Debunking Dominance in Dogs

The D word can be Drastically Detrimental! Written byDr. Katrina Ward and Diane van Rooy of the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group

Tough Love: A Meditation on Dominance & Dogs
is a 2012 documentary feature (produced by Anchorhold Films & Tower Hill Films) tracing the history of the “alpha dog” concept from its origins in 1940’s wolf studies to its current popularity among ordinary dog owners and professional trainers.

Closely followe by David Meche setting the record straight about what is “Alpha Rolling” Really Telling Your Dog? The Alpha Roll is the dominating technique of forcing your dog onto his back to expose his belly and force him into submission. This technique became well known in the 1970’s from the very popular book “How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend” (by the Monks of New Skete Monastery) written predominately by Job Michael Evans.

The technique came from a wolf study done n the 1950’s that studied pack behavior in wolves. Unfortunately this early study has since proven to be very flawed as pointed out by David Mech setting the record straight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNtFgdwTsbU

Job Michael Evans, famous dog training writer and former monk of New Skete, spoke at the Toronto conference in .. He was the keynote speaker there so why his remarks didn't set the rest of theworld on fire, well they didn't. Folk apart from a few in Oz still contimued to man handle. We knew of this in 1993 - so why is it still going on 23 years later?

. He said he no longer stood by advice about the "Alpha rollover” "scruff-shake" and related physical dominance techniques. Too many people had been bitten as a result of following earlier advice.

However, the majority of this book was written by one monk, Job Michael Evans. He eventually left the monastery and continued to train dogs, but after the book was published, he entirely changed his mind about the Alpha Roll and was said to have greatly regretted its inclusion in the book. He actively attempted, unsuccessfully, to persuade the publisher to remove it from subsequent printings. He died ten months later from Aids.

The technique was referred to as the "alpha-wolf rollover" originally by the Monks. In the new addition, the following comments are made about the technique:

"We no longer recommend this technique and strongly discourage its use to our clients... It is potentially very dangerous and can set up the owner for a serious bite in the face (or worse), particularly with a dominant dog. The conditions in which it might be used effectively are simply too risky and demanding for the average dog owner; there are other ways of dealing with problem behavior that are much safer and, in the long run, just as effective."

Unlike the Monks, there are still many training books and trainers out there that advocate that the Alpha Roll as well as other "dominance" techniques be used by owners to put their dog in its place and enforce discipline through the macho method of dominating the dog.

Down with dominance (TIC) by Patricia McConnell , PhD




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