An Alpha Dog is like John Travolta

Alpha Dog Behavior

For those of you who didn’t see the comedy movie ” Get Shorty ” you’re not going to understand the reference. Sorry about that ! An alpha or dominant dog is EXACTLY like the character John Travolta played “Chili Palmer” in the movie, Get Shorty.  In the movie John Travolta plays a mob guy that is quite, calm, collected, the toughest guy around that doesn’t get excited or reactive to situations around him. He will try to avoid unnecessary confrontations when faced with them, but has no problem handling the problem if he has to.

Aggressive Dominant Dog ?

This is precisely how a alpha dog acts. They don’t growl, bark or act possessed when they are in unfamiliar situations or while meeting unfamiliar people or other dogs. The dogs that are often labeled by some dog trainers as dominant or aggressive. Are usually the nervous to very nervous dogs, that are acting out as big as they can in an attempt to scare away what they are afraid of.

Alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm.

The Spirit Dog

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

Visit Spirit Animal Sanctuary on YouTube.


Inaccurate Dog Behavior Modification Training and Advice : # 1

Inaccurate Dog Behavior Modification Training and Advice : # 1

Should I eat before my dog ?

The Inaccurate Advice is ; You must eat before your dog eats. The theory behind this is, It establishes you as the alpha.

This advice albeit seemingly logical in the minds of some, is just so inaccurate on so many levels, I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start while addressing this commonly adhered to but not very good, dog training / behavior modification philosophy.

Here’s the upshot Alphas or the toughest dogs in the pack don’t necessarily eat first, second, third or last. They eat when they want to eat. It’s that simple.

What that means is, if some other dog is eating something and the head honcho, big boss, leader of the pack, alpha or whatever else you like to call him says to himself, “Hey’ I’m hungry”. He just walks over to the other dog eating something and TAKES it from him, no questions, no discussions. The alpha dogs body language, plain and simply says “Give me that, or I’ll kill you”.

And that’s it, the subordinate dog gives it up or gets his ass kicked by the alpha.

If the alpha dog wasn’t hungry at that particular time, the subordinate dog would enjoy his meal in peace.

Whoever eats first is not the boss. The boss is the dog that can take food away from another dog whenever he wants to.

Let me repeat that.

Whoever eats first is not the boss.

The boss is the dog that can take food away from another dog whenever he wants to.

The Spirit Dog

Copyright © 2009 a.s.papszycki

Don’t Confuse Nervous Dogs For Aggressive Dogs

Nervous dog behavior is one of the most misunderstood dog behaviors there is. Most people and some dog trainers included think that a growling, snarling and barking dog is displaying alpha or dominant dog behaviors. ( Growling and barking is a clear indication of nervousness, unless specifically taught otherwise).

Then there are some people that think the normal playing behaviors of puppies, the mouthing which is mistaken as biting is a sign of a dominant puppy.  ( A Puppy mouthing you is a normal happy puppy behavior. If you yell at them to stop this behavior you run the risk of turning this happy little guy into a nervous wreck somewhere down the line).

Then there are some individuals that think if their puppy or dog doesn’t listen to them when they tell their dog to do something, the dog must be challenging them for leader of the pack position. ( There are a couple of reasons why a dog doesn’t listen to you. 1- Although you may have spent plenty of time teaching the dog, your dog didn’t understand what you were trying to teach him. 2- Maybe you didn’t spend enough time teaching the dog. 3- Some dogs just like some people aren’t too smart, you may have an idiot. In which case try something different with him.

The purpose of this post is  a lot of dog owners think they have an alpha dog on their hands, and that’s probably not accurate. So the main focus on your behavior modification should be geared towards building the dogs confidence.

The Spirit Dog

Copyright © 2009 A.S.PAPSZYCKI

Truly Aggressive Dogs Don’t Live Long Enough To Bite Again

Truly Aggressive Dogs Don’t Live Long Enough To Bite Again

This is yet another article in an attempt to teach the differences between aggressive dog bites, and nervous dog bites. Remember in a previous article I taught you that an aggressive dog, doesn’t let go of you when they bite. And that a nervous dog will bite you quickly then let go, or bite you a couple of times if you didn’t get away from him fast enough.

A say that a truly aggressive dog usually doesn’t get a chance to bite a second time. Because for the unfortunate folks that have gone through something like that, it will totally freak them out. It’s bad enough getting bitten by a nervous dog, but a least they let go of you.

For someone that has never experienced what it’s like to have an aggressive or dominant dog sink his teeth into you and not let go until you pry him off of you. You just don’t know what your missing. And if one of the dogs canine teeth happens to hit a bone, ya baby ! now your talk’en.

The point here is, if somebody is unfortunate enough to get bit by their own dog that means business. That dog is either being euthanized at their vets office, or brought to the animal shelter immediately. Unlike nervous dogs that may get a couple of chances while the owners try and modify the behavior.


Dominant Puppy Aggressive Dog Behaviors

Think Again, If You Think Your Puppy Is Dominant


I know, your puppy is displaying behaviors that just have to be dominant alpha dog behaviors. But is it ? What exactly is your little guy doing, mouthing, biting, chewing stuff up, marking his territory, not listening to a word you say, terrorizing your other dogs. This is all normal ‘kid’ stuff, remember we are his only pack now. It’s our job to mold that little puppy mind into a well rounded and socially acceptable dog.

A puppy that is full of life, can and will drive you crazy. He has got a ton of energy that he has to release, and it’s your job to make sure he does. The most important thing you can do at his early stages of development is, play with him, burn up some of that energy. To many people become to focused on rigorous obedience training schedules for their puppies, let him be a puppy first. That other stuff can wait. Seeing eye dogs and handicapped assist dogs are allowed to be puppies with minimal training for the first year of their life, before they start the “Real” training.


There is a ton of confusing advice out there in regards to dominant puppies, well actually they all pretty much say the same thing. I’m not going to write about it here do your own search, type ‘dominant puppy’ in your browser window. One of my articles will be there, but don’t read it. I want you to read everybody else’s articles first, I bet ya they all say the same things. Then when your done, read the ‘alpha or dominant dog summation’ article I wrote.

Even know I guess technically I’m a dog trainer, I’m really more of a dog behavior researcher or dog psychologist. Aside from the dogs I”ve had since puppies in my first 42 years of life, the last eight years have been spent observing and analyzing the five packs of puppies that have been born here. That’s a total of 35 puppies, some are eight years old now, some are five years old, two packs are three years old and one pack is 18 months old.

Out of all the stuff you will read about puppy or dog behaviors and pack structures or hierarchies. Nobody else has made the personal sacrifices that I have, to gain a truer understanding of canine behaviors, by actually taking the time to study it for themselves. If they had, they would have also realized that alpha descriptions for puppies is way off base. I do this for two reasons, (1) I really love this stuff, and (2) So this knowledge can be passed on to you, in the hopes of enabling you to have a more meaningful and relatively problem free relationship with your dog. Once you learn that every single behavior a puppy or dog can display is normal for the species, It’s only then that you will have a better chance of solving the all to normal problematic behaviors.

A better understanding and education of dog behaviors, is our first step in slowing down the tide of abandoned pets.

Alan Papszycki ( The Spirit Dog ) Founder & Director

Spirit Animal Sanctuary, 2539 East Road, Boonville New York 13309, 315-942-4426

Alpha or Dominant Dog Summation, (pack summary)

Alpha Dog Behavior or Play behavior

Show your dog the Love

Why Alpha Dog Training Methods are Ineffective

Dog Training Play Behavior

Is Dog Aggression Normal Dog Behavior

Do Not Feed Your Dog A Vegan Diet, What Dogs Eat Is Meat

© 2008 THE SPIRIT DOG A.S.Papszycki

Alpha or Dominant Dog Summation, (pack summary)

Have you been told you have an alpha dog or puppy ? Need some answers as to what your suppose to do now ?

Before you start worrying to much about this, you should tell me exactly what behaviors your puppy or dog are exhibiting. Especially if you have a puppy under the age of twelve months. Over the course of the last eight years, I have had the opportunity to study five separate litters of puppies. The findings to a considerable extent, where quite interesting.

What the following will tell you is the dominant puppy in the early stages of life. Inevitably their pack status is relegated from alpha to lower pack position by a year in a half, to two years of age.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What the research showed in all five separate groups, the dominant behaviors of a single puppy towards their litter mates, start at approximately five weeks old. And continues until the pup’s reach the age of seven to nine months. Through out the beginning of the pups dominance stage, from five weeks through roughly the next thirty weeks. There is little resistance to their dominance. At closer observation the dominance is only directed at one to three of their siblings,( the more nervous pups) in non-food related incidences. When some people evaluate young puppies, they mistakenly identify this type of puppy as the alpha of the group. Normally the eventual alpha of the pack, is one of the more reserved pups that the other puppies tend to not bother.

The result of this pups over eagerness to show dominance over a few of his litter mates, will have two consequences on the packs stability.

( 1 ) The likelihood of the pup that initially showed dominance, getting attacked by their siblings will start when the pups reach the eighteen month old range. This happened in one of the five groups.

( 2 ) In the other four groups, the pups that were the original target of the more dominant pup. The risk becomes high, for them being attacked by their siblings.

( Note) In two of the five groups, once removing the (fake) alpha, stability was returned to that pack. In the other three groups, the lower pack members were removed from the pack. Out of the five groups, the five (fake) alphas or the idiots as I like to call them, consisted of three females and two males.

In nature this is one of the contributing factors, as to why the packs are not as large as would be expected. (wolves or coyotes).

The point of me explaining this to you is a significant portion of dog owners, think they have an alpha dog. By mistaking our dogs behaviors we will be taking the wrong approach to modifying those behaviors, hence we will see no improvement. Sadly if a dog trainer came to your home, and confirmed that your dog or puppy is an alpha, do not lose hope most likely they are wrong. The best advice I can give in regards to evaluating whether or not the dog trainer or behaviorist you hire is any dam good is, almost immediately you should be thinking to yourself, ” Wow, is that really my dog” when the trainer first starts handling your dog. Now that doesn’t mean that they will be any good as your teacher, that just means they are good with dogs. And that’s a pretty good start.

TheSpiritDog WordPress Blog

Related Article

How to be your dogs, Alpha Dog

Dominant Dog Behavior or Stupid Human Behavior

For some reason, we as dog trainers love to tell dog owners what their dog can do, and what their dog can’t do.

  • Don’t let your dog go out of the door in front of you.
  • Don’t let your dog walk in front of you.
  • Don’t let your dog sleep on your bed.
  • Don’t let your dog on your furniture.
  • Don’t let your dog put their paw on you.
  • Don’t let your dog push up against you.
  • Don’t let your dog eat before you.
  • Don’t let your dog jump on you.
  • Don’t let your dog eat grass.
  • Don’t do this. Don’t do that.

Most of these thing’s are taught under the pretense, that if your dog does any of them. He’s trying to show his dominance over you. Sadly this couldn’t be further from the truth. Since there are like a gazillion dogs living in homes, there are a lot people that actually have an alpha dog. They are usually the dogs that the pet owners get complimented on for being a calm, well mannered dogs. The reason is simple, an alpha is a relaxed and confident dog, there’s no need for him to act like a maniac.

And by the way, There is nothing carved in stone about what your dog can or can’t do, in your home or with you. It’s entirely your decision, on what’s acceptable or not for your dog.

Have yourself a great day.

The Spirit Dog

dogs relaxing No photo’s, please

big big meow You smell Different

big big meow 2 Alright time to relax

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