Originally Posted by millitntanimist
2. It's not a real diagnosis. Even among people who believe in dominance, there is no clear definition of dominant behavior and what it constitutes. There is only personal observation.
Recently, we worked with someone who had a border collie who was becoming reactive to cyclists. She was worried he was showing dominance, based on the diagnosis of her dog walker. We calmly explained that this is simply a border collie displaying herding instincts. Herding instincts are hardwired. They are a fixed action pattern. No amount of 'dominance reduction' will change his drive to herd, it can only be re-directed. If she had tried to address his emotional arousal to bicycles with corrections, she may very well have turned excitement into real aggression (because bicycles will become a predictor of punishment).
This is interesting. If not corrections, then what? How do you redirect that drive? And what do you term dominance reduction? I must admit I do find all the terms amusing because if you talk about herding instinct, the old farmers who actually had to work dogs every day wouldn't know what the heck these terms mean. If they saw a dog streaking past, Hell bent on heeling a cow it shouldn't, they'd hit it with a clod of dirt, give it a flick of the stock whip etc.. Curbs the dog's enthusiasm and doesn't make it aggressive, certainly makes it respect who is in charge, and most working dogs idolise their owners. Sometimes these debates make me think of how children aren't allowed to be punished nowadays, the world is not a better place because of it. Many children are growing up with no respect for others.