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Uses of Alpha traits

Pyropyro

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While searching for dog websites, I came to some sites that busts the Alpha male myth. Basically, the real wolf pack alphas are the actual fathers and mothers of the pack and the betas as doting sisters and brothers.

The unfortunate alpha myth was created when researchers tried to study wolf behavior. They trapped unrelated wolves and set them in a cage. Naturally, the scared and confused wolves made the classic hierarchy we know today. I think the study is like using the Standford Prison Experiment as the entirety of the American Civilization.

Now should the alpha traits be abandoned? No. During peacetime it should still be there but at more socially acceptable levels. Problems during peace tend to be long-term and subdued so a more controlled type of aggression is more effective to deal with them. However during calamities, it is easier to drop some social mores and be a bit more aggressive. Our monkey and lizard brains are more active during stressful times and might be more receptive to barking orders.

TLDR: Alpha traits are needed when society is under duress. However, during peace time, you can safely categorize people overexhibiting them as assholes instead.
 

Grayman

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While searching for dog websites, I came to some sites that busts the Alpha male myth. Basically, the real wolf pack alphas are the actual fathers and mothers of the pack and the betas as doting sisters and brothers.

TLDR: Alpha traits are needed when society is under duress. However, during peace time, you can safely categorize people overexhibiting them as assholes instead.
Alpha was never meant to be about being an asshole. It is about making the dog feel safe under your lead and comfortable with it. It is about being consistent and firm, and confident. A stressed or emotionally unstable human puts stress on the dog. Due to the environment we live in the human needs to be the pack leader and make a stable comfortable place for their dog.
 

Cherry Cola

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A little confidence is enough in terms of alpha-traits. If you've got that you'll act more natural which in turn will lead to people acting more natural and relaxed around you.

Basically if you seem all insecure people will either run over you or be careful not to step on your toes, both of which are social hindrances.
 

~~~

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So should the alphas just wait until things fall apart?
 

Pyropyro

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So should the alphas just wait until things fall apart?
Not at all. As I said earlier, such traits must still be present in peace time yet in a more subdued manner. Hmm... it's more like practicing fire drills regular in preparation for any real fire. It's always be better to be ready and practiced before things fall apart.
 

BigApplePi

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Right! When society as a whole is stressed, and the stress is one thing, an alpha can address that thing thus unifying effort. When society as a whole is not stressed, no such unity is required*. Any alpha who tries to unify is not needed and so creates the stress all in themselves if they do try.

*Society can just hang out or grow as it wishes.
 

Grayman

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Not at all. As I said earlier, such traits must still be present in peace time yet in a more subdued manner. Hmm... it's more like practicing fire drills regular in preparation for any real fire. It's always be better to be ready and practiced before things fall apart.
Yes, it seems I misunderstood you in your OP. It seems you understand the process well.

It is my opinion that an Alpha that has to put out fires or enforce punishments is not doing their job correctly. It is easy to see a bad leader or parent or dog owner by how they are yelling or reacting to the dependents. One should be pro-active.

A good example of what you are talking about is like when I take my dog outside and then cross the street. When the dog tries to follow I say "No" and the dog learns that it is not supposed to follow me across the street. I do various things as the dog waits and I tell it to stay. When the dog tries to cross the dividing line in my driveway into the street, I say "No" the dog takes a step back. If the dog ignores me I pick it up and put it on the other side of the line. After 5 minutes, I tell the dog to come and give it treats and praise. I do this all the time and every time I cross the line I make sure the dog waits. Eventually the dog will never cross the street. I can put the dog in my yard and it will stay in the yard. It stays safe from cars etc...


A bad leader does not train the dog and the dog runs out in the street and the owner yells at the dog and the dog ignores the owner. An idiot would punish the dog when it came back.
 

sushi

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warrior gene.
 

wadlez

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I can't really follow the logic to this thread.

The unfortunate alpha myth was created when researchers tried to study wolf behavior. They trapped unrelated wolves and set them in a cage. Naturally, the scared and confused wolves made the classic hierarchy we know today. I think the study is like using the Standford Prison Experiment as the entirety of the American Civilization.
Here you explain that some research has found that the common notion of alphas in animal hierarchies might be flawed and does not actually reflect real animal social networks. Makes sense, very interesting.

Now should the alpha traits be abandoned? No. During peacetime it should still be there but at more socially acceptable levels. Problems during peace tend to be long-term and subdued so a more controlled type of aggression is more effective to deal with them. However during calamities, it is easier to drop some social mores and be a bit more aggressive. Our monkey and lizard brains are more active during stressful times and might be more receptive to barking orders
Here is where I get a bit lost. It seems like you are making an assumption that our society is somehow modelled on a alpha pack mentality and that we should abandon this system in light of findings made in this new research?

The responses to this post are pretty confusing, with some people seeming to know exactly what you are getting at and others are explaining how they train there dog.

I am not meaning to offend anyone I just genuinely don't understand what is going on
 

Pyropyro

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I can't really follow the logic to this thread.

Here is where I get a bit lost. It seems like you are making an assumption that our society is somehow modelled on a alpha pack mentality and that we should abandon this system in light of findings made in this new research?

The responses to this post are pretty confusing, with some people seeming to know exactly what you are getting at and others are explaining how they train there dog.

I am not meaning to offend anyone I just genuinely don't understand what is going on
Ah, my bad. I hope this will make it clearer.

My idea is that the old canine research was done in a stressful environment (captivity) and the wolves tried to copethrough the alpha system. A stressed society may need to use a similar system.

On the other hand, these alphas tend to be act like a normal parent on non-stressed times. In the same way, humans shouldn't act like aggressive alphas during peacetime although they need to be prepared against any emergencies.

So yeah, it can apply to both pet training and human society. If you want to be an "alpha" to dogs and fellow humans, you should act more like an encouraging parent rather than a bully.
 

scorpiomover

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While searching for dog websites, I came to some sites that busts the Alpha male myth. Basically, the real wolf pack alphas are the actual fathers and mothers of the pack and the betas as doting sisters and brothers.

The unfortunate alpha myth was created when researchers tried to study wolf behavior. They trapped unrelated wolves and set them in a cage. Naturally, the scared and confused wolves made the classic hierarchy we know today. I think the study is like using the Standford Prison Experiment as the entirety of the American Civilization.

Now should the alpha traits be abandoned? No.
Then doesn't it just mean that your dad and mum are your Alpha male and female, and you should just do what they say?

If you want to be an "alpha" to dogs and fellow humans, you should act more like an encouraging parent rather than a bully.
Sounds more like Benjamin Spock, actually, and very unlike your description of the "Alpha" phenomenon in dogs. Are you sure that you're not assuming a position, and then trying to invent arguments to support your conclusion?
 

Grayman

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The responses to this post are pretty confusing, with some people seeming to know exactly what you are getting at and others are explaining how they train there dog.
There is not a lot different between a dog and a child in respect to the simple concept of alpha male vs parenting. Parenting gets more complex in how you achieve the process but the goals are the same. Teach, train, keep safe from real harm, it is really a general attitude of how you see those who rely on you. Adults are the same also. In workplace the alpha male is the manager he creates procedures and trains those under him. This is the common leader in society. It is done in the military. There are many ways you can become the alpha.
 

Pyropyro

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Then doesn't it just mean that your dad and mum are your Alpha male and female, and you should just do what they say?
If we'll follow the dog and human analogy then yes, the parents are the alphas. No, why should I? Even the most obedient person or canine will disobey sometimes. Besides, the betas under them can simply leave their family and become alphas in their own right.

Sounds more like Benjamin Spock, actually, and very unlike your description of the "Alpha" phenomenon in dogs. Are you sure that you're not assuming a position, and then trying to invent arguments to support your conclusion?
I'm not familiar with Spock so I can't provide any argument about that. My topic is simple, treat your subordinates like a parent-like figure. I think my argument has been verified by history lots of times, I just introduced a bit of canine psychology. There's a reason why good leaders (especially war leaders) have nick names like "papa" or "uncle".
 

wadlez

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Yes I think I understand now.

This could explain the difference between Prisons and regular societies, we may only revert to the more violent alpha dominated system when under duress.
 

scorpiomover

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If we'll follow the dog and human analogy then yes, the parents are the alphas. No, why should I? Even the most obedient person or canine will disobey sometimes.
Well, when that happens IRL with wolf-packs, the alphas will give them a nip to remind them that they need to get back in line. If they're very disobedient, the alphas will tear and bite at the disobedient beta pretty hard, to ensure that they and the rest of the pack stay on track, because if everyone disobeys the alphas, then everyone does things their own way, and then the benefits of teamwork disappear and everyone starves and then are subject to evolutionary pressures and as Darwin pointed out 99% of animals die by evolution.

Besides, the betas under them can simply leave their family and become alphas in their own right.
They can, just like how American adults raised by Xian parents, who choose to become atheists, can simply move out of home and move to somewhere like New York or California. But most don't. Life is simply so much better in a herd, because of the benefits of teamwork.

I'm not familiar with Spock so I can't provide any argument about that. My topic is simple, treat your subordinates like a parent-like figure. I think my argument has been verified by history lots of times, I just introduced a bit of canine psychology. There's a reason why good leaders (especially war leaders) have nick names like "papa" or "uncle".
If people have a good subordinate-CO relationship with their parents, then I agree.
 
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