Social Dominance in Canids is Not a Myth

There is so much confusion when dominance in canids is discussed.   It actually is not that confusing.  Much of the confusion arises when “experts” attempt to re-state the findings of canid experts such as Dave Mech and Marc Beckoff – even suggesting that dominance is not part of the social structure in wolves or other wild canids.

I stole the title of this post from a post written by Marc Beckoff at the Psychology Today Blog and relating to a subsequent and sincere apology from Lee Charles Kelley.  If the subject of dominance in canids is important to you, it is important for you to read these posts.

I do not write about dominance in canids to explain canid behaviors or to guide people for how to train dogs.  I discuss and explore dominance in canids because dominance can be a valuable AND COMPASSIONATE  tool for capturing and handling feral or fearful dogs, which is the theme of this blog.

Thank you Dr. Beckoff and Dr. Mech for your persistence in clarifying your behavior observations.

Respectfully, Dr. Mark

One Response

  1. Its very hard when you work with shelter dogs to understand many aspects of the feral dog, but in so many cases in my shelter reading Dr. Mark’s blogs and posts have helped me with the dogs I work with. The “dominance” that I find in many intact males that come into my shelter find solace in knowing I won’t harm them. I owe that to the workshop I took with Dr. Mark. Thank you!

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