Or as Ian Dunbar puts it:
World renowned ethologist and writer, Dr. Erich Klinghammer, Ph.D., director of Wolf Park, Indiana and President of North American Wildlife Federation:
"... the so-called alpha roll, over practiced by some, is nonsense. The context in which people do it with dogs does not coincide with the situation in which a wolf actively submits to a high-ranking wolf. We certainly do not use it with our hand-raised wolves. There is no way we can administer the intensity of a dominance attack on a wolf that they use with each other on very rare occasions. Establishing dominance is usually a drawn out series of encounters that eventually convinces a wolf to submit and run way a preferred strategy. If I were to go up to a hand-raised wolf that did not know me and attempt to dominate it physically, it would either run away or I would have one helluva fight on my hands - if the wolf could not get away. There is really a big difference between wolves and dogs. To simply extrapolate from wolves to dogs is at best problematical."
A puppy at 12 weeks is not an 'alpha' trying to dominate. It is just a puppy playing with an older dog and showing some totally normal puppy behaviours (you can see that many others have posted noting very similar behaviours). The reason Kosmo does nothing when she takes his toys is that *he doesn't care*. Adult dogs are completely tolerant most of the time of puppy behaviour just as you don't turn around and slap a toddler who comes up and pushes you in play. Adults dogs let most pups get away with just about anything -- and when they push things to hard they let the pup know **with a growl** and sometimes a polite nip if the pup is really pushing it. This is excellent behaviour training from an adult to a pup and helps the puppy to learn limits of its behaviour which helps socialise it in ways people cannot do (and makes your job a lot easier). Please let them interact normally and do not worry about these kinds of interactions. As long as Kosmo has somewhere to retreat if he is really bothered, don't worry about him, he can mind himself.
Like wolves, domestic dogs are social animals (and hence should not be socially isolated) and they have an hierarchical social system. However, the hierarchy is neither created by, nor necessarily maintained by physical domination, nor is it strictly linear. If anything, the hierarchy is created and enforced by psychological control, and the peace of the pack is maintained by active appeasement rituals of lower ranking individuals. In fact, the famous Cambridge and Berkeley zoologist, Dr. Thelma Rowell has suggested that the status quo of social groups is better termed a subordinance hierarchy - a much more precise and descriptive term.
Yes, most groups of male dogs generally have a surprisingly stable linear hierarchy, but females tend to show significant day-to-day variation and male-female interactions can be extremely unpredictable, with rank-reversals being the norm rather than the exception. Indeed, bitches have virtually rewritten canine hierarchical law with the First Bitch Amendment which states, I have it and you don't. Moreover, individual members of a domestic dog pack have special friendships, alliances and bodyguards. And truly confident top dogs are more than willing to share and even allow underdogs and buddies prime access to bones and favored sleeping places. To say one alpha male rules the roost is an oversimplification to the point of ridicule. In fact, in most domestic canine social groups it is not a single male, but rather a group of females which decide what's what.
Like wolves, dogs do need a leader - but not a dictator who physical dominates, frightens and hurts. And certainly not a human fool who tries to imitate wolves. To allow myself a soup can of anthropomorphic license, most dogs are probably howling with laughter at the pathetic wolf-impersonations by their owners. (Perhaps that's why dogs howl?) It would indeed be laughable, if the consequences were not so sad and serious. Yes, dogs must be taught to show compliance to all family members, but to suggest novice owners physically manhandle and frighten their dogs is both inane and inhumane. And how exactly are children meant to gain respect from the dog? By physically pushing and pulling it around? The very thought is as potentially dangerous as it is stupid. For goodness sake, let's wake up and smell the coffee! Or, wake up and smell the urine, if you're still bordering on virtual Lycanthropy.