I have to admit, for the past 5 years I was a huge Cesar Millan fan and totally agreed with his concept of dominant dogs, but after beginning my training to become a dog trainer, I knew that my understanding of 'dominance' needed to change. So I thought I'd do some research. I came across this book Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction? and thought it might be a good place to start!
The author begins by outlining that the idea of dogs being dominant is flawed and goes on to explain why, the crux of the argument essentially being, dogs aren't wolves and even if they were, the idea of the violent struggles for power in wolf packs that is so widely believed by so many, just isn't true. The author isn't really making this argument himself, he is drawing on the research of others, which is thoroughly referenced in this book for further reading. In some ways this almost makes the book seem too short and the arguments lightly qualified, however the extensive bibliography really adds its weight to the author's facts - I certainly have a lot more reading to do.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it wasn't overly repetitive, it was interesting, well written and incredibly convincing. It actually made me feel quite sad that the dominance theory is so prevalent but so wrong, with so many dog owners following advice that just confuses our poor dogs even more.
If you are a trainer looking for arguments to disprove the dominance theory, someone sat on the fence about it all, or a firm believer that dogs are dominant I urge you to pick up this book and have a read. At very least it will give you some great food for thought, and hopefully it will give you a new understanding of the wonderful animals we share our lives with.