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Mythbusting: Dominance in Dogs

Books have been written about dominance in dogs; research papers have been published; whole careers built and fortunes made on promoting the idea of pack leadership and needing to establish dominance over your dog.

Here at Developing Dogs we take a different view; one which is supported by more recent research and by the simple truth that dogs do what works. Their behaviour is governed by their genetics and their experiences, but fundamentally things they find rewarding will be repeated and things that result in an unpleasant consequence will fade. Only the dog can tell us what is rewarding to them.

One thing is absolutely certain: your dog is not trying to take over the world and whatever the outcomes of research in to relationships between wild or captive wolf packs, or groups of free-ranging dogs, none of it has any relevance to relationships between dogs and humans.

More about this topic in our short video: A Brief Talk about Dominance in Dogs

Sian Ryan

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