Debunking Dominance Theory

Yup, I am going to say it. Dominance theory is poodle poo.


Dog trainers have been using the Alpha theory for years to back up some notions on how to train a dog.  This has been passed around for decades among the dog training world.  This has simply been passed from trainer to trainer as fact (aka, meme). The theory was based on a very unscientific observation of a single artificial group of wolves in a zoo.  Wolf biologists themselves have discarded the theory. Before you Alpha Roll your pup, check this out:

Whole Dog Journal – Debunking Dominance – Filled with references and comprehensive

Australian Veterinary Association – Debunking Dominance in Dogs

Time Magazine – Animal Experts Debunk the Myth of Alpha Theory

Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science – Fresh Look at Wolf Pack Theory -Science stuff

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior – Official View on Dominance Theory

Association of Pet Behavior Counselors – Why Wont Dominance Die

Dr. Yin – The Dominance Controversy

Science publication University of Bristol



One Response to “Debunking Dominance Theory”

  1. I totally concur with you! I am curently undoing what another trainer did to a small dog by pinning it down dominately while it was screaming(it was before). These folks have to remember that alot of what they learn is applied on TV. We don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. I do agree that dogs form their own leadership as I have witnessed with my own(their unique hierarchy has changed suddenly with one dog aging). I have also known a dog that turned extremely aggressive as they aged due to a human pinning it down while a puppy. Good info! thanks for sharing

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