How Do Dogs Choose Alpha Humans?
How Do Dogs Choose Alpha Humans?
In the wild, a wolf pack has an alpha male and female. They lead by example, care about their pack's survival and are discerning in their choices.
Alphas are also loyal and protective of their position.
These traits may have come from their ancestry. However, they are developed through time and experience.
1. They Look Up to You
When your dog sees you as the alpha human, they will look up to you. This is because you are a powerful figure and will take care of them.
They will also be submissive towards you because you are their leader. In a pack, the alpha is responsible for establishing rules and discipline.
These rules ensure the safety and well-being of the pack members. It is your job as the leader to be strong for them during stressful times, like thunderstorms or vet visits.
You must also be a good pet parent. If you neglect your pet during these times, it could lead to an unhealthy relationship with them.
If you want to be the alpha human in your house, you must establish yourself as a leader first and then train them to obey you. Once they accept you as their alpha, training will become easier.
2. They Follow You
One of the signs that you are a pack leader is when your dog follows you around. According to the pack code, leaders or alphas lead the way, omegas are rear lookouts and betas fall as mediators for both.
This behavior is instinctual. If your dog follows you through a door, it’s a sign that he is following your lead.
Aside from this, they also may try to gain your approval by getting close to you. This can include playing with toys or seeking your attention for food.
If you are able to teach them to respect your authority, they will be more likely to follow you.
However, it takes time to train your dog to obey. You need to be patient and consistent. It can take a week, but it’s worth it! You will then have a better understanding of your relationship with your dog and can establish clear rules, boundaries and limitations.
3. They Give You Hugs
As social animals, dogs are very affectionate with the people they love. They often use their licks, kisses, and nuzzles as a request for approval from the alpha human.
However, a new study has found that hugs send the wrong message to canines. They are actually quite uncomfortable and can even cause them to feel stressed or anxious, says Professor Emeritus of Psychology Stanley Coren.
He studied 250 random images of people hugging their dogs online and analyzed each one to find signs that the dog felt uncomfortable. The results were overwhelming: 81.6 percent of the pictures displayed at least one sign of discomfort, stress, or anxiety.
The study shows that you shouldn’t hug your dog if they are showing any of these signs, and there are better ways to show them how much you love them. Rather than risk the possibility of an unwanted interaction, try giving them another form of affection like pats on the head or belly rubs.
4. They Let You Walk Through a Door First
The adage that the bond between you and your dog is nothing short of magic holds true. However, it takes years to build trust and a sense of security with your furry best friend. This triumvirate of trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Your dog is yours for the long haul, and the best way to keep them happy and safe is by ensuring they are treated with respect and a fair amount of playtime. The best way to do this is by understanding their behavior and learning how to reward them for the right behaviors.
One of the more interesting behaviours your pooch will display is their desire to be first to do something or to get something. They will often attempt to be the first to open or use a door or gate to get their way. They may also attempt to be the first to get something out of a cupboard or drawer, such as a new toy, which is a great way for you to show them how much you appreciate their efforts.