Live coverage of Day 2 of the greatest Dog Show on earth! Live from the NEC Arena in Birmingham UK, all the action from Day 2 of Crufts including Agility, Flyball, Heelwork To Music and the Breed Judging of the Terrier and Hound Groups.
Don’t forget - The World’s Greated Dog Show, Crufts, is livestreaming NOW!
Should you be unable to catch your preferred sport of choice, all arena events are available for replay on the Crufts official youtube playlists, including the previous days’ webcasts.
PREVENT DOG ACCIDENTS with our range of dog awareness collars and harness. WHY WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE? Get yours now!
So, while I was looking for pet supplies to prepare for the arrival of my puppy, I came across these dog collars, harnesses, and leashes. Since Lewicki was coming with a leash and collar, I didn’t really need to get one of these yet. But I finally did get the training leash, and it is fantastic. Really strong with large friendly letters. The training leash has two clips and several rings to set it up in a variety of ways. So, with those rings and clips, I can keep it at the full 6-foot length, turn it into a short leash, or fasten it comfortably around my waist to tether Lewicki to me and keep him with me without juggling the leash and other things.
When Lewicki is trained, I may get the working leash and harness, as well.
I absolutely love this company. Their lines are wonderfully informative and give dogs back their freedom on walks.
Note: Credit to poppunkandpuppies, not to us. I think their old URL was fullpelt.
The idea of an “Alpha” pair originates from the 1947 “Expressions Studies on Wolves" by Schenkel and was further popularized by L. David Mech’s "The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species" written in1968 and published in 1970.
We now know this is not how wolves behave in nature, the aformentioned studies based on the observation of captive packs of unrelated wolves. Even Mech revoked his promotion of the “Alpha theory” as early as 1999 (alt. source).
The term ‘alpha’ suggests the winning of power through contest or battle, however the lead wolves in most wolf packs achieve their status by breeding, then their pups become part of their pack. More accurate descriptors for this lead, breeding pair are “breeding male/female,” “male/female parent,” or even “adult male/female.”
Dogs Aren’t Wolves
Dogs have diverged significantly from wolves in the last 15,000 years. Ancestral wolves evolved as hunters and now generally live in packs consisting most often of family members (Mech 2000). Pack members cooperate to hunt and to take care of offspring. In a given year, generally only the alpha male and alpha female mate, so that the resources of the entire pack can be focused on their one litter. Dogs, on the other hand, evolved as scavengers rather than hunters (Coppinger and Coppinger 2002). Those who were the least fearful, compared to their human-shy counterparts, were best able to survive off the trash and waste of humans and reproduce in this environment. Currently, free-roaming dogs live in small groups rather than cohesive packs, and in some cases spend much of their time alone (MacDonald and Carr 1995). They do not generally cooperate to hunt or to raise their offspring, and virtually all males and females have the opportunity to mate (Boitani et al. 1995)
Honestly, how can anyone think these two need to be treated the same?
Well, the logic was “dogs are descended from wolves, wolves live in packs with a hierarchy that’s kept in check by an aggressive alpha, therefore humans need to dominate their dogs if they want them to behave.”
Obviously, we know better now.
Dogs don’t want to fight with us for ‘dominance,’ they want to get along. The one causing adversity in the relationship would be the owner trying to push ‘dominance’ on their dog, would you enjoy a relationship that involved being bullied near constantly?
Neither would your dog.
To reiterate, dominance theory is the idea that humans need to force their dog into submission with the use of aggression in order to get them to behave.
Dominant-submissive relationships form to determine who has priority access to particular resources, these sort of relationships usually exist only when the dominant party is around to guard the desired resources.
Availability of resources isn’t something we have to worry about when raising a dog, at least not in the sense that we need to compete with our canine companions for them.
Why It Doesn’t Work
A huge flaw with dominance theory is that it fails to address the reasons for the problem behavior(s). Dominance training punishes the behavior without questioning why the dog is acting out in the first place.
Aggression, for example, is often a result of fear, anxiety, or insecurity. In situations like this in particular dominance training would be counterproductive, if your dog is fearful and you react with confrontational behavior (“alpha rolls,” hitting, staring down, etc) chances are you will only worsen the dogs fear and cause him/her to respond with defensive aggression.
Dangers of Dominance Theory
Dominance training can increase aggression, resulting in painful injury for you and an unhappy dog. Unsurprisingly, if you’re aggressive towards your dog your dog will be aggressive to you (“Treat people how you want to be treated.” not exactly the same, but still - kindergarten concept, people!).
It’s common knowledge among professionals that dominance theory is outdated and harmful.
But The Dog Whisperer said-
- Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs
- Comments on “Alpha” Dominance Theory
- De-Bunking the “Alpha Dog” Theory
- Forget About Being Alpha in Your Pack
- Misconceptions of the Mythical Alpha Do
- New Study Finds Popular “Alpha Dog” Training Techniques Can Cause More Harm than Good
- Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals
- Whatever Happened to the Term ALPHA Wolf?
Yes that’s ok I’m actually really happy when people ask me. I used to be a fan of his too a few years back so don’t worry I’m not judgemental over it or anything so long as you’ll hear me out on why his methods are a big no no. It’s under a read more because it’s probably going to get long (I’m sorry)
That is a massive man and a fearless dog!
You know who is the actual alpha (she is). He is protecting the pack leader and her “pup”.
v cute but also no - alpha is not a thing with dogs and iirc there’s evidence that dogs don’t run or function in packs like wolves do
Actually some dogs are more relative to wolves then other dogs. Due to the fact that some are closer to their owner. Such as husky in a dog sled team.
Science-based dog people/trainers can any of you tell me anything about this?
I refuse to listen to anyone who finds this acceptable on any level.
Some dogs are more closely related to wolves than others (primitive breeds such as Spitzs and Basenjis for example) but that does not mean that dominance theory is correct nor that it should be applied to them. In fact not even wolves behave in the manner the theory prescribes and the study it was based on was disproved decades ago. Dominance theory is based on a 1940s study of a captive pack on non-related wolves - something that never occurs in nature as wolf packs are composed of a breeding pair and their pups. This extremely unnatural and stressful environment is what produced the constant vying for dominance and is in now way typical wolf behaviour much less dog behaviour.
De-Bunking the Alpha Dog Myth - Whole Dog Journal
Dog Training and the Myth of the Alpha Dog - TIME Magazine
Debunking Dominance in Dogs - Australian Veterinary Association
I can also pull up some peer reviewed, published studies if you like
Some of you may have noticed the lack of original content as of late. Unfortunately with studies, work, and personal commitments, I’ve been unable to contribute to the blog as often as I would have hoped.
I would like to see this blog continue to run as an educational resource, as it has been, and am now seeking new admin to help keep the ball rolling, so to speak. With just under two thousand followers, should you wish to undertake an administrator position, you would be reaching a relatively large audience.
Please contact me if you feel you hold similar views to what we represent here, and if you would be interested in pursuing the role.
I will get so much hate for this but here you go.
A lot of these disorders are pretty common amongst many breeds of dog, so even if a dog is a mutt it still has a decent chance of contracting some of these diseases. Factor in that many mutts aren’t even health tested for any of these disorders before their breeding and you have a bunch of mixed but not happy dogs.
Inbreeding within show lines and within pure bred dogs is a serious problem and many breeds have been ruined by their own “breed standard” but random mixing isn’t the way to alleviate these problems. Controlled outcrossing by responsible breeders who health test their dogs and outcross specifically to find a fix for a serious problem (like the folks in Britain that were under attack from the UKC for adding labrador to their dalmatians to get rid of a urinary tract disorder)
As a band-aid fix. Take the prong off and the dog’s just gonna start pulling again. It doesn’t solve anything other than to teach the dog that the behavior of ‘pulling’ causes pain/discomfort when the collar that looks like a torture device is around it’s neck. Dog still has no idea why it’s happening or what the owner really wants from it.
Not to mention the behavior fallout it possesses when used. They can associate that pain with whatever it is they are looking at the moment. This could be other dogs, people, or inanimate objects that they could start showing signs of fear or even reactivity when they encounter them. On top of behavioral fallout there are health risks associated with the collar as well. Most people use the collar incorrectly on their dogs in the first place by placing the collar at the base of the neck- it belongs right under the jaw, sitting back behind the ears. When it’s worn at the base of the neck and the dog is allowed to pull, that constant pressure could damage the thyroid or even in extreme cases collapse the trachea.