(left) This embedded YouTube video is
http://www.askdryin.com/dominance.php with a discussion
of its meaning.
|Is the puppy trying to assert higher rank
No. The puppy is ... just trying to get attention.
Even if they don't pet or talk to him when he's
sitting on their lap, the act of being in bodily
contact with them is a form of attention.
• If they only petted him when he was sitting
on the floor and stood up immediately when he jumped
on their lap, then he would instead develop a
habit of sitting on the floor.
|The American Society of Animal Behavior
[my edited version from a
boringly long PDF]
|...with our pets, priority access to resources is not the
major concern. ...behaviors owners want to modify, such as
excessive vocalization, unruly greetings, and failure to
come when called, are not related to valued resources and
may not even involve aggression.
...these behaviors occur because they have been
inadvertently rewarded and because alternate appropriate
behaviors have not been trained instead. Consequently, what
owners really want is not to gain dominance, but to obtain
the ability to influence their pets to perform behaviors
willingly —which is one accepted definition of leadership
[Knowles and Saxberg 1970; Yin 2009].
Most unruly behaviors in dogs occur not out of the desire to
gain higher rank, but simply because the undesirable
behaviors have been rewarded. For instance, dogs jump on
people and climb into their laps because when they do so,
they get attention.
We emphasize that animal training, behavior prevention
strategies, and behavior modification programs should follow
the scientifically based guidelines of positive
reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning,
and counter conditioning.
The AVSAB recommends ...trainers and behavior consultants
who understand the principles of learning theory --
focus on reinforcing desirable behaviors and removing the
reinforcement for undesirable behaviors.
...leadership should be attained by more positive means—
rewarding appropriate behaviors and using desired resources
as reinforcers for these behaviors.
Leadership is established when a pet owner can consistently
set clear limits for behavior and effectively communicate
the rules by immediately rewarding the correct behaviors...preventing access to or removing the rewards for undesirable
behaviors before these undesirable behaviors are reinforced.
Owners must avoid reinforcing undesirable behaviors and only
reinforce the desirable behaviors frequently enough and
consistently enough for the good behaviors to become a habit
||Do your own research
Psychology is a big subject. If you skipped college you may
not have had classroom instruction about operant
conditioning, Pavlov, or Dr. Skinner.
But we all know about love. The quote "We already have
everything the dog wants." (above) from
4pawsu.com is a brilliant declaration of what I needed to
incorporate into my relationship with Tyler.
I was, at first, opposed to giving treats all the time to my
dog. Now I understand much better why positive rewards are
The bottom line is that its about love. Real, pure,
unselfish love. Love for a species that has adapted to
living with us, depending upon us, over thousands of years.
Not only is a dog "Man's best friend" but keep in mind it is
also god spelled backwards.