May 27, 2024

“Wolves and dogs don’t always stand by each other,” admits dog trainer Bergen. In the case of stray dogs, we see that even unrelated animals form a safe community. There is no sign of superiority or a battle for position. “First of all, it is important to understand that dominance is not a personality trait. Statement my dog ​​is dominantSo it doesn’t apply. ”

Whether dogs respond dominantly to each other always depends on the situation. The same dog may exhibit dominant behavior in one situation, but be submissive in the next. “Therefore, basing an entire ideology or training method on a non-existent, disproven superiority as a personality trait is a dramatic fallacy,” says Trainor.

But what does dominant training mean in the Alpha Theory sense, and how can it affect the human-dog team? Until a few years ago, dogs were held down with one hand to learn to sit. I was there. Although this type is no longer prevalent, coercion and pressure are still present in the training approach. Bergen has seen clients many times who were taught such behavior at other dog schools. “Unfortunately, Alpha Theory is still being propagated, albeit in different guises.” Next, the concepts of “space management,” “body language leadership,” and “breed-appropriate training” are mentioned. , the old method is sold with a new paint job. ”

Space management means that the trainer blocks the dog with a threatening posture or body to limit the dog’s range of movement. This dominant human behavior is justified by the body language of the two dogs. “But dogs know very well that we are not dogs. The delicate and sensitive language that two dogs share with each other can never be imitated,” explains the behavior consultant. The body language people show towards their dogs is always too rough and harsh to be understood as friendly communication.

Scientists and behaviorists emphasize that human-dog interactions should be based on mutual respect, trust, and positive reinforcement rather than authoritarian control. Positive reinforcement and behavior modification should be prioritized for a healthy human-dog relationship.

The same goes for deeply ingrained beliefs such as “dogs are only allowed to eat after people” or “dogs are only allowed to enter apartments after people.” An equally big mistake is not to let your dog ride on the couch. Otherwise, the power relationship between dog and human will change. Rather, it’s purely a matter of preference. “I think people actually like hierarchies. They’re simple: one leads and one follows. They impose this on other creatures.”

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