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Home Training and Tricks The Alpha in You

The Alpha in You and Not Your Dog | The German Shepherd

In the wild, there is an Alpha Dog – the “top dog” of the back – a “beta dog” - and many tiers of the hierarchy later, and “omega” dog – a dog to whom nobody else is submissive. Make sure your dog understands the hierarchy of your own family. You, the owner, are the Alpha Dog, while perhaps your children or other humans in the house are the Beta Dogs, and your pup is the Omega. As long as your German Shepherd gets used to this order, he or she will be perfectly happy in it – but you need to make sure he or she knows that's the situation from the get-go. This is especially important when there are two “owners” in the house – say, a tall, strapping man and a smaller woman. While the man might have an easier time – being bigger and stronger – being recognized as an Alpha Dog, his wife might need to do that extra work to make sure the dog knows that she ranks above him or her in the hierarchy. Likewise, your kids aren't the Omega Dogs either – your German Shepherd should learn to obey them too. While we all love our pets, and joke that they are the real “masters” at home, letting your dog walk all over you – especially when it's a dog as big and powerful as a German Shepherd, only sets up bad habits for both you and your canine family later on.

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