Is Dominance Debunked?

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So the question we’re asking today is, is dominance debunked? And, I want to know, what’s with the word, “debunked” anyway, because people seem to really love using it when it comes to dominance.

Anyway, so why some people are saying, “dominance is a myth.” well, it all started with this guy called, David Mech, who was involved in a study on an artificial wolf pack back around 1970. In the study, he observed that the wolves formed a linear hierarchy with the wolves completing for alpha status and so on. But if we fast forward to a more recent time, David Mech, himself, came out and said, “that’s not quite correct…” sorry Dave, about your drawing.

What he found instead, is that a truly wild wolf pack is made up of the two parents, the breeding pair of a mother and a father and then the offspring of that breeding pair, made up the rest of the pack. So it’s basically, mom, dad, and the kids, and the mom and dad obviously, were in charge. You can sort of relate to a human family, which is made up of the mom and dad and the kids and the mom and dad are, again, in charge.

However, David Mech said, “when you’re talking about an artificial wolf pack or other canine pack, they do actually form a more linear hierarchy order.” but if you’re wondering if dogs have a hierarchy, you need to ask, is your dog in a wild pack, or is your dog in an artificial pack and who’s in charge and why? Now the dictionary definition of dominance, is power or influence over others. So, basically, the person in charge or in control b

Between a relationship of two beings, and usually, involves a resource. Just because one dog has more control in a given situation, it doesn’t mean that they have to use excessive violence to get that control. One valued resource and two dogs, the dog that gets it, has been the dominant dog in that situation and the dog that backs down is the submissive dog in that situation. Dominance is a natural part of life, just like when you go to work for a boss, they’re usually the dominant one in the relationship as they control your pay. However, that doesn’t mean that you go to work and get beaten into submission everyday or at least, it shouldn’t.

So, assuming you control your dogs’ access to all its resources, like its bedding, food and shelter, then who do you think is being dominant in that situation? Now, often times, between dogs, dominance can be maintained by simply a glance or a sideways look, but there are absolutely times that canines will give a physical correction to keep things in order as well. When it comes to you and your dogs, it’s important to make sure that there is still rules and boundaries and that your dog understands what they are. One problem is that dominance is blamed for many things that it is not the cause of.

For example, some people will say that a dog that is jumping up on you is being dominant towards you, when in reality, it’s most likely just excited. And just like with dogs, you don’t need to use extreme force just to go out of your way to make the point that you are dominant towards your dog. Although it’s not hurting anyone, it’s also not necessary to eat before your dog to prove that you’re dominant and it’s not really necessary to make sure that you always go through a doorway or gateway first to prove that you’re dominant. But as always, it is important that your dog knows good manners and obedience. In conclusion, dominance does exist, I don’t think it’s debunked, I think it’s misunderstood. If you’ve enjoyed this video or want more free training, sign up at my.dogmatters.com