some links to a few alpha roll articles. also, the monks who i've read poplularized this method have since recanted and published in the later revision of one their books that the alpha roll is not a good method and do not recommend it anymore. http://www.critterexchange.com/CRITTERARCHIVES/aprilalfaetc.html http://www.pyrbred.org/jane73.html http://www.rottlover.com/train.html (scroll down to "a word about alpha roll" http://dogs.about.com/cs/basictraining/a/alpha_roll.htm http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&C=169&A=984&S=0
excerpt from "the other end of the leash" by Patricia McConnell, PHD- p. 137- " Just as people were taught to "spare the rod and spoil the child", people have been advised for years to "get dominance over their dog", and so often getting dominance means getting aggressive. Even the Monks of New Skete, whose book HOW TO BE YOUR DOG'S BEST FRIEND inspired me and at least a million other people to act like wolves and do "alpha rollovers"- to throw dogs down onto their backs to ensure that their dogs would accept them as leaders. The book's main author, Job Michael Evans, later said he depply regreeted this advice". ....forcing dogs into submission and screaming in their face is a great way to illicit defensive aggression...within their social framework, you're acting like a lunatic. pg. 138 - "Four reasons not to use alpha rollevers on your dog: dogs aren't wolf replicates in the first place; wolves don't use alpha rollovers themselves to discipline other wolves; the action elicites defensiveness and sometimes aggression; and it teaches your dog to mistrust you. "
6 years ago when we got thunder he was a tough little shit. all i knew about dominance behavior was to do the alpha roll to get submission from your dog and teach them you are the leader. well i did the alpha roll to him probably more than i should have. it never worked. one day my son walked into the kitchen while thunder was chewing a bone. thunder started growling fiercely. so what do i do i go and do the alpha roll again . this time thunder started screaming and peeing all over the place. obviously it went too far. i have learned a lot from dealing with thunder. luckily all my mistakes have not had a lasting negative impression on him. he has been able to bounce back from my mistakes. he is still a tough dog but now he responds just to my voice and no physical contact at all. when i got scout my breeder gave me info on the alpha roll and written in it said at one time or another becasue of her breed i will need to use it. i will never use it again. i have learned many better approaches to prevent this behavior rather than fix it. thankfully thunder is unique and what i did to him that day has not scarred him for life.
well I've written that I alpha rolled my dog in the past. I never growled at him when I did it, but I did hold him down and stare at him directly. He demeanor just began to change after a couple of weeks. He was more growly, and also more aloof with me. I think he didn't trust me. He was also starting to act afraid, too, when I would walk over to him to roll him he'd put his tail between his legs. Luckily I hadn't been doing it for too long, so like your situation, he came out of it ok. He's a very happy doggie now. He lives for food, so we went the clicker training route and it worked pretty well. I have to watch it though because he would totally pudgeout if I let him!
maybe as an absolute last result but i think there are many things you can do from day one to prevent dominant behavior so if you should have to deal with it when the animal is older you have a better foundation to work from.
clicker training is a positive training method. you get a little clicker (like at a pet smart, they are only a buck or two) and you teach obedience by clicking. Basically you click to mark the moment that your dog did what you wanted him to. it is all about timing and kind of tricky, I was not very good and got yelled at a lot because my timing was off, so Henry got confused! But I finally got the hang of it. The neat thing is the dog learns REAL fast when he did something right, and so he'll start to WANT to continue the behavior. And you just ignore when he messes up. Traditionally you reward with food, but you can use praise, a toy, etc. After you teach the dog a specific action using the clicker only, then you start to say the command simultaneously with the click. and then gradually phase out the click, so you are left with the command only. you can go to www.clickertraining.com to get a better idea, I'm prob. not explaining it well!