Saturday Morning, and running on 'D-Force Time', dedicated owners turned up to hear me present 'so, you think your pack leader?' a talk aimed at challenging old fashioned dominance and pack theories. The audience contained an array of owners from trainers and behaviourists to first time owners and vet nurses.
It can be a very difficult challenge to enter things with an open mind, but no one seemed to have a negative 'I don't need to learn' attitude. And I believe everyone left questioning what they may have previously believed.
At the end of the session, I asked for a group conclusion (see below):
1.) Dogs are not wolves
2.) Dogs do not form packs.
3.) Dogs are a mirror of our training, not a pre-programmed 'must rule the world' machine
4.) Dogs know we are not dogs and therefore it would be impossible for them to want to 'dominate' us and see us HUMANS as part of their pack.
5.) The evolution from wolf to dog was complex but quick and done with little help from humans (except a bit of garbage).
6.) Positive methods work. Dominance based training methods are cruel to the point of ridiculous.
7.) Pack rules are silly ... if you want your dog on the sofa, he won't think he is god!
Lets take one example of a pack rule to get you all thinking ... A dog that pulls on leash is dominant as he thinks he is leading the pack hunt.
1.) so your dog is dominant whilst he pulls on his way to the park, and suddenly decides he doesn't want to be when he stops pulling on the way home?
2.) Your dog really thinks your going on a hunt?
3.) This is a serious problem that must be sorted. A choke chain will be a great method to show your dogs who's boss?
4.) A halti will PREVENT the problem?
5.) Your dog really wants to go out and hunt even though their is easily accessible food at home for minimal effort?
6.) Your dog sees you as another dog who is to be 'led'?
Got you thinking? Take a look at Dominance: Fact or Fiction by Barry Eaton and make your own mind up (and make your dog 100 times happier)!!
"We don’t have to be Alpha, dominant or pack leader, and neither does our dog. All we need to be is an owner responsible for guiding our dog, shaping and influencing its behaviour through correct socialisation and training so they can live in harmony with us." - Barry Eaton
Cody as a very cute puppy!