What is “Alpha”, “dominance”?

What is “Alpha”, “dominance”?

Learn why they don’t mean much to your day to day life with your dogs.

Many of the pet owners often find it difficult to manage two dogs in the same household, especially when they are freshly introduced to each other. Dogs are often found dominating the younger one, growling at them. People often mistake this to be the older one trying to alpha dominate the younger one. 

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It is very scary for all the pet owners when their babies get into vicious fights with each other, questions like, are our dogs being territorial? Possessive? Or are they just not enjoying each other’s company? The answer to these questions could be, your little one could simply struggling to build or maintain their status in the doggo world, or just be possessive about their owner. Dogs have a hierarchical nature, with one dog always being greater in rank than the other, and this order can alter over time. Due to this reason it is okay for your fur babies to sometimes try to dominate one over the other.

To avoid this type of behavior in your dog it is important to visit a behaviorist before planning on adding another pet to your family to be able to understand your dog’s temperament. They can also advise you on the best breed of dog to add to your family, as well as if an older dog is more suited to your lifestyle! Another excellent approach to decide is to foster a puppy for at least three weeks.

Courtesy : American Kennel Club

Consider the following suggestions if you and your dog believe you are ready for a second puppy:

1) Select a different sex

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2) Make sure there is at least a 3-4 year age difference!

Courtesy : The Bark

3) Confirm that the puppy is also at ease around dogs (i.e. meet the puppy!)

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4) It should go without saying, but I hope you have studied your breed before deciding to bring them home!

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Dogs have a social structure. Consider a ladder with a dog on each rung. If the dogs are too similar (same sex, or too close in age), they may begin battling for the same rung on the ladder. If they’re different, they’re more likely to settle in (on separate rungs) faster and avoid any dog-to-dog conflicts.

Some more steps pet parents should consider, moreover know or make sure about before getting another fur baby are mentioned below. 

1) Provide multiples of the same resource, such as 6-7 yak chews, 6-7 sock toys, and 6-7 balls (6-7 beds if you will). Do not have ten different toys—this will almost certainly cause to conflicts! There is a considerably lower risk of fighting if there are several of the same toys, i.e. an abundance of resources.

2) Training begins on Day 1 – train each dog individually. A recall, a simple No, and a Wait/Stay may make your life a lot easier.

3) Refrain from interfering – Dogs do not share. One dog will get the bed, another will receive the toy, and another will be the first to leave the house, and so on.

A number of things are determined by this hierarchy, which might alter over time. I can’t emphasise enough how crucial it is to consult with a behaviourist to do this correctly.

4) No more dog-to-dog play — we’re sorry to disappoint you! Encourage hanging out with each other, going on walks together, and so on. However, dog to dog play (jumping, mouthing) encourages them to jump and mouth on you AND teaches them that dogs are more fun than people, i.e. they don’t listen to humans AND, more often than not, leads to some kind of dog to dog violence within a year or two. This is when you should definitely step in.

However, if you have a calm and well-socialized adult dog, this should not be an issue — your adult dog will not tolerate much play and will prefer to seek human contact from day one.

5) Time outs – Separate each dog for a few hours, e.g., separate rooms, crates, etc.

Regardless of all this, there can be no sure answers to your particular dog, because like the nature of every human differs, the nature of every dog differs. For this we recommend you to join our expert workshop this weekend!