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Hampton Roads, Virginia

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WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON THE HOT TOPIC OF "DOMINANCE-BASED" DOG TRAINING?

The professionals at Clever Critters use science-based and up-to-date information as a guide for dog training. The current literature does not find a "dominance-hierarchy" approach to dog training to be effective. Also, the definition of "dominance" in the animal behavior literature is quite different from how pet professionals (who are not behaviorists) or pet parents might define dominance. We have found that most of what our clients have heard about dominance is incorrect, steeped in myths and misconceptions. When we are working with a dog who has difficulty in social situations with other dogs or people, we focus on the individual dog, his behavioral history, his experiences, his environment and what we can observe to determine appropriate treatment. We do not try to fit his behavior into a dominance model.

Other prominent professionals agree that we need alternatives to dominance-based dog training: