Great news everyone! The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has released an official position statement on their view of Dominance Theory and how it relates to training us domestic dogs…and the fact that it doesn’t work – at least it doesn’t really work as far as educating us on the behaviors you want. It just bullies us into stopping a specific behavior, but only temporarily – and makes us scared.
- Definition of dominance: a relationship between individual animals that is established by force/aggression and submission, to determine who has priority access to multiple resources such as food, preferred resting spots, and mates. Uh, hello??? You determine what, when, and how much we eat; where we sleep, and if we’re allowed to breed at all! So who is really being the “dominant” one?
- Types of trainers the AVSAB recommends: those that follow the scientifically based guidelines of positive reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization, and counter conditioning. Rock on for my mom the dog trainer!!!
- Myths about wolves versus dogs and behavior: Ugh! We’re dogs we’re not wolves! You humans descended from apes… need I say more?