Continuing on from last week’s more general blog post on Dominance in Dogs, in this post I will focus more on how the dominance theory has and continues to affect dog training methods and consequently our relationship with our dogs.
The dominance theory would have us believe that in order to live in the same household with pet dogs we must use power, intimidation, and often aggression in order to ensure that the dog knows its place and won’t try to rise above its position and take control of the household.
How ridiculous is that? When did power, fear, intimidation, or aggression ever help to create a solid basis for a relationship? NEVER.
When considering the dominance theory in dogs I draw parallels between that and domestic abuse. Yet, dominance, mistreatment and abuse of dogs is much more widely accepted and by some dog trainers even encouraged in our society because the victim is a different species. And to think that we blame the dog for this!
As with any relationship, the focus should always, first and foremost, be on trust. If you want to remain in a relationship where you can’t trust or be trusted, the focus will always, inevitably, start to shift towards control, and the more you try and control the more you will lose control.
Be your dog’s guardian, provider, friend, and guide, and your dog will be the same for you.