NLDA Forum for Working Lacy Dogs

Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"
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Author:  Jim Browning [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

From Time magazine: ... ter-weekly

Author:  Jim Browning [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

Of course most women I know don't need to be told that a story of an alpha MALE anything is all talk.

Author:  Rachael Connally [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

Interesting article. I like to hear different ideas on dog training. I do think that they are making a lot of generalizations, though. I have rolled all of my dogs at least once and they're not insecure or afraid of me and I certainly don't view my actions as cruel. I find it ridiculous to say that rolling a dog over on his back and smacking him in the butt is abusive. Obviously if you're beating and screaming at your dog on a daily basis that is a bit different, but that would be an extreme misunderstanding of Milan's method. Reactions to different training methods will vary depending on each animals personality and each trainers approach. I think it's great that some trainers can use clickers and stuff to train their dogs. However, I don't think that any one type of training will work for every dog and every situation.

Author:  Betty L. [ Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

I agree, Rachael, that swatting a dog or putting one on its back is not inhumane. I have never liked the putting a dog on its back, just because it rubs me the wrong way. I posted a link a good while back about David Mech's recent research about wolves in the hope that some people would read it and look at this alpha stuff and question it a bit. It's like swatting or hitting too much. Too much of either is wrong the trainer or owner has the problem.

I just go by the old tried and true method. You do something right, you get praised, do something wrong and you get punished. You continue to do something wrong, you get your butt swatted! Works for me!!


Author:  Jim Browning [ Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

I was reading the actual paper Time last night (old-school style!) and the cover article is about animal intelligence, and the amount of complex thought (and vocabulary) that is possible. I'll dig up links to the online version.

Author:  Betty L. [ Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

I think that we highly under rate animal intelligence and communication. I would love to read the article.

We have 4 new calves. I love to watch the interaction between the mothers, their babies and the relationship between the whole herd. The cows have a special sound that they use to talk to their calves. Different cows will watch the calves at different times, so they have baby sitters. Then, if a lacy dog shows up, they all start mooing for their babies and they will get them all together to protect them. It never ceases to amaze me at their ability to communicate with each other and how the herd works together.

Abe is probably our best problem solver. And, he sure communicates with us. He can in the house the other day and was barking at me, just like Lassie used to do on the old tv programs. He came in to tell me what Roy was doing. I know that as surely as I know his name. He has done that several times. Pretty neat!!


Author:  Jim Browning [ Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Article on the "Myth of the Alpha Male"

Apparently the animal intelligence article isn't up on the Time website, except for a video on bird intelligence. If they put it up, I'll post a link. But I did run across this video on the alpha roll, on the Leerburg website (it was in his newsletter). Leerburg is a trainer that has gone from traditional (correction based) training, to more of a positive reinforcement approach. Most of his training is centered on police dog and search and rescue work. This video is by a different trainer that is somehow affiliated with Leerburg.

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