very good post. i had to read it in short burst..very long. I beilive his views on alpha dog. but not to sasy we have so much to learn as trainers and owners. alpha theory and basic dog communication is just the beginning. but I think his article was very informative and a value to the general public for anyone trying to get a harder to handle breed.
now the part where he talks about you being alpha and telling your dog that it is not up to them to decide who is allowed on the property , to be barked at, etc. would maybe lead to telling your dog it doesn't need to protect you from harm ? that you are alpha and you can take care of yourself so there is no need for the dog to interfere ? that you are supposed ot take care of them and not vice versa ?
he basis his theory on the bahavior of his own dogs. I have some alternatives why his dog was doing what it was doing. His dog is in fact a herding/guard dog. it was doing what it was breed to do. round up the herd and guard it. I don't think the dog read in to it as deep as he did. I have to admit by re-reading that part i am very cofused now. I believe my dog should alert me to potential danger and also should back off upon my request. and should advance upon my request. An aplha's job is not to be a one dog army of protection, that kind defeats the whole usefulness of having the pack. a alpha dog is barking to warn and call reinforcements. When ever i hear a strange noise. I tell gunny "time to work" he knows that were going on a "round". to make sure all is well. I think It is my job to watch his back. and his to watch my back. I can see were people emphize to much on the alpha theory and totally lose sight of the pack theory. that is the purpose of a pack "power in numbers" and the dog has no idea, it's my house as far as he concerned it is just as much his. the only things he sees as mine is the drivers seat, my bed and my chair at the kitchen table. I think he may have misinterrpeted what his female was doing by growling at the other dogs. she could of been just telling them to "stay back, you make me nervous" for all we know.
what you said makes sense also. i also believe that a pack watches each others backs. but i wonder in a true wild wolf pack who is making the call for defense. i would think the alpha pair makes the call. it is a very interesting subject. i think i will try studying up more on wolf pack dynamics. i wonder how far removed our domestic dogs are from true pack behavior.
I was watching somethnig on national g about dog packs in thailand and india. (these are the dogs between pets and wild dogs) These dogs are the street scavengers and there seems to be a contoversy on dog pack behavior. some suggest that dogs are not as pack orientated as wolves. others say the pack stucture is looser and has changed but not gone, because of human intervention and domestication. my personal belief is dogs know they need us. that is why they willingly share space with us. and the pack stucture is very alive and well and the strength of the pack is unique to every pack.
that sounded like a great show. i know our prinny was an alpha. a true alpha dog and not a bully. she just had an air about her that everyone just respected. if anyone challenged her she could not do much about it because of her handicap, in the beginning she could but she never had to pin anyone down to get her message across. she was extrordianarily tolerant of scout when she was a pup. scout did try and take advantage of her sometimes but she dealt with it til scout got older. then she let scout know her limits. it was pretty cool because scout could've easily taken her over because of the handicap but she didn't. prinny was a very fair and motherly dog. the article reaised a question to me though re: the part about the protection. scout will show protectiveness towards / over my son but never to me at all. some strange guy was walking past me one day with a large board in his hand. scout looked at him and me and continued on her business. either she is too smart and knew nothing would happen or figured i could handle myself. yet, when a strange person was play attacking my son she was up and in the middle of it. so therefore my question re; our alpha status and whether if the dog really sees you as alpha do they feel the need to follow you and not be a leader in those situations.