Articles

THE DOMINANCE THEORY

Imagine trying to dominate a wolf – it sounds like a sure fire way to get eaten.

The concept of dominance was spawned from the notion that wolves challenge one another for rank.  However, due to extensive research by world-renowned wolf expert and scientist, Dr. David Mech, this theory has been discredited.  The most respected canine behaviour experts in the world believe this theory to be misguided with no scientific basis. 

AGGRESSION - THE HOLISTIC APPROACH

Over the past few decades, human health and wellness have taken a holistic turn and so has our treatment of canine aggression.  Scientific advances in understanding the human/canine bond have changed the way we train our dogs and view aggression.  What was once believed to be aggressive behaviour is now understood to be communication, most of which is natural, necessary and acceptable.  Almost all dog aggression is fear based and has nothing to do with dominance.  It’s about fear of punishment, other dogs, people, the environment or losing valued resources.

CANINE AGGRESSION - DETERRENT BEHAVIOUR & THE K9 COMMUNICATION CONTINUUM

Every year, many dogs are unjustly euthanized when normal canine communication is mistaken for aggression.  The communication responsible for this confusion is what we’ve coined “Deterrent Behaviour.”  

Deterrent behaviour refers to deliberate communication by dogs used during approaches, greetings and interactions, to warn another animal or person to respect its space and/or to discipline unruly behaviour or bad manners.  Some deterrent behaviours include: sneezing, raised hackles, stiff body, staring, baring teeth, barking, growling, lunging and snapping.