At what age should I expect Rocky to try to take over role as alpha? He has been challenging me a bit more lately with a little bit of disobedience and I was wondering if I should be concerned or stay consistant and let it take its course? :-\
Maybe never. Just be consistent and let things take their course. Theo disobeyes me because (1) he doesn't understand what I'm asking (my fault) or (2) he has something else on his mind that is more rewarding (both our fault). But he has never, ever challenged me. My advice: Don't worry about "alpha" or "challenging" or any of that confrontational language--personally I think it frequently creates more problems than it solves, especially with typically nondominant dogs like Labs. Instead work on building a good relationship with your dog in which you control his access to resources.
Most of the time, I really don't believe that dogs disobey because they are trying to get over on you or because they don't respect your authoritah. They just think that what they want to do is more rewarding than what you're offering. Pretty simple. When that happens, tighten up on the obedience, back up a step and work on fundamentals, and make sure all rewards (including life rewards) come though you.
I have an intact male, a spayed female and an intact female, ranging from 5 y/o to 15 months, and I don't think me or my husband have ever been challenged. We have been consistent in our training and corrections and the dogs know their place. Sure, they can be butts and ignore us from time to time, but we've never had any "alpha" issues in our house.