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Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Friday, May 24, 2013

I disagree...

about the aggressiveness in a Alpha Rollover.   Now before you all start throwing darts at me or click off in disgust give me a minute to explain myself.

It is a natural response and reaction for dogs to use this on one another.  I've never seen a dog do it with an aggressive intent.  Not even my own dogs.  In fact I have only seen it done during playing and rough housing.

That's one of the main reasons I like it, because it is part of their language and they easily understand it.

I don't believe in the alpha rollover should be used as part of every day training.  I rarely use it but I believe it can be used as an effect tool during a dog fight.

Positive reinforcement isn't going to break up a fight.  But an alpha rollover is like a kill switch.

I've been through enough dog fights with my own dogs over the years that a calm steady hand with only pressure of my two fingers squeezing just above the shoulder blades can bring a fight to halt instantly.  I don't push or shove the dog to ground, I let him submit on his own.

And some of you might think YEARS of DOG FIGHTS using the ALPHA ROLLOVER???  Well no wonder you have so many fights, you are encouraging aggression.

If that were true, I'd have dog fights every day, instead of months and months of remissions.

I have one aggressive dog, that I manage every day with prevention and none of it involves an alpha rollover.  But since I can't change Brut's entire nature or be with him constantly or I don't move as quickly when an attack is imminent, fights do happen. At this moment I can't think of the last one that happened.  And I don't believe using the alpha rollover on such rare occasions creates a more aggressive dog.  In fact, in the case of Brut he has become less aggressive with his pack mates as time goes on.  Do I think that is because of using alpha rollovers?  No.  They are a last resort in an out of control situation that I only reserve for that purpose and even then I don't always use it.

I know many don't agree with it regardless of what I share from my experience.  The alpha rollover has been deemed an aggressive technique.  Since all I can share is what has worked for me, my experience with the technique and hope I don't lose all my readers who have made it this far through the post, all I'm saying that in some contexts I find the technique appropriate.

What do you think about the Alpha Rollover tool?  Do you have thoughts one way or the other?  Have you ever used it or would you never use it?         



Unknown said...

You have to do whatever is best for your circumstance, for you and for your dogs. You live with them so you know best. We don't fight so we have no experience. Have a fabulous Friday.
Best wishes Molly

Pamela said...

I don't have your dogs and don't get to observe them. But I do see Honey frequently interacting with foster dogs, some who are polite and others who are cheeky PITAs.

When I watch carefully, I don't see Honey roll another dog. And I don't see the other dog rolling her. Instead, I see one dog voluntarily rolling onto their back. Then the other dog responds.

Dogs communicate so quickly with each other that it's hard to see everything that's going on without a video or camera to go back over things in slower time.

I don't want to start a fight with a dear friend in her own living room. But I'd encourage you to try to catch some video the next time you see one dog on his or her back. And then go back over it to see what preceded it. Was the dog rolled by another one? Or did the dog roll voluntarily.

You're such a caring observer of your dogs that I would really like to see what you find.

24 Paws of Love said...

Yes, Pamela I agree. The dogs submit voluntarily and that is what I do when I do use this method. This was all I was saying is that I imitate the dogs own behaviors when there's a fight going on. I don't force it nor do use any physical strength and they will roll voluntarily.

Maybe that what is call an alpha rollover is something different than what I do. I don't know.

Pamela said...

Thanks for clarifying. I didn't see you doing what I know as an alpha rollover.

Generally it's people who (if they're strong enough) pick up a dog and force him over onto his back and hold him there.

With some dogs it results in a nasty bite. But I remember one woman doing it over and over with a gentle Golden Retriever who thought she wanted to play.

Maybe you want to invent a new word for your interactions with squabbling dogs. :)

24 Paws of Love said...

Wow! I had no idea we were talking about two different things. Thank you for pointing that out. I think I will come up with a new word. I'd hate what I do to be associated with such an aggressive act.

Thank you Pamela.