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4.5/5 (2 valutazioni)
117 pagine
1 ora
Jan 1, 2011


You will learn:
• Wolves in the wild do form packs, but they are largely peaceful and cooperative family units.
• Many of the behaviors and drives that wolves live by have virtually disappeared from pet dogs due to the impact of selective breeding.
• Poorly trained or under-socialized dogs may engage in certain behaviors such as resource guarding (food, toys) that may make them appear to be trying to assert dominance. However, these are problems that can be brought under control by training and management and will not be solved by an owner trying enforce his or her dominance over the dog.
• Many of the training or “pack” rules associated with those who claim you must dominate your dog have no basis in reality in terms of wolf behaviors and. if taken to an extreme, can be harmful to your dog.
• A simple and logical set of guidelines to raise and train a dog in a positive and effective manner.

What dog trainers are saying about Barry Eaton’s Dominance in Dogs

Learning is best done by challenging the old mythologies and this book surely does that.
Prof. Ray Coppinger
Thanks for the opportunity to see your fantastic book. Excellent. We do have an uphill battle as the sheer amount of repetition of the Dominance concept has cemented it into the public land.
Jean Donaldson
Dominance in Dogs, Fact or Fiction is a little book with a big message. Without wasting words, Barry Eaton dispels the dominance myth and its insidious rank-reduction program, which is nothing more than an arduous task for owners to make their poor dogs’ lives a misery.
Dr. Ian Dunbar

What reviewers are saying...

“How far is the dog from the roving packs of wolves in the past? "Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction?" discusses the idea that dogs will try to become alpha males in their families, drawing their canine instincts. Studying wolves and comparing them to domestic dogs and how the habits differ are similar, Barry Eaton provides quite the thoughtful study on dogs and their dominance. "Dominance In Dogs" is a thoughtful collection, very highly recommended”. James A. Cox

Jan 1, 2011

Informazioni sull'autore

Barry Eaton lives in England where he is an Affiliate of the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE) and a Member of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers. He is an expert on training deaf dogs and is the author of the popular book Hear, Hear. He is the former chair of the Wessex Sheepdog Society and enjoyed participating in sheep dog trials.


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Fact or Fiction?

Barry Eaton

Wenatchee, Washington U.S.A.

Dominance in Dogs

Fact or Fiction?

Barry Eaton

Dogwise Publishing

A Division of Direct Book Service, Inc.

403 South Mission Street, Wenatchee, Washington 98801

1-509-663-9115, 1-800-776-2665 /

© 2008, 2010 Barry Eaton

Photos: Ray Coppinger, Barry Eaton, Monty Sloan, Mrs. CC Guard Graphic Design: Lindsay Peternell

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, digital or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher.

Limits of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty:

The author and publisher shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the furnishing, performance, or use of the instructions and suggestions contained in this book.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Eaton, Barry, 1951-

   Dominance in dogs : fact or fiction? / Barry Eaton.

        p. cm.

   Includes bibliographical references.

   ISBN 978-1-929242-80-1 (alk. paper)

   1. Dogs--Behavior. 2. Social behavior in animals. 3. Animal societies. I. Title.

   SF433.E24 2010



ISBN: 978-1-929242-80-1

Printed in the U.S.A.

"Learning is best done by challenging the old

mythologies and this book surely does that."

Prof. Ray Coppinger





1. Dominance. What is it?

The human version

The wolf version

Dominance as access to resources

Dominance Aggression

2. Wolves and dogs

When is a wolf not a wolf? When it’s a dog

Impact of breeding

In summary

3. Packs

The wolf pack

Packs in natural versus captive environments

Packs are formed to enhance chances of survival

Feral dogs

Domestic dogs

4. Pack rules

Common pack rules

Pack rules—the end

Rank reduction programs

Do rank reduction programs work?

5. A definition of dominance that makes sense

6. What’s to be done?

7. Conclusion


About the Author


My thanks to:

Prof. Ray Coppinger for allowing me to use his photographs, for his invaluable advice and for sharing with me some of his immense knowledge—and for keeping me thinking!

Dr. Ian Dunbar BSc, BVetMed, MRCVS, CPDT for his encouragement, words of wisdom and for his contribution to the book.

Prof. Peter Neville BSc (Hons) and Robert Falconer-Taylor BvetMed, MRCVS, Dip CABT, for their invaluable contributions.

The Centre of Applied Pet Ethology ( which started me questioning the concept of ‘dominance.’

Monty Sloan of the Wolf Park, Lafayette, Indiana for the use of some of his wonderful photographs of a wolf (

Mrs. Sylvie Derrick and Tarn for raising such a wonderful litter of Border Collies.

My wife, Carol, who had to read, re-read and read again the manuscript and continually corrected my grammar.

And to my old dog Jess who missed her vocation as a canine supermodel!


Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction? is a little book with a big message. Without wasting words, Barry Eaton dispels the dominance myth and its insidious rank-reduction program, which is nothing more than an arduous task for owners to make their poor dogs’ lives a misery. Give them a scalpel and they would dissect a kiss.

The dominance myth ‘logic’ flow chart is flimsy at the best, but scary at the worst. The notion is that:

1. Wolf social structure is entirely explained by a linear dominance hierarchy in which there is a constant battle to be alpha dog and dominate the rest of the pack.

2. Domestic dogs are descended from wolves and so the same must apply to them.

3. Domestic dogs are trying to dominate us.

4. We should issue a pre-emptive strike and dominate dogs by enforcing strict rules harshly.

In actual fact:

1. Wolf social structure is a wee bit more involved and sophisticated than a single linear hierarchy—this is merely a Mickey Mouse interpretation. Wolves have special friendships and allegiances and by and large, wolves live together harmoniously.

2. Dogs are very (VERY) different from wolves. Domestic dogs were selectively bred for thousands of years to be less fearful and more easily socialized to people. If wolves and dogs were the same, many people would be sharing their homes with wolves.

3. Oh! Get a life!

4. This has to be the flimsiest, most thinly-veiled excuse for littlebrained, schadenfreude types to label poor dogs as our adversaries in the training arena and in the home.

Why on earth do we treat our best friend like our worse enemy? How on earth can anybody think that a dog is trying to dominate his owners by eating first, going through doorways first, enjoying the comfort of furniture, playing games of tug-of-war, eagerly pulling on leash, or relieving himself in the house? Dogs are not politicians. Dogs are not masters of subtlety or innuendo. Dogs are straightforward and they live in the here and now. If a dog wanted to dominate his owner, he would do just that. End of story. Even so, when dogs bark, growl, snap, lunge, nip or bite, rather than being aggressive or dominant, the dog is usually, understandably, simply fearful of domineering owners.

The ‘thinking’ behind the dominance myth and the Spartan, boot camp, rank-reduction program is silly to the point of hilarious. Sadly, downright silly thinking becomes extremely serious when dogs are neglected and mistreated as a result. Indeed, many unsuspecting dog owners are bullied by misguided trainers to abuse their dogs under the guise of ‘training.’

Certainly, rules are important—any rules—for example sit means sit, and shush means shush. Usually, the owner knows best, especially when the dog’s safety is concerned. Also, when dogs and people live together, either we can live with dogs in their doggy dens and adhere to their rules, or dogs can live with us, in our homes and abide by our rules. It is just so much easier for people to teach dogs our household rules and regulations. Moreover, because each dog/human relationship is quite unique, each owner should decide on her household rules for the dog. Each owner should decide where the dog sleeps, for example—on the bed, in the bed, on the bedroom floor, downstairs, on the living room sofa, in a dog bed on the kitchen floor, outside, or in a dog kennel. It is up to each owner to make decisions for her dog. As long as the owner can instruct the dog to lie in his

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