While on vacation, I caught up on the most up to date research on dog behaviour, cognition and etiology.
Why Are These Recent Studies Important?
It’s important to know how dogs interact socially amongst themselves without human intervention in order for us humans to be able to communicate with them better. Some of the most groundbreaking studies were done recently on free ranging dogs in different parts of the world. These studies try to discover how dogs live, interact, and what kind of social structure will occur amongst them.
The New Research Is Stomping Out Some Outdated Information
Contrary to some outdated research, these recent studies show that dogs live in groups with structural dominance hierarchies. These groups have certain individuals that are leaders, and others that are followers. This is incredibly important information for dog owners, as this teaches us that we must be our dogs leaders in order for us to be able to teach them how to live with us in our human world.
How Can You Be Your Dogs Leader?
Being a leader does not mean that we need to be aggressive or instill fear because there is a difference between being an assertive and trustworthy leader, and a dominant and aggressive dictator. Do you remember a great teacher you loved and respected in school? Were they mean? Did they scare or hurt you? Probably not. They also likely did not gain your respect by bribing you either.
Learning to be our dogs leader entails changing many aspects of how we interact with our dogs, to show them they can trust us, and look up to us to be their leader. That being said, leadership is something that is earned.
Once you are able to earn your dogs trust as their leader, this is when your relationship with them will flourish.
For a recommended reading list, click here.
If you are interested in enhancing communication and creating a deeper bond with your dog, contact me.