Have you heard that dog listening is about dominating your dog? Isn’t that kind of old school and based on outdated science about how wolf packs work?
Looking around on the web there are some pretty common misconceptions around the topic of Dog Listening. Since I don’t want you to live with any false thoughts around this I decided to look at one of these misconceptions at a time and tell it like it really is.
So, let’s go back to this notion that the Dog Listening method is about dominating your dog.
So, why does this myth even exist?
As I see it, this is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the fact that you DO need to be your dog’s leader. But good leadership is NOT equivalent to dominance.
A good leader is reliable, trustworthy, calm and knows how to make the right decisions.
This is what your dog needs and thrives on.
It’s not at all about pushing or forcing your dog, staring at it or abusing it either mentally or physically. But it’s ALL about showing through your own behavior that the dog can rely on you, and trust you to make the decisions needed to keep the pack safe.
There is no yelling, no forcing it down on it’s back or anything like that.
Dog Listening is kind, always kind. What makes it so powerful is that it is based on the inherent language of all dogs. Dogs do not understand human language or interpret the world the way humans do.
The Dog Listening method is actually about training YOU as the dog’s owner and guardian to understand and communicate with your dog the only way it understands. And that is not through words but through body language and how you behave in any given circumstance.
So what about the outdated science part of it?
A few decades ago, the common understanding of how wolf packs work was that the alpha pair had become exactly that through fighting their way to the top, and that they kept that position by physical dominance and force.
Newer studies done on wolf packs in the wild show that there is indeed an alpha pair, but they are the leaders because they are the oldest and most experienced members of the pack. Why is that so?
The simple answer is that wolf packs are actually families! The alpha pair are the parents of the other pack members, and they are the trusted leaders of the pack who make all the important decisions.
There’s so much more to be said about how the wolf pack works, but that is not the topic of this video.
Now you know that Dog Listening is in no way about dominating your dog or showing your superiority through force or violence. It’s about showing your dog that it can trust you as the kind and reliable leader of the pack.
So, myth #1, busted!