Debunking the Alpha Dog/Dominance Myth
- that's right, we said MYTH!
"I need to dominate my dog, and
be alpha over him" and "I am the 'pack leader' but obviously she
still thinks she's top dog...that's why she keeps misbehaving"
are all things we hear every day. Despite the fact that these
ideas have been completely disproven over and over again by the
scientific community for more than 20 years, the alpha/dominance
mindset in dog training and behavior continues to be a
surprisingly popular, and deeply held belief - not only amongst
dog-loving lay people, but also among dog training professionals
- some of whom are reaching the masses on television!
As a behavior and training
resource committed to the science
of dog behavior and learning, we are proud to stay true
to our promise of providing you with the facts. We've been
teaching non-alpha/dominance-based principles and training
techniques for years, but don't just take our word for it! See
below for a plethora of articles written by some of the worlds
foremost behavioral experts, and see for yourself why the
alpha/dominance mind-set in dog training, doesn't stand up to
scientific scrutiny, and is nothing more than myth!
Bringing together people who challenge pack leadership,
dominance theory, dog-as-wolf and other outdated ideas about
Misconceptions of the Mythical Alpha Dog
By Dr. Ian Dunbar
Why Won't Dominance Die?
From The Association of Pet Behavior Counselors
By Karen Pryor
Dominance in domestic dogs—useful construct or bad habit?
Abstract from the Journal of Veterinary Behavior
Using Dominance to Explain Behavior is Old Hat
From Science Daily
Whatever Happened to the Term Alpha Wolf?
By L. David Mech
The American Veterinary Society of
Animal Behavior's Position Statement on Dominance Theory in
Behavior Modification of Animals
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers' Position Statement on Dominance and Dog Training
Thoughts on Letting go of the Dominance Paradigm in Training Dogs
By Beth Duman, Dip CB
The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory
By Melissa Alexander, based on an interview with Dr. Ian Dunbar
THE "ALPHA" MYTH -
Debunking the Dominance Model of Dog Behavior
By Jean Donaldson
Are Dogs Pack Animals?
By Jean Donaldson
Controversy and Cesar Millan
Learn more about what dominance means, then test your knowledge
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