All in Canine Theory

3 Reasons Why Dominance-based Dog Training Still Exists

Because science got it wrong at first.

In the 1930s into the 40s, Rudoph Schenkel, a Swiss Animal Behaviorist, studies a pack of captive wolves, and concludes that wolves in a pack fight to gain dominance, with the winner becoming the alpha. Other studies confirmed his findings: unrelated wolves in captive environments do fight for social hierarchy. However, Schenkel's theory was incorrectly applied to wolf packs in the wild for years and years, and was spread far and wide to the public as “fact.”

Canine Dominance ‘Alpha’ Theory Debunked

Nearly every dog owner has heard of the ‘Alpha dog’ theory, the idea of a hierarchical ‘pack’ system, and even worse- trainers, such as the infamous Cesar Milan, promoting their ‘dominance theory’ ideas for millions of home viewers to try out (to his minor credit, programs always advised viewers ‘not to attempt this at home’- we know how well that went).