In a group of animals, a herd or a pack, there is only one dominant individual known as the alpha animal. When working with a dog, a horse or any animal the human and the animal become a group. It is up to the human to decide whether the animal or the human is alpha.
It is easy to observe alpha animals, they are always first, all the other animals in the group will have one eye and one ear toward the alpha animal, the alpha animal makes the decisions in the group and only the alpha animal disciplines.
In the case of the human it is their decision as to who will be the alpha animal. If the human lets the pets leave an enclosure first then the human is telling the pets that they are the alpha. If the human allows the animals to walk ahead then the human is telling the pets that they are the alpha. If the human allows the animals to pull on the lead then the human is telling the pets that they are the alpha.
For the human to be the alpha in the group, the human must first establish dominance. To accomplish this, when approaching, gaze directly into the animal’s eyes. It tells the animal that you are the boss. Do not let the animal jump around when putting on the collar, halter or harness. Always leave the area first.
When walking dogs, have them along the left side with a loose lead. When walking a horse, stand 18 inches from the jowl so the horse can see you. If either walks ahead, an instant tug on the lead will let them know you are the alpha.
GaWaNi Pony Boy says that a human and a horse make a herd of two and only one can be alpha.
About the author:
Merrill Baum is a certified animal acupressure therapist, a former breeder of Great Danes, a former horse midwife, a pet care specialist in farm and pet services, a volunteer rehabilitator at the Wisconsin Humane Society, wildlife department, an e...
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