And Alpha absolutely works, in every mammel species the parents dominate the babies, that is why when a puppy is running off the mother picks him him up and moves where she wants him, because she is the boss.
I don't consider myself my dog's "Master," and I doubt that many of the trainers on this forum do either. I am the leader; she trusts me to guide her and keep her safe. But her purpose in life is not to "serve" me. I didn't get a dog because I want a "servant." I got a dog for companionship, to do activities with, to entertain me with her silliness. Not to serve me.
But I will address the concept of using dominance training on a Fila . . .
You can dominate a Fila pup, but it will either ruin the pup, making it a fearful, unstable dog, or as soon as it begins to come to self realization, all that's going out the window. You cannot, CANNOT control a fearless dog through fear. It must be love and a respect based on love and the example of having shown good judgment, and from the totality of the information you've given me privately, you have given your Oscar a good bond of love and respect that, along with his obvious intelligence and stable, confident temperament, has overcome most, if not all, the foolishness of trying to impose fear on a fearless breed.
If you think about the ramifications, there is no dog more unstable than a fearful dog, and dominance training tends to produce either a fearful dog or a dog that's a bully to anything he can dominate -- or worse, a combination.
Truthfully, you did a much better dog with your job than that expensive "trainer" did.
You are absolutely right, this animal is trying to dominate you. If he is growling and biting when told "NO" he is certainly not playing. I own a brazilian mastiff ( Fila) He acted the same way,only he was younger, I hired an animal behaviorist to train him when he was 12 weeks old. And I will admit, I was horrified by how she handled my puppy, I wanted to take him and run. He refused to behave on a leash, she put a "prong collar" on him, and when he refused to walk, she drug him, when he bit her, she pulled up on his leash until he stopped the behavior, when he did walk for her, if he was getting "rude" ( ie, pulling, chewing the leash, running etc ), she tugged the leash and told him "HEEL" in a firm voice,when she stopped moving and told him to "sit", if he refused she tugged the leash (which tightens the prong collar) until he sat. Then she would give him a simple " good " and a pat on the head. After 20 minutes of this she handed me his leash and wanted me to do what she had just done,I was horrified ,and almost in tears, but I did it anyway-then she told me that with any dog, especially an aggressive dog or a Guardian Type breed, the only way the animal will respect you is if you completely dominate him. Not by abusing him, but by letting him know in no uncertain terms, that you are the only thing that stands between him and death and making him aware that at any moment you can end his life. I was horrified, but at the end of that one hour training session, my 12 week old puppy would not even so much as pee without me giving him permission. I never have had to raise my voice to him, he is now 17 months old and is 125 pounds and walks like a champion show dog on a leash, my 9 year old son can walk him on a leash without a problem,he is polite at the vet, the groomer, the flea market, all the places I was told I could never bring him to because of the breed, he can go without incident and without a muzzle,he is a wonderful animal, and it is because I showed him I am in charge. If it weren't for my trainer giving me that advice, I have no doubt that my dog would have been an out of control lunatic and would have probably already been put down.
So, this is the best example of how NOT To TRAIN A FILA!!!!! Why the hell do people assume Fila's are dominating them? Filas are NOT a dominate breed. I would be concerned with him becoming a fear biter from this.
I sincerely hope you have tried to undo everything your trainer has done to your Fila. I hope you can. I'm sorry you ran into this type of trainer. However, I think the majority of trainers do not understand a Fila.
Right now, Titus is in the lunatic phase if you will, he is testing every limit possible for a puppy. I just pray for the stength to live thru this phase, and whine to the other mods.
My sister has a BC puppy at the moment that is about 5 months old and i feel your pain, but we have to remember that they are young like children and aren't always going to be wanting or able to do what we want.
With commands they know like sit and lie down, remember not to issue them when the pup is clearly distracted there is no way they will concerntrate and will only learn not to listen.
As for cooperating half the time with training or whatever, look at it as work for him. Wait until he wants to work, when he brings you a toy to play or something like that. At this stage he is wanting to do something with you, he is involving you in his world and you should take advantage of that.
obedience training and basic training are needed. Clicker training him will help. If this is too much for you, enroll him in a regular training class. You have to be consistent in teaching him not to bite and be tough on him (tough love). Get a behaviorist is needed.
There are lots of discussion about dog dominance that is being going on over the internet and dog community. Dog dominance comes from the desire of the dog to control humans. they like to assert there position in the pack.
However, although still very young, the advice you were given and carried out may have created what he is today. The early learning phase (4 - 14 weeks) is hugely important, if the breeder (who has suggested awful ways of discouraging) had undertaken any of the advice they provided you with, it is likely this pup has learnt to 'fight back' in the basic sense from a very early age.
At this age he may also be teething, therefore he needs to relieve any pain and/or discomfort. There are plenty of 'teething' toys for pups on the market.
I would continue the 'kind' way and forget all that your breeder has told you, in all honesty it will work against you long term.
Forget about dominance and concentrate on the fact that this puppy will take your guidance and the boundaries you set very well, if you remain consistent and frustration free.
You don't need to work your puppy for him to become a well rounded individual, but pet dog obedience training is a must. Now that puppy classes are over, can you join the next stage up? The more 'tools' you learn the easier the routine will develop and the better your mind will accept any slight step backwards your pup is sure to make.
Although he is from 'working lines', unless you specifically purchased him to continue down any training path (outside of pet obedience), it isn't something you 'have' to do. As long as he is mentally stimulated, exercised little and often, given human interaction time and a daily routine to include all of these, you will see the changes and develop from there.