Alpha Skags are some of the largest and most powerful skags encountered in Borderlands. They are covered in very thick and durable armor, which can even render the damage dealt by sustained sprays of Combat Rifle or Shotgun fire to nearly nothing. Like most skags, Alpha Skags can leap an incredible distance, and though they sometimes employ a strong tongue-whip attack, they are more fond of charging at their enemies for heavy damage and substantial knock back. They will also stalk forward and swipe at enemies with their claws which are also exceptionally deadly. Because of these two factors, special tactics are needed to effectively deal with these beasts.
Shooting an Alpha Skag around the shoulders and back is an utter waste of ammo; if one is stalking forward instead aim for the head with heavy sustained weapons fire, which might cause the Alpha to flinch and then roar. Another tactic is to continuously back away and strafe from the Alpha, jumping sideways when it charges, or backwards when it tries to use its claws, while keeping too close for it to leap while taking strafing runs at its soft flank behind the shoulder. The latter tactic is best used when going up against an Alpha when its not alone, or multiple Alpha Skags, with the only variation being that a player must keep the weapons fire on a single target at a time, taking one Alpha Skag down as quickly as possible before moving on to another. Unlike other varieties of Skag, Corrosive & Incendiary weapons are moderately effective against Alphas in prolonged fights.
Especially if fighting one of these beasts at close range and you are struggling, the safest place to be is behind them. Dodge as it charges you, they are generally slow in turning around, and run right up behind them while firing and keep adjusting your position so you stay behind them and you will find dispatching them a lot easier as they "flinch" taking full damage on the unarmored sections of their bodies.
Playthrough 1: Alpha Skag
Playthrough 2: Hardened Alpha Skag
Playthrough 2.5: Armored Alpha Skag
Their armored sections reduce all bullet and melee damage by 80%, but they are highly vulnerable to Corrosive and Incendiary damage.
In animal groups, the alpha male acts as the leader, implying that skags have a sense of leadership/community, with the Alpha Skags being the monarchs.