Dominance in Dogs

When walking other people’s dogs I have lost count of the times we are warned that their dog is “dominant” as s/he jumps up, pulls on lead, mounts people or other dogs, refuses to wait when going through a door etc etc etc…

Dominance theory is outdated and has been scientifically debunked.

Here are some interesting links regarding dominance in dogs:

http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance

http://www.nonlineardogs.com/

http://www.apdt.com/about/ps/dominance.aspx

One owner whose dog we used to walk refused to listen to all the evidence and, every time they witnessed their dog being “dominant”, would spray her with water or yell at her. This just about broke my heart, but no matter how hard I tried and how much progress I made through simple training, they wouldn’t listen to me. Thankfully this dog was rehomed, and I really hope she has found a loving, happy home now.

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9 thoughts on “Dominance in Dogs

  1. Unfortunately “dominance” is often the excuse for disobedience, with the owner putting the blame on the dog rather than their lack of training. Mounting can be an attempt at ‘dominating’ I believe, but all the other examples are definitely just poor training.

      • That’s very interesting, thanks for that πŸ™‚ Often it’s also attention-seeking behaviour – the dog does something it knows the owner reacts to. Unfortunately this is the case with our own dog, who has my mom wrapped round his paw!

      • No probs πŸ™‚ Hahaha Kasper is the same with us…he knows that when he jumps up to the table he gets asked to get down, and when he is bored and being a pain in the backside we get a lot of this!! All attention is good attention XD

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