The reason I say to forget the academics is because I used to be one. I studied in a scientific field that has no relevance here I guess. Let me tell you about science, and studies, and the rest of it. A vast majority of research is done by private interest with private money. That said you have to read all of the data. What you might read in a report is biased no matter how much jargon and calculations and whatever. Statistical analysis is a poor basis for conjecture or hypothesis. In short, I would be very careful about quoting to no end study after study. Animals cannot communicate in a cogent/coherent method that we can interpret in a responsible scientific context. If they could talk they would. I can observe and make conclusions from nothing more than a few cooked up statistics. I am reminded here of akums razor; it is a scientific principal which states that 'the simplist explination, is often the most likely'. I am not knocking science down, just opening eyes. These people are not gods, they are just as biased as you or me. Thats why there is disagreement within science. Nothing is ever proven in science, you can only disprove hypothesis'. I guess my stance is this; Dogs are genetically derived wolves or other wild dogs. Therefore I guess to me the simplest explination is probably the right one. Dogs operate within a pack mentality. There is no 'parent' relationship here Dogs don't know they are dogs and they don't know we are human. They don't understand species, only scents and other sensory information. As far as they are concerned we are just other things that smell different. Dogs see us as other members of this pack, and so they from time to time will challenge or rally for position within this pack. Do you really beilieve that a dog has the intelligence to tell the difference between a human pack and a dog pack? Dog's don't have human emotions or drives as we understand them. My dogs have no 'behavioral problems' (please get over yourself). I don't hit or yell at my dogs. When they challenge me I take a firm hold of their scruffs (LIKE THEIR MOTHER WOULD) and place them in a submissive position. This is necessary (to assert the alpha position) to maintain the balance we have with our dogs (or any pet). The simple fact is that one of us is the alpha (or whatever you want to call it) and the others fall into line. If we deny this then we risk serious injury from said pets. Asserting the alpha position does not require violence, physical contact is not violence (my parents never hit me but when they were reprimanding me they would always be holding or embracing me). You can deal with dogs diplomatically or you can deal with them realistically. The latter is less time consuming and more effective in my opinion. These are not my methods they are handed down to me from generations of breeders and people in my life. These peoples methods are TRUE TO FORM. They are practical tools, and they don't harm the animal. I stand by my statement. Be very careful before quoting all of these studies, look for legitimate peer reviewed material, and look for all of the data not just the numbers the authors have selected. The bottom line for me is this. If my dog is challenging my dominion over him then it is my responsibility to take this challenge seriously. Muddying the water with all kinds of scientific jargon is irresponsible at best. Go with your gut, dogs rally for position in the wild why would it be any different in 'domesticated' environments. A dog doesn't know its in a human world (only we do) it carries out its behavior via a genetic road map. I don't like to make assumptions but I will bet there is yet to be any SOLID evidence that would prove otherwise.
Last edited by DobeOwnrX2; May 5th, 2012 at 12:42 AM.