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Your dog is 100% not trying to be Alpha

Alpha dominance in wolves was the theory believed a long time ago when the science suggested it, after studies of captive wolves showed a tendency towards violent social outbursts. This science was from the early 1900s up to the 1930s and 1940s further passed into the 60s.

The issues with this study that make the science wrong was the wolves were kept in completely unnatural settings and therefore displayed unnatural behaviours. Wolves of complete different areas were shut in together in artificial environments.

David Mech one of the scientists who popularised the theory went on to spend over 13 seasons in the wild alongside wolves (in their natural habitats) and documented his findings. Showing that they live in family groups. Just like our dogs live in family groups with us. These groups have a hierarchy that consists of a breeding pair (mum and dad) and offspring (children) and the only arguments they have are parents telling off their kids. No struggle of dominance here! Aggressing on a relative who share the same genetically makeup has no value in the wild and therefore would not occur in wolf groups under normal conditions. The cohesion between the group is what ensures survival and so they work as a team!

The main prevailing theory for domestication of dogs was down to their ability to cooperate or be less of a threat to humans a trait of dominance would not have gotten far if it did exist here. Furthermore. Dogs are the subject of multiple generations of artificial selection spanning thousands of years… not in one instance has breeding for dominance ever been necessary and any dominance trait a dog may have shown (which they don’t) would have been bred out generations ago.

Dominate theory was picked up by trainers for the simple reason. It can explain away most behaviours as the dogs fault and take all accountability away from humans. But there is nothing wrong with being accountable, this allows us the ability to recognise and grow as a person.

So, lets Stop trying to train your dog under the belief they are trying to be alpha dominant. As this builds up the need for punishment and reprimand to assert our dominance. Punishment has been proven unnecessary when training an animal of any species, moreover, the success of positive training on all kinds of species shows it's validity. Your dog is simply trying to navigate a world, run by a completely different species (us) whilst trying to express its natural behaviours. Instead, think of it as teaching someone foreign another language for the first time. We are slow and patient. We use cues and gestures to show them association between words and actions.

Understand your dog and allow their natural behaviours to be expressed in a safe and controlled manner. do this and you will have cracked your dogs behaviours, then, you will create a happy dog that values your guidance.

A link to a website by one of the scientists who followed the theory before completely refuting his own science when new modern evidence showed otherwise.

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