alpha roll - my version

Jean Cote

Staff member
Hahaha. That is great, if you follow his theory then you should be the alpha .. right? :D


New Member
that's a great idea!

Also, if your dogs start to offer this behavior on their own, then does that mean they are alpha rolling themselves? :)
I don't actually alpha roll my dog, but every so often I do have to pin her down just to stop her from running around in circles after I yell at her. At first I just picked her up and send her to time out, but now she thinks I'll pick her up every time I yell at her, so she has started to run around in circles at high speed. It's very annoying.

I have taught Totoro to lay on her side on command, with head down on the floor. So when I jump on her, she lays very quietly, and doesn't struggle or act scared. I don't really know if this action is equivalent to alpha roll or not.

Sorry I don't have any insight. But if someone wants to give me suggestions on how to do a time out more efficiently, I'd be happy to get new ideas.


New Member
Err... what do you want her to do when you are yelling at her? Dogs have extremely good hearing, so unless you're calling over a very far distance - in which case a whistle might be more appropriate, there isn't usually a need to yell at them a lot.

If she is ignoring a recall, then yelling and tackling your dog aren't exactly very productive in teaching the dog to come when called. Also a bit stressful and exhausting for you, eh? I don't think I'm in good enough shape to run after and actually catch my two if they're taking off at high speed. Getting too old for that sort of thing here. :dognowink:

It doesn't sound like you are really doing the alpha roll - more like an American football player tackling the nimble quarterback. So how about you start up a thread with what you're trying to accomplish, and we might have a few ideas for how you can get it done a little less energetically. :dogsmile:
Sorry, I was using the term "yelling" loosely in the American colloquial sense, which would be more appropriately be interpreted as "scolding," as it has very little to do with volume of voice, but more with harshness of voice. Just to clarify though, all my recalls are very much sugar coated :)


New Member
Just had another thought. Using Archiemonster's yes/no trick idea, I can turn it into a little routine.

I ask the dog "Are you bucking for alpha?" Dog shakes head no
"Am I the alpha?" Dog nods yes
"Show me" or "Prove it" Dog goes into the alpha roll position, lying on back with feet sticking up in the air



That would be such a great trick! Send a video if you accomplish it!:msngiggle:


New Member
I was in the pet shop today where the shop girl was "alpha rolling" (note me using the ") her dog. I was walking around for a while and she kept hanging over him, really tense, and the dog looked more scared and unsure than submissive. So in the end I was really curious and I asked what she was doing. She said the dog was trying to be the boss over her and now she was teaching him to listen to her. I said to her "don't you think that it's better to make sure you don't need the alpha roll in the first place?" I got a blank look from her. I couldn't help myself and said that if she'd insist on alpha rolling she should at least make sure she knows what she's doing. It's not just putting the dog on his back and hang over him. It's all about body language and responding correctly to the dog's behaviour and relaxing yourself and the dog. She was giving so many mixed signals at the wrong times. And I've seen this dog several times in the shop already. He's a perfectly friendly dog. Anyway, I guess she didn't like my comments but it was too hard to resist. I'm not against alpha rolling per se but only as a last resort and only if you really know what you're doing. I might buy Guus' food somewhere else next time...


New Member
I actually ask Mac to "die" (play dead position) whenever he encounters a situation I think is a bit full on... Mostly there's a dog fight nearby (I ask him to die or else he's gonna go fight everyone to prove the opposite :p) or if he does something wrong/disobeys in a serious way (maybe peeing inside? I can't think of a recent example) I also ask him to die.

Mac will automatically go into this position if I put my head over his shoulders/lean over him. Clover still just offers me her nose to pin, and when I touch it she flips herself over. :) When she first did this I was like, "OMG! Wolf behaviour! It's true!"