Should I alpha roll my dog?
If you can successfully alpha roll your dog then it serves no purpose. If you’ve got the kind of dog that you think would benefit from being rolled then you will do nothing but create distrust and fear in your dog.
People often feel that the alpha roll is the appropriate course of action after their dog has growled, snapped or made some other gesture that necessitates the dog being put in his place.
The dog must have perceived some form of threat, hence the warning. If you go in with physical chastisement and fighting you are merely confirming his suspicions. The ensuing fight will go one of two not very successful ways.
You will either win and your dog will give up, full of resentment, distrust and fear or he will fight back and you will get hurt.
Both scenarios result in a dog and handler with trust issues and trust as we should all know is the basis of all healthy relationships.
Better to heed the warning and back away. Find a distraction to defuse the situation and when you can, safely put the dog away. THen analyse what went on.
Use your superior human brain to work out what could have happened to make your dog feel threatened by your presence or something you did. Then work out a way to stop your dog feeling like that.
The issues are quite often around valued objects or locations and in my experience, rare in dogs whose handlers attempt to primarily use positive reinforcement.
Anger breeds anger and fear breeds fear. We reap what we sow and what goes around comes around. We live what we learn. I’m sure there are other sayings that are appropriate but my brain has gone numb.
For a bit more on this subject, check out dominance theory is outdated or to really get the full picture you can purchase Positive Police Dogs: Philosophy by clicking here. The book contains everything you need to know about training theory and what makes dogs tick.