Friday, November 5, 2010

Alpha Rolling in Wolves and Dogs

Wanna see a real "alpha roll"?

And here is a video of an alpha roll between 2 dogs.

For a more in depth explanation of alpha rolling see this post. It's hard to believe that people are still using this method on their dogs in the name of training. It's bunk. Spread the word.
(Hat tip to Retrieverman for sharing the wolf video.)


jen said...

your video of your K9 corrections pups is great. My dogs have done this with fosters or between themselves, all voluntary and all serve a real purpose. I could never try to mimic that, they'd never trust me again... and what would I be accomplishing?!

Marie said...

I know. Unfortunately people see a certain someone doing it on tv and don't realize how wrong he is. The book The other end of the leash by Patricia McConnell has a wonderful explaination of why people shouldn't do it to their dogs. (for those silent blog readers out there looking for more info)

Anonymous said...

Yea the video of the two dogs, is definitely not of the lab submitting and rolling over on his own, the jack does actually push him down to the ground-->stands on two legs, growls and pushes on his side and then the lab gives in to the roll, but the jack still goes all the way with his mouth over/on the lab's neck and only releases after a brief hold on the ground. Alpha rolls do occur in nature and in dogs naturally. The video of the wolf roll is even the alpha doing it...just not in a physical way, and most of the time that is because the submissive wolf is familiar with that particular wolf and knows what will happen if he does not submit. The alpha wolf comes in with very aggressive body language and gives a pretty good snarl to the submissive wolf which enacts the wolf to immediately roll. So maybe not on this video do you see an alpha roll one physically, but its does occur. Just so ya know.....

Marie said...

Well "Anon" I beg to differ. The jack is physicaly incapable of rolling the larger dog over. Yes his body touches the other dog but it is really mostly body language. If the lab didn't CHOOSE to roll over the jack couldn't have pushed him into it. Either the larger dog would have stood still or fought back had the jack continued to go after him. And the jack never grabs him by the neck, look again, he is holding his face over the other dog.

You actually make my point with your wolf comments. They have no need to physically pin the other wolf. If they TRY then it could result in a real fight, which wolves rarely do because fighting can lead to being hurt. Fighting is just to expensive of a behavior in the wild. The risk of being hurt leads to possible death so it is avoided. Plus we are talking about wild wolves in their natural habitat, NOT a captive wolf pack where that kind of behavior is not normal. So no, wolves do NOT roll each other physically either. It is all body language.

Dogs that try to physically pin another dog down is either successful because the dog being pinned choses to submit or there is a fight because the dog being pushed choses to fight back. (or maybe run away)

So my point is that dogs communicate better with each other using their native body languge than we try to. Most times people think they are speaking "dog" when in most cases they are freaking them out by being scary and unpredictable. (to the dogs perception - read The language of dogs by Patricia McConnell FMI on this)

WE AREN'T DOGS, and therefore need to learn how to communicate appropriately with them as humans. Not by making our hand into a mouth and biting their neck or trying to force them to "submit" to us using outdated "alpha" nonsense.