Husband won't participate with Alpha Bowl Training

Posted by Trudy
Oct 28, 2007
Sam is 3-1/2 years old and getting worse trying to hold alpha rank. My husband and son refuse to "eat from Sam's bowl" to establish alpha, but are willing to use the 5 minute technique and walking away technique. Since I am home most of the day by myself, I need to take control. Should I be the only one to "eat from the bowl" when everyone else is not home--and then place her in another room when the family eats together? I really want to "own the bowl" without Sam thinking she is second in command. Is the 5 minute greeting technique sufficient with Sam being 3-1/2 years old? Thanks.:confused:
Posted by ncolby
Oct 29, 2007
Hi There,

There are many ways to send the message to your dog that you are the Alpha. I, personally, believe that it takes many little things done every day to drive this point home with most dogs. I have never eaten directly from a dog dish either, and I can see meeting with resistance from others in this area. Have you read the bonus book "secrets to becoming the Alpha"? If not, I reccommend doing so as it gives you many suggestions as to how to establish yourself and your family as the "pack" leaders. In addition, if your dog is displaying signs of food bowl aggression , the bonus " quick guide to dog aggression" covers the steps you should take to eliminate this issue.

To answer your question specifically; no...I don't think the 5 minute greeting/walking away will be enough to send the message to your dog, but it is a great start, and good for you for getting the ball rolling! Your dog will be much happier once he realizes that he doesn't have to assume the role of Alpha leader. Some other things you may want to try in order to send the right message to Sam are:

Do not allow him on furniture, especially your bed! If possible, don't even let him in your bedroom.

Don't allow him to walk through doors or dash up/down stairs ahead of you. Make him sit and wait before letting him in and out of the house. (Read about basic training command "Wait")

If he is sleeping and is in your path, wake him up and gently ask him to move out of your way.

Do not allow him to establish when you will pet him (ie nosing you, nudging you etc). When you decide to show affection, call Sam to you and pet him, but definitely ignore any demands on his part for attention.

When he is not behaving, do not yell or react. Either walk away in to another room, or calmly remove sam from the room (in to a bathroom/seperate room) for 5 minutes. Dogs HATE to be left out of the action, and this is what mom dog would do.

Good luck and keep posting!