Posts Tagged ‘dominance’

Dogs: The Word I Hate Most

May 12, 2011 27 comments

There is but one word that sets my teeth on edge when it comes to dogs and dog behavior.

It so gets my ire up that I often have to take a deep breath to calm myself before expressing my opinion on that word.

The word?


On second thought… there is one other word that drives me even crazier than Alpha and that is Dominance (or it’s variants: dominate, dominant, domination, etc.).

Just yesterday, while speaking with a friend about getting a dog, I heard her say “Well, I know I need to be the Alpha and show him that I am dominant.” Um no. You don’t. You only need to work with that dog in a positive way and build a bond and he/she will practically do anything for you. There is no need to be “Alpha” or “dominant” with your dog.

My fellow blogger, Kevin Myers, wrote a great piece on just this very topic “Why Did the Dog Run Out the Door?” I encourage you to check it out.

In the meantime, what words set your teeth on edge?

Goodbye Alpha Dogma. Goodbye Dominance

June 20, 2009 1 comment

42-17304144Heard another person describe their dog’s behavior as exhibiting “dominance” today. The dog was jumping up on people after someone had excited him. Not dominance at all, just excitement.

Yesterday, I had someone tell me that they did the “Alpha roll” on their dog because she was expressing dominance. What was she doing? Getting into things. Acting up. Not dominance at all, just lack of exercise.

These comments immediately made me think of a blog post I had read recently (thanks to a Tweet from a friend and great dog trainer). It is phenomenal. And, it expresses exactly how I feel. Definitely worth a read.

Check out: Boulder Dog and “Alpha Dogma: Goodbye to All That”

Dominance and Dogs: It’s not what you think it is

February 17, 2009 1 comment

Call it serendipity or coincidence (or something else), but in the past week I have seen quite a few stories, blog posts and e-mails about dominance in dogs. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but it seemed like a good opportunity to post on the topic.

This past summer, I had the good fortune to attend a workshop on this very topic and I thought I would share just a few of the highlights. The presenter is a well-known veterinarian in Minnesota. His name is Dr. Christopher Pachel, and he not only happens to be a vet, but he also happens to have a background in animal behavior. The information he provided in the workshop was not only informative, but also extremely helpful. I would recommend attending a session if you ever get the chance. Read more…

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