The old definition of dominance meant a social hierarchy of rank, high status being sought because it accorded breeding privileges and since genetic proliferation is held as the mainspring of evolution. This definition was propagated by scientists who had gathered the data and interpreted the statistics, and was then disseminated by trainers and behaviorists to substantiate the position that neutering, especially early in life, would prevent all manner of social dysfunction and increase well being since canine social life was predicated on the above mentioned evolutionary imperative. The new definition of dominance in contrast means control over resources, complete with situational awareness of context and with dog nestled within a family-like matrix of relationships. As Roger Abrantes states:
“Dominant behavior is a quantitative and quantifiable behavior displayed by an individual with the function of gaining or maintaining temporary access to a particular resource on a particular occasion, versus a particular opponent, without either party incurring injury. If any of the parties incur injury, then the behavior is aggressive and not dominant. Its quantitative characteristics range from slightly self-confident to overtly assertive.”
“Dominant behavior is situational, individual and resource related. One individual displaying dominant behavior in one specific situation does not necessarily show it on another occasion toward another individual, or toward the same individual in another situation.”
“Resources are what an organism perceives as life necessities, e.g. food, mating partner, or a patch of territory. The perception of what an animal may consider a resource is species as well as individual related.”
So in the new definition of dominance, and since the vast majority of female dogs are spayed and thus do not constitute a breeding resource, and since dogs have situational awareness of which resource is available, when and where, and since the endocrine system is certainly integral to the capacity to display and receive coherent dominance and submissive signals so that aggression can be averted, there is no longer an intellectual justification to neuter male dogs.