Dogs Follow the Friendliest, Not the Alpha (Op-Ed)

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Brian Hare is an associate professorand Vanessa Woods is a research scientist in at Duke University. They founded Dognition, a Web-based service that helps people find the genius in their . This post was adapted from their New York Times’ best-seller “The Genius of Dogs,” which comes out in paperback Oct. 29. They contributed this article to LiveScience’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Never let your dog walk first through a doorway. Don’t let your dog win tug-of-war. To establish yourself as the pack leader, flip your dog on its stomach and hold it by the throat.

This is some of the advice from the so-called “top” dog-training school, where the philosophy is that owners should establish a dominant relationship over their dogs to ensure that their canines are obedient.

This philosophy originates from the idea that wolf packs have strict dominance hierarchies where the wolves compete for dominance, but are held in check by the alpha male and female. Since dogs evolved from wolves,

… Continue reading here.
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