The Alpha concept as we know it today has been promoted with the understanding that wolves have an Alpha wolf who fights off other wolves and is the leader of the pack. And that because dogs are decedents of the wolf the dog also has an "Alpha" drive that must be overcome by the human.

This theory has been proven wrong scientifically from research by Dr. L David Mech who studied wolves for 13 years in Northern Canada. There are other scientists who have studied wolves with similar results.

Dr. Mech determined wolves lived together in family groups and that there was NO ALPA wolf who fought off other wolves. 

Dr. Mech states there is a natural dominance from parents to children in wolves. This is not unlike the natural dominance that exists with dogs and even humans. Many of us can relate to the natural respect we show to our parents and we see mother dogs discipline their puppies all the time. The puppies have an instinctive respect for this discipline toward their mother.

Temple Grandin takes this a step further and determines what dogs need are parents and not pack leaders. Being a pet parent using positive training techniques is the best way to develop a bond and long lasting relationship with your dog.

Another aspect to the Alpha theory is that we have to "dominate" our dogs or prove to our dogs that we are in charge. We are Alpha and they are not!

This is so unnecessary. We already have our dogs attention big time! Dogs are the one specie that has almost entirely turned their dependence over to the human.

Dogs depend on humans for love, shelter, food, water, medical care, safety and companionship. 

When these needs are not met for dogs we see the consequences on a global level. When dogs don't have shelter we see them struggle to find protection from the elements. They become homeless and struggle to find food. When they become injured or sick they often don't get the medical care they need and may not survive. They certainly don't feel safe and are not happy. Their life is perilous and frightening. Dogs know humans will protect them and take care of them and most of all love them. There is no need to impose dominating behaviors on our dogs to get their attention. There is a dependence in place that makes the human/dog relationship natural to develop. 

The Alpha Concept can easily equate to the use of more negative training techniques. 

These kinds of training techniques can achieve quick results but do so often through fear and intimidation. Using positive training techniques is being a positive pet parent and will result in long term learned behavior for your dog and a positive bond and relationship for the two of you.  

You do not have to be the "Alpha" in your relationship with your dog. Being the pet parent and building your relationship together based on mutual love and respect will bring both you and your dog years of happiness together.