Monday, April 5, 2010

Association of Pet Dog Trainers

APDT Position Statement on Dominance Theory


  1. Just a question:

    What do you think of "being the pack leader"? Not necessarily by aggressively/domination but following simple rules (no jumping, waiting for food, waiting at the door. Would you call it being their leader or what?

  2. Hi Snarky,
    If you go to my blog post in December of 09, "What does being a good leader mean to me?", you will see that I am a firm believer in Nothing in life is free. I think that a person can be a "pack" leader without using positive punishment or harsh training methods. I think that a lot of what you said is about impulse control. Teaching a dog to control himself by not jumping, waiting for food or to be pet, and waiting at the door like you mentioned and rewarding those times when the dog is doing the right behavior. Thank you for your comment! Have a wonderful day!

  3. HI Pam, I read with interest the 'dominance theory' and am glad it only comfirmed that my instinctive reaction to the dogs I own or have owned in the past has been the correct 'reaction' to their behaviours and messages to myself. I do not believe in the domineering 'laying down of the law' that many ppl mistakenly use to 'train' (my word = force) their dogs into what they perceive as approppriate behaviour. Every dog I have had, has lead me to be a better 'Alpha' in our pack the next time around! this is because I believe in reading, learning and pro-reacting from the messages my dogs are sending me. My current dog does not always sit on command, nor does she always stay either but she does always listen, gauges the situations urgency and reacts appropriately. This allows her to be extremely obedient and highly reactive herself. She is very vocal, dictates her own 'spot' and also tests the hierarchy of her feline peers within our family without causing injury or fright. She is a staffy x kelpie who requires alot of exercise being a high energy dog. She also requires a constant emotional bond with her family, in particular me because I am the one she needs to rely on the most for food,love,comfort & shelter. By simply ignoring the behaviours I do not find acceptable and making positive emphasis through love (pats and 'talking her up') my dog has chosen to do away with the behaviours she knows I do not like in order for her to get what she does like! Balls, pats, scratches, loving words! I hope others on here find this useful in building a wonderful and enriching relationship with their dogs. DOG is GOD spelt backwards and once u have, honor, respect & cherish one, you understand why!