Aren't Dogs Just Trying to be in Charge?
Dominance hierarchy-based training methods assume dogs are committed to a battle of supremacy and constant challenge with family members. This premise is incorrect and not supported by scientific study. Trainers advising families to take charge of the pack by eating first, walking through doors first, occupying a higher position and worst of all, pinning the dogs into submission are ignoring the current scientific research and subjecting the dog to unnecessary and sometimes cruel training methods. In reality, dogs have an intra-species relationship and a pattern of behaviors with their human family members that are driven by a variety of motivations, including: genetics, socialization, available resources, fear, conflicts, learning, behavioral pathology and disease. Furthermore, application of scientifically based principles of positive reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization and counter-conditioning programs have been shown to successfully teach dogs desirable behaviors and prevent behavior problems while enhancing the human-pet bond.
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