homeSite Mapabout FYISupport FYIe-mailawards
ArkansasAviationBrain FoodcoffeedisabilitiesEMSFun StuffHolidayskid stuff
Lets eatMac StuffOdds & EndsOlder HomesPeopleShoppingtravelweb page stuff

Dogs are pack animals, each pack has a leader, known as the "Alpha".
A female dog is referred to as a "bitch".
I'm the leader, I'm female, I'm Alpha-Bitch"
  The purpose of this page:
    Right now this is only the foundation. Only having had our new family member for a few months. The plans are to add  information using a fair amount of humor, as we learn new things. 

    While the page is meant to be entertaining, it addresses different issues that should be considered, when getting a dog and training it.

How Alpha-Bitch came to be:
    What happens when a "cat person" decides to get a puppy? - The world changes!

    While both cats & dogs have four paws, sharp teeth, and the need to be loved and cared for, that ends any resemblance.

    We had discussed getting a dog, but the time never seemed just right. Too busy, not enough room, cost,..... Then it happened, we stopped off at the pound, just to look.  Of course it was never spoken, but we both knew what would happen, and it did. We now own a puppy dog. Not just any puppy dog, a rather unique one.

    One thing we had agreed on is that the dog, had to be small to medium in size. With short to medium length coat. Well one out of two isn't bad.

    The one thing we hadn't discussed was training and manors. Being a cat person I expected a certain set of standards, however my other half had a different set.

      Mine His
      Dogs eat dog food Dogs also eat people food
      Dogs are fed from their dish Dogs eat from my fork
      Dogs do not bite Love bites are OK
      Dogs get ONE treat when they have earned it Lots of treats
      Dogs do not jump on people He loves you
    Well you get the idea. About the only thing we agreed on is that they should not run off, and that they have to be house broken!
    We did agreed that some basic training couldn't hurt either. Especially since I have hopes of maybe doing some Search & Rescue.

    After a couple of weeks of doing some research on the subject of training, and checking out several different schools, we found one that fitted our needs. 

    Giving the instructor fair warning, I was a novice dog owner, and that we had a very smart pound puppy. We paid our fee, and reported to class. 

    The first thing we were told about is teaching the dog who is boss, better known as the "Alpha-Dog". Then all the do's and don'ts, like when and where to feed, biting, jumping, ...... 

    Now with this information coming from a paid "professional" and in writing, I was armed with facts about the rules that were to be enforced in the home. Alpha-Bitch was born.

    Not only was the puppy to be trained, but so was another particular human.

The First Four Months
About Classes
    Finding the right class is no easy task! First do you want private lessons, or a class room setting? 

    Which training method to use, some use food reinforcement, while others only use verbal praise. Some use "clickers", others a soft but firm voice, then some use very loud strong voice. 

    Once you decided on the method, than you must find the school or instructor and start checking  their references. Any one can call themselves a "dog trainer". 

    Then  comes the cost and scheduling. 

    I have yet to understand why the call them "dog training classes". I feel that the correct name should be "dog owner training classes". After all the dog may learn a few things at class, but most of the training, is teaching the owner how to train the dog. There are some places that will do the training for you, however I haven't met anyone that supports this method, unless it is specialized training such as "Service Dogs".

    Classes provide the dog with a great opportunity to show the owner who is the real boss. You work the dog everyday, by the end of the week, he is doing what you request (most of the time). Then you go to class, and he acts like he has never herd that command before. 

      You say come, and he runs off.  You say sit, he lays down.
    Some of the things I'm having to learn:
      Speaking in a higher pitch that sound more exciting -  excuse me I don't even do this with human babies

      There are different types of toys - WHAT! He needs a play toy? He has: a hard rubber ball, a hollow ball that squeaks, a squeaking thing that looks like a dumbbell, a nylon bone, a bone made of rope, a toy that holds treats, and a big basted beef bone. As it ends up these are what are called "chew toys" not "play toys". 

      How to use a pinch collar. - This includes putting it on and taking it off. No easy task, when your dog has what the instructor calls, "a lot of flab" under the neck.

The New Vocabulary
    "No Bite" my leg is not a chew toy
    "Leave it" cats are not play toys
    "Give" that's my shoe, sock, undies, T-shirt....
    "Off" (used for the kitchen table, computer desk, and company so far)
    "Good Boy" is used the most, if the truth be known

    Other common questions a phases now commonly used

    NO! He eats after we are done
    Only one treat.
    Tell him "no bite", he has to learn. 
    If you give him that, I'll be up all night walking him!
    What happened to that new bag of treats?
    Has anyone seen my other shoe?

The Second Four Months

Having completed our first level of training, we are a little more educated! 

Speaking in one and two word sentences has become the norm, to the point that my other half has informed me he isn't a dog.  "SIT", oops sorry about that. I meant "Have a seat".


Easter '99  28 pounds and 16 weeks old

38 pounds and 20 weeks old


Rusty was a 16 week, 28 pound, Lab/X when we adopted him from the city pound. HOWEVER, as of August 3rd we made a great discovery. The now 8 month old, 60 pound, Lab mix is really a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Lab mix. 

Of course I had never seen a Ridgeback, but I assumed that at least one of the following might have noticed: the pound, the pound's vet, my vet, or our trainer.

Rusty has ALL of the personality traits of a RR, he is smarter than some humans I know, eats like a goat (anything he can find), stubborn as a mule, gets bored faster than a toddler, runs like a race horse if given a chance, only barks if he has something to say, chatters up a storm when excited about something, and thinks laying on the couch watching TV is a "born right".

BACK to top of page