Dog is in the Details

One trainer wrote:  “A dog who puts its feet on you, a dog who seems to like pinning you down in your chair with its head on your lap is not being affectionate but rather treating you like a member of the pack that can be pushed, stepped on, and held down.  Dr. Karen Overall warns that such signs should be read for what they are. Dominance aggression in an overt form should come as no sudden surprise if this kind of behavior has been observed in the past."

That Darned Dominance Debate

Dog trainers often have a very hard time clearly defining what they mean by "dominance."  Many oddly state that they refuse to "even believe” in the concept, as if it were something equivalent to extraterrestial life forms or leprechauns. I find this puzzling, and a bit disturbing, perhaps because in my view, this "I won't even believe in that!" approach doesn't speak to any thoughtful examination of a complex and sometimes emotionally charged topic.