs have worked out their problems, and I'm scared to let them fight it out...I honestly fear for my older dog's life, should this turn out to be something else. What if my older dog is NOT really backing down? What if the new puppy is just mean and will kill him even if he does back down?

I got this book and joined these forums to get some answers...and I've learned a lot, really. I know all dogs are different, but I just wish it weren't so darn confusing. I may be jumping ahead of myself here, and maybe being a bit impatient...I just want to know that I'm doing the right thing and not making the situation worse. :confused:
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 23, 2008

I understand your frustration. I feel the same way too. My advice is based on my experience, my observation and my belief that conflicts with the Alpha Techniques. Therefore, if you are confused, just ignore what I have written and follow what SSF book says. You will find out yourself if it was the right thing or not. As you said every dog is different and so is the owner.

I am pleased with the fact that I have established a very good relationship with and control of my dogs, doing totally opposite of the Alpha Techniques; I let my dogs on furniture when invited, I always feed my dogs before us human eat, I let the dogs go out the door first, I walk around my dogs unless they are totally in my way, etc. I am sure there are a bunch of other people who agree with me but I know there are as many people who were successful by using the techniques. It is all up to you what to believe.

Why don't you stick to the SSF book and see yourself if it's working or not. However, please don't risk your old dog's life. It's not worth it and it is not humane either. Please do it under your close supervision and be prepared to cut in if a flight breaks out.

Good luck
Posted by foxi7778
Aug 23, 2008
Please don't let your dogs fight it out!!! I do and don't follow the Alpha techniques...if that makes sence? lol. The dogs are fed after us and don't enter/leave the house before us. They are allowed on furniture when invited and sleep in our room and are are allowed on the bed in the morning when invited. I do not make my dogs move out of my way if they are asleep unless there is no way for me to get past them. I did start of giving my older dog his food before the younger one, but this caused problems, so now I have them both sit, put both their bowls out and then tell them both it's ok to eat.
I feel that as long as your dogs both obey you and your family, then there is no need for you to establish an alpha between the dogs, they should manage to do this themselves...without the need to fight it out.