Is Your Dog Being Dominant?

There has been a long held myth that if your dog is pulling you on the leash, dashing out the door or urinating in the house, he is being dominant. Because of one particular show on TV, this dominance theory has been perpetuated. However, what you might not know is that dominance theory was dismissed by the scientific community long ago. Dominance theory was based on the fact that dogs were related to wolves and wolves roamed in packs that had a dominant male. We now know from further study has been done on wolves that wolf packs actually consist of a mother and father and pups just like humans. Further research has also found that wolves are no more related to our dogs than we humans are to chimpanzees.

Wolves in packs don’t use force when dealing with available resources but actually peacefully defer to each other. When we see domestic dogs aggress toward people or other dogs, it is not one dog trying to be dominant over the other person or dog but usually stems from anxiety or fear.

Also, if Rover is dashing out the door before you or pulling you on the lead, it is not that he wants to be dominant but is simply a canine that just wants to get there wherever ‘there’ is. Walks and being outside for a dog is fun and if Rover can get to the fun quicker, that is all the better.

Although these issues are annoying, it is not a dog being dominant rather it is a dog that requires a little bit of training.