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Preparations

colettedb

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As we get ready for august to arrive I keep going through suggested lists online in case I have forgotten anything. I known this is daft as I have been buys bits every week for past 7 weeks and have loads. I think my main concern is ‘knowledge gaps’ and keep trying to find out more info to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.
 
I am aware that august is an alpha dog so the training needs to be adjusted to her temperament but not sure if she would be considered dominant or independent so will chat with my D-i-L later. I have seen that there is a difference in the way training should be handled, but not much information to advise whether they are dominant or independent. Or is it just behaviourists/trainers over complicating training?
 
Not so much overcomplicating things, but based on a completely discredited theory.

There will be a bit of an order amongst a litter of pups, but the alpha / dominance thing is the flat earth theory of dog training - utterly disproven, but it won't go away. It was based on flawed conclusions drawn from poorly observed evidence. The wolf pack used in the original study was not a real pack, it was a group of individuals thrown together and the situation (captivity rather than wild) skewed the data as their behaviour was not natural. And dogs are not wolves anyway, any more than we are chimpanzees - in both cases there was a shared ancestor but the species evolved in different directions. That's why we have humans AND apes, wolves AND dogs. In wolves, the leadership role is more fluid (situationally dependent) anyway.


This article explains it quite well. Debunking the "Alpha Dog" Theory - Whole Dog Journal

Nobody disagrees with boundaries and good manners, but these can be established through training, building a mutually respectful relationship and without forcing submission from your dog.

If you think about leadership in your own life, the leaders (teachers , co-workers) that you respect earn that respect and inspire followership, they don't command or force it through wielding power 'just because they can'. Good leaders are supportive, are there for their dogs to look to when they are unsure, because they have taken time to build a deep bond based on trust, not on confrontation or intimidation.

If you want to have a look at effective basic training, Kikopup on YouTube is a good source.
 
:)Thanks Joanne that was an interesting read. I have mainly been reading and following Pippa Mattinson’s training info on the Labrador Site and get the training emails. I will concentrate just on basic positive reinforcement training and stop listening/reading articles about the alpha/dominant as a lot of it doesn’t sit right with me
 
That's good to hear. You and puppy will do very well with you using gentle guidance, as is the modern way. Dogs just want to feel safe, happy and comfortable, and that's what we want them to feel as well.
 
The only thing I can add is trust your instincts and remember when she comes to you that she is still a baby and has just been removed from her family, give her understanding, reassurance and time to adjust and you'll all be grand:)
 
Puppies had their first vaccination and microchips done this morning - they will probably feel grotty for a few days
 

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