Pack Leader Alpha Dog

White Alpha wolf


Alpha dog is a term used to establish who is the leader of the pack. Wolf pack or dog pack will have one dog that stands out as the leader. This article is for alpha and omega training.

The leader is normally bigger, faster, and stronger than the others in the pack. When hunting for food the alpha is the one that will catch a lot of prey.

Because of the energy and high prey job the others in the pack are following them during hunting expeditions.

Humans observing this behavior have mimicked the alpha trying to establish themselves as #1 in their own dog packs.

Whatever the pack leader dogs’ humans attempt to copy that behavior and have their dog assume they are the leader of the pack. That is accomplished multiple ways according to reputable dog trainers.

Alpha First

The alpha is always first and never is behind the pack. Often you find them ahead of the pack while walking. Dogs walk for a long period of time per day in their natural habitats.

There are a few positions in the dog pack respectively. Those positions consist of the alpha, beta, and omega. Very few dogs can classify as the alpha or alpha couple of a pack. There are many betas in the pack. Alpha dogs being dominant does exist in a pack.

The beta is normally dogs that occupy the middle and make up the bulk of the members.

Next the omega is always in the back of everyone. They are the last to eat and normally more submissive than the others. These dog’s coward to the pack leader looking for attention and affection.

One thing you will notice in the video below is that the dog that’s the alpha is easily identified. You can tell by the body language. The first thing you will notice is that the tail, ears, and body structure is up. When you look at the dog lower in the rankings you notice that the dog is tucked and the body is held low

Dogs that are in the higher positions in the rankings have a different interaction with the rest of the pack members.

Setting Pace During Exercise

The alpha dog is going to set a pace and the rest of the member will follow suit. Being the alpha means that they’re leading the charge. Many dogs can be in one pack or there can be a quite few.

When the pack leader is hunting and search for food or water everyone will follow suit. When the packer leader is walking the pack slows down. The direction of travel and speed are set exclusively by the wolf or dog that is the alpha male or alpha female.

Leaders don’t approach followers

The leader of the pack doesn’t follow or give any type of affection to the other dogs. Alpha dogs normally don’t initiate this exchange. The best way to describe the interaction is that the lower ranking dogs come up to the leader and the they are in a submissive position while doing so.

The main thing to remember about the pack leader is that there are certain characteristics they’re going to have and following one of the lower members of the hierarchy will never happen. Playing around and taking a less than dominant position happens but there will never be a time where the submissive dog will appear dominant.

Leaders keeping their distant and waiting for a different member to approach them is always something you will see in these exchanges.

Enforce Rules

The alpha male and female set the rules for the rest of the pack. The alpha female is extremely important. The pack may consist of younger puppies before they are able to fend for themselves. The rules are always the same no matter what.

When it comes to breeding the alpha male will breed with the alpha female and subordinate females. The male wolves will have to challenge and win against the alpha male in order to achieve breeding.

The older alpha couple is ready to hunt the pack will. When they kill prey the alphas are always going to eat first. There is no guesswork about it. The other wolves eat only after the main leaders are full and don’t want to eat anymore.

Alphas Eat First

Alphas will eat mostly a diet consisting of meat coming from animals they have mauled down in a pursuit. They prey on older animals that are no longer to run for long periods of time.

Attacking young prey that is also unable to fend for themselves are also apart of the hunting strategy. In the wild they have no issues with picking the lowest hanging fruit. After all a meal is a meal no matter how old, young, or diseased an animal may be at the time of the kill.

Alpha Dog Training

Now that you have a decent understanding of the basics of what a pack leader is and what they do you will now look at how the dog trainers will attempt to use this information to effective train and communicate with their dogs.

The human now wants to assume the position of the alpha and wants the dog to fall into a roll of beta and omega. Training an alpha dog is not easy, but it can be done with patience and persistence. 

By using a series of tactics taking right from the playbook of the alpha male or female you will see that these tactics are taking a human and attempting to make them communicate who is charge with their dog.

Quick Bite Corrections

Are the type of tactics that are used by alpha dog trainers. They will use the quick bite, or hand, to simulate the biting of the dog. Once the dog doesn’t follow the rules and isn’t listening to the verbal no command dog trainers will move into the quick bite method.

Dogs in their natural habitat will bite each other. At the dog bowl they will growl, no command, and they will bite if needed. If you come to a dog’s yard they will bark and once you cross the threshold they will bite.

Alpha trainers are using the same method that dog’s already do and are applying them to the correction method. Controversial as it is there are many people who claim it is not needed but I don’t think anybody can doubt its effectiveness when it comes to getting results.

Alpha dog training collar

Pronged collars and e-collars are the most associated with alpha dog training.

The pronged collar has a bite mouth around the dog’s neck, and this is yet another method to simulate that dog bite while correcting. Although you don’t need this type of collar to do any correcting all you need to know are the basic principles.

Nonetheless, these are methods that are attempting to accomplish the goal of the bite. Once you understand more you will need to use a more structured approach than just buying any leash.


The e-collar ends an electronic shock to the dog that will make them break their attention to what they’re doing. The best thing to use this type of collar is when you are a distant away from the dog and the dog is off leash.

Someone on a farm or large property with acres may find this type of tool effective. Once the dog starts going into areas where they are likely to cause a ruckus sending a quick correction from a distant can be effective.

Once again you have to understand the timing and right amount of correction to apply before you should use this type of tool while being successful.

Alpha Roll

The alpha roll is a term used to describe when more dominant dogs are putting the submissive dog on their back. The best way to use this method is for the ultimate correction. When a dog has done something that is completely unacceptable like attack another dog.

Don’t use this method without consulting a professional and I say that for two reasons. The first is that you probably don’t understand the principles enough to make it successful. Two you will need this for dominant dogs that are most likely aggressive. You could be putting yourself in harm’s way.

We don’t use this method because we don’t train this type of dog. Training specialist who have many years of experience and have a proper understanding should do an alpha roll.

Yes, you can train a dog without the technique.

Although it is something that should stay reserved for special circumstances here is a closer look at some animals doing the alpha roll in their natural habitat without humans.

How to become the pack leader

You can become the pack leader in multiple ways as we will list them below

  • On the walk
  • In the house
  • During feeding time
  • Positioning
  • Showing affection
  • Corrections
  • Dogs mounting

On the walk

make sure you assume the position in right leading the walk. You should set the pace and direction of the walk. That means your dog should be walking behind or on the side of you.

Never let you dog walk in front of you. The reason for this is because that’s your job as the pack leader. If you want to establish yourself as the one in control make sure you are in front and leading just like the alpha dog would do.

In the House

Set rules for the house and make sure the dog is following those rules without fail. When the dog does break these rules make sure you correct and have the dog follow the rules. Don’t let anything slide especially during training time when you dog doesn’t understand their position in the pack.

During Feeding Time

I don’t exercise this option, but you may want to do it. So, make sure you are eating before your dog. That may sound simple, but you will be surprised at how many people will do this incorrectly whether they are eating first or not.

Don’t let your dog beg for food. Correct them and make them sit down. The alphas always eat first, and the other dogs leave them alone. Sometimes the alpha must make sure everybody knows who’s eating first with a growl. You won’t growl but you do need to say no.


Alpha dog trainers like to position themselves higher than the dog. Sitting up high and having the dog on a lower status. That thinking is that the alpha leader is always standing taller than the other members of the pack.

Due to respect the other dogs will lay down, coward down, and avoid a chest bumping match with the alpha at all cost. There are times when the beta or omega would pee on themselves when the alpha approaches.

Showing Affection

Don’t show affection in a way that is different than what the alpha dog will do. The alpha doesn’t make eye contact and doesn’t walk up to other members in the pack. The other members try to get the pack leaders attention not the other way around.


When they correct, they will usually growl first and then progress from there. The second the growl isn’t enough the alpha will then physically bite the other dog. They will do this until the dog or wolf sits or lays down.

When using the alpha methods, you may find it useful to have a low level of correction and progress as needed. The key here is to not use a ton of force. You want to use enough to get the dog’s attention.

Any more force than that and you have lost your way.

Dog Mounting

Never let a dog mount you at any point in time. Make sure you correct all the way and the dog knows that behavior is not wanted. The alpha would never be subjected to getting humped and mounted by a subordinate.

If your dog is doing that then you know where your dog thinks you stand in the relationship.


When looking at alpha dog training try to pay all your attention to what dog’s do in an environment that is free from human contact. Once you understand that you will have a deeper understanding of what angle to approach your training.

Like we always say about any type of dog training it is important to never stay absolute. Try all methods and find out what works and discard anything that is unnecessary.

Alpha training is popular and unpopular in some circles but let’s keep one thing in mind. The training has methods that work and only you can decide if it is good for getting results and if it isn’t in other areas discontinue.

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