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Rebecca Pasko & Meli Jurado are members of the:

©2019 BY CADENCE K9 LLC

Ditch the Domination

October 30, 2017

 

 

If you were to let your dog loose with a pack of wolves, how do you think he would do?

More than likely he would not survive. There are a few dogs that would be exceptions to this rule.

 

Nowadays dogs are bred to please humans. Even dogs that are ‘protection and or working dogs’ are selected and bred to please. We have breeders that carefully pick selective traits and breed to better the breed. Even dogs that are not ‘purebread’ (shelter dogs) (backyard breeders) are dogs that are fully domesticated. Proof of domesticated dogs can be traced back to at least ten thousand years ago; these ten thousand years have allowed dogs to become VERY domesticated.

 

The “domination” theory comes from wolves being in a pack, and the ‘Alpha’ controls the roost. Corrects the other wolves, and when it comes time they fight for whoever is alpha.

 

For 100 years plus, in the dog training world the dog-wolf theory was around. In 1910 punishment based dog training was traced back to a book by Colonel Konrad Most, in his book it speaks about the need to be at the top of the dog-human-hierarchy and there can only be one winner. This method uses force and punishment to train and manage dogs. While some of these training techniques could be harmless, other pieces of advice could harm dogs physically, and psychologically.

 

Old school dog training styles that rely on “dominance” and punishment are not only outdated but they can hurt the relationship with the dog and owner. These training styles are based on outdated research about wolves. Wolves are completely different animals than the domesticated dogs we have come to know and love. With all of this being said, there is a difference between ‘dominating’ training techniques and having your dog live in harmony in a structured and controlled environment.

 

EX: My dog (Mufasa) likes to lie on the bed, and I don’t mind, when I say ‘off’ he moves. Him lying on a more comfortable surface DOES NOT mean that he is trying to overtake and dominate me.

 

There is a HUGE difference between your dog having structure and discipline and having to ‘dominate’ and harmfully discipline your dog. Most dogs must have structure in their lives to live happily with humans, by structure I mean learning rules,  by learning I mean being taught, and then later on corrected for, if noncompliance. These corrections that happen in modernized dog training are a tap on the shoulder compared to the corrections of an old school trainer.

 

Let’s say I am training a ‘crazy’ German shepherd. I would still not need to use dominance in order to get the dog to ‘submit’ or listen. Using the newest research that dogs are DOGS not wolves, I would find a way to break through to the dog, usually treats, toys or engagement to create a positive and fun training environment. Since most dogs want to please humans throughout training I have to communicate to that dog what I want and do not want.

 

 The terms ‘domination’ of dogs can actually get you into trouble with dogs. I have heard some people say “I pinned him down to the ground when he was a puppy to teach him who was boss” Why? Was it your ego? Or did you not know what to really do? If you were a dog, would you want someone pinning you down to the ground? Most people would try to kick and scream and bite if they were pinned to the ground? Why and how did it become acceptable to do this to dogs? Let’s train this dog by pinning them down to the ground and enforcing that they do not move. The only thing that is being accomplished here is that the dog is learning to fear you.

 

We do understand that dogs need to have structure, but this is a completely different thing than “domination”

 

Proper training takes time. It could take weeks, months to break through to a dog. Dog training is consistency and repetition. Repeating the same things over and over until a desired result is achieved.

 

MYTHS:

Dog getting on the couch, or bed is dominating 

A dog trying to put its paw on you in domination.

You must dominate, and punish in order to get your dog to listen.

 

TRUTH:

It is true that dogs still have natural instincts that can be traced back to wolves

The bonds we can create with our dogs are the strongest tool we have.

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