Deconstructing Dominance: The Science Behind Wag The Dog

Posted on September 29, 2012April 25, 2021Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Behavior, Common Mistakes Owners Make, Dogs, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Your Dog Fighting For Dominance?

Perhaps one of the most commonly touted tenets of dog training is “be the leader”.

Whether the family dog is jumping up, growling, biting, or tugging at the leash, owners are advised by professionals and dog hobbyists alike to “lead the pack”.

It sounds good, and it’s an easy line for lay people to take – “Oh, your dog is misbehaving? You need to be the pack leader and be more dominant.”

Advice for how to do to do this usually involves things like going through doors first, eating first,  or turning your dog upside down, all of which are supposed to mimic the behaviour of wolves in the wild.

People think that they shouldn’t sleep with their dog, shouldn’t let him on the furniture, and shouldn’t share their table scraps.

When we meet a new client, we often listen to embarrassed confessions of doing all these things… and then we surprise them by telling them the truth: If you don’t mind your dog on the bed, it’s not a problem. You won’t create a struggle for power if your dog cuddles with you on the sofa in the evenings.

Yes, if you want your dog listen to you and respond to you, you certainly need to be the leader in the relationship. But that doesn’t mean you need to dominate your dog.

The Science Behind Dominance

Continue reading “Deconstructing Dominance: The Science Behind Wag The Dog”

Solve Your Dog’s Behavior Problem With One Easy Step

Posted on May 13, 2012Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Behavior, DogsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We see dogs with a variety of behavior problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Aggression
  • Barking
  • Destructive Behavior

and many more.

All of these problems require different approaches, and every dog requires his or her own unique set of steps to achieve a solution.

But there is one thing that almost all of our cases have in common:

Exercise.

Many of the dogs we see are under exercised. Others dogs get a lot of one kind of exercise but not enough of another.

One of the first steps we always take to approaching any behavior problem is to increase the exercise and to balance the KINDS of exercise the dog is getting.

We often find that many times, this in itself is the most effective step towards solving the problem. Quite frequently, this is the ONLY necessary step.

Is your dog getting enough of the right kinds of exercise?

Continue reading “Solve Your Dog’s Behavior Problem With One Easy Step”