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Old 06-21-2011, 09:27 PM
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Default Dominance in Domestic Dogs

Does anyone know of any reputable websites (.gov, .edu, etc), journal articles, or books discussing the dominance theory in domestic dogs (I'd prefer scientific studies or otherwise sources with a relatively 'neutral' stance).

It occurred to me today that I've pretty much been "spoon fed" my position on domestic dog pack behavior or lack-thereof. As I'm sure has happened with all of you at some point or another, conversations such as the following are not an uncommon occurrence.

Person: *insert comment on dog dominance*
Me: "I don't believe that most dog behavior originates from an attempt to be dominant."
Person: "Why do you say that?"
Me: "Well, it seems to me to be a lack of training. It's also been noted that domestic dogs don't actually form packs and pack hierarchies the way that wolves do..."
Person: "Says who?"
Me: "uh, well....." *goes on to mumble something about a dog forum on the internet.*

I am not the type of person to regurgitate information and it bothers me that I really haven't done my own research on a subject that is so meaningful to me.

I am not looking for your opinion. I am, however, looking for the primary sources from which you derived that opinion. Thank you in advance!

As a sidenote, how does one add a poll to a thread?

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:33 PM
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Oh good idea!

Im looking forward to this info as well

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:34 PM
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There are articles. Look up Coppinger, they studied pariah dogs. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour was so concerned with the rampant 'dominance' beliefs they put this statement out

Not that dogs are wolves, but people get wolves wrong too Wolf Status and Dominance in Packs -Alpha Status

If you want to read a big thing I did with links Why you should forget the idea of dominance/pack theory as relates to you and your dog. Also why punishing bad behaviour is often worse than doing nothing. (as promised) : dogs
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:21 AM
SaraB SaraB is offline
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
There are articles. Look up Coppinger, they studied pariah dogs. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour was so concerned with the rampant 'dominance' beliefs they put this statement out
^^ This... I was about to post it, but very glad it was posted already!

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:39 PM
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I have these bookmarked:

ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:26 AM
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As far as the origins of dogs - has anyone else read Dog Sense yet? I'm not finished it, but the first couple of chapters are about how exactly dogs became what they are. Obviously what we know changes frequently, and the author says such, but I was fascinated reading it - it all made more sense than much of what I've read before in my mind. I'm reading it on my Nook, so I haven't really looked at the references yet, but it is clearly cited and the author is a scientist, so hopefully they are decent references.

I'd be very interested in others' take on it.

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Old 06-21-2011, 09:58 PM
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Not sure if this is too one-sided, but here's the APDT's article on dominance and domestic dogs.

Dominance and Dog Training

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Old 06-22-2011, 07:31 AM
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I was just thinking the exact same thing! I just hadn't gotten around to making a thread. Great minds thinks a like. I probably shouldn't be reading these when I have exams to study for but I might not be able to help myself....
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:29 AM
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Can a mod sticky this? I think it would be great to have it somewhere we can easily reference it and then I don't have to dig through a ton of stuff to find links to send to people.

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Old 06-22-2011, 09:50 AM
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Awesome links on this thread, thank you to the contributors. I second a sticky please

Unfortunately even with all this logical, sound information, too many people refuse to give up the dominance paradigm when it comes to interacting with their dogs...
"We become better trainers by refusing to swallow uncritically what is tossed to us as truth,
by developing our powers of empathy and observation,
and by searching for better ways to teach and educate the dogs we love."
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