Friday, December 22, 2006

Dominance, Submission, and Discipline

Sorry folks, this is a PG blog and that only refers to your relationship with your dog. I was thinking about Cesar Milan's book again. He talks endlessly about dominance, submission, and discipline in how to treat your dog. He admits that these terms get him in trouble with modern American society. We think of all these terms in a negative connotation. We don't want to dominate our dogs we want to love them.

(We don't want to discipline our kids either, we want to be their friends.)

Well, this doesn't work well with dogs because dog are born with a innate sense of how a pack should be run. To dogs, these words are not bad, they are how the world works and works well for them.

(And you all, can tell me how that friendship thing is working with your kids. I was not surprised to hear that Cesar gets letters saying that they tried his way with great success with the dogs, so they are trying it out with the kids.)

Dogs want a pack with a strong leader. If you won't be the leader the dog feel obligated to take on the job. In his mind, someone has to do it. Now, you dog innately knows his place in a pack. Deep down he knows if he is leader-material or if he is not. So if you are abdicating your spot at the top and letting your dog take it, you may have promoted him beyond his temperament. I am sure you have worked that kind of manager. He has the job, but not the skills to handle it. You have created a boat load of stress for your poor dog.

You need to be the top dog and let your dog be just a dog in a pack. That is where he will be the most happy.

Coming up: Why there are no 'coup de etat' in the dog world, and How to be the Top Dog in your pack, Packs don't have Vice Presidents

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