New Victoria Stillwell training series: understanding pack behaviour
This sounds like a fantastic serious and would be really good in particular for new puppy/dog owners and as an overview for experienced owners too! There is so much really poor thinking and pseudo-science out there centred around outdated theories of 'pack behaviour' and 'dominance' in dogs -- any dog owner should have a read of this first piece (and consider a subscription to the excellent online magazine for the full article!).
I so agree with this:
Does any one of us think a dog confuses a cat for a dog? :lol: All my dogs are quite aware the cats are cats (show respect for The Claw!)-- and many dogs who would want to immediately give chase to a cat, are never like this with every passing dog -- so why do we think our intelligent friends can confuse us -- two legs, upright, no tail to communicate, no dog pheromones, no innate dog language -- with their 'pack leader dog'? They just don't! They are however good at training US to get what they want as we so often comply (eg bark and get human attention; bark and get a treat to be quiet) and they know we are the ones producing foooooood glorious foooood as well as walks, games and treats). This isn't dominance -- it is our poor understanding of how our own approach actually rewards the behaviour we often do not want. Using their willingness to work for what they want, and their intelligence to figure out the deal -- whether you want them to ask to get on a couch, or to learn couches are off limits -- is what good leadership and training is about -- not thinking your dog wants to take over the world or at least, your living room. :) Dogs are smart -- dogs are social -- they like food and play -- you have every ingredient for positive training right there. :D
Of course I believe in effective leadership, but dogs know we’re not dogs, so it’s silly for us to try and act like one by calling ourselves ‘pack leaders.’ In fact, the very scientists responsible for defining so-called ‘pack theory’ have since renounced their own findings as well as clarifying that there is a huge difference between the behavioral tendencies of wolves and dogs. Remember that dogs and humans are very different species, and we should no more try to act like a dog than we should treat dogs like humans (a situation that happens all too frequently and leads to all kinds of problems).