I used to believe in dominance theory. I bought into the idea that we should be the ‘boss’ or the ‘pack leader’ in our relationships with dogs, and that dogs shouldn’t be allowed on the furniture lest they start hatching an evil plan to take over the world.
When I was younger, this was the main narrative presented to the public through certain popular TV shows and vocal ‘celebrities’ (He Who Shall Not Be Named, in particular). I volunteered for a local dog shelter in my 20s and remember expecting the dogs to march alongside me on slip leads like little soldiers - I cringe when I think about this 😬
I no longer believe in these things, because I have educated myself and gained empathy and understanding of dogs not as objects, but as unique, feeling individuals. It’s so important to keep an open mind and remain curious in our learning and development. I don’t judge those who have a different viewpoint to me, but try instead to explain through my own journey how we can learn, change and become better helpers to our dogs.
We all make mistakes. It’s never too late to grow 🐾