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.
Books about Natural Dog Training by Kevin BehanIn Your Dog Is Your Mirror, dog trainer Kevin Behan proposes a radical new model for understanding canine behavior: a dog’s behavior and emotion, indeed its very cognition, are driven by our emotion. The dog doesn’t respond to what the owner thinks, says, or does; it responds to what the owner feels. And in this way, dogs can actually put people back in touch with their own emotions. Behan demonstrates that dogs and humans are connected more profoundly than has ever been imagined — by heart — and that this approach to dog cognition can help us understand many of dogs’ most inscrutable behaviors. This groundbreaking, provocative book opens the door to a whole new understanding between species, and perhaps a whole new understanding of ourselves.
|Natural Dog Training is about how dogs see the world and what this means in regards to training. The first part of this book presents a new theory for the social behavior of canines, featuring the drive to hunt, not the pack instincts, as seminal to canine behavior. The second part reinterprets how dogs actually learn. The third section presents exercises and handling techniques to put this theory into practice with a puppy. The final section sets forth a training program with a special emphasis on coming when called.|