By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Do you sometimes feel your dog is trying to dominate you? On this week’s Pet Project, Carol Erickson discusses whether dogs are actually trying to be dominate or not.

“I want to do something that debunks a lot of the nonsense that I think you hear and everybody else hears from a lot of dog trainers who say the dog is trying to dominate you, you must be the leader,” Erickson said.

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Erickson says there is a great article in the You Dog news letter from Tufts University. Their behaviorist has very interesting ideas on the topic of dominance.

Erickson says the idea of a dog being dominate is “nonsense” and says that “trainers keep offering it up and are telling you that you’re too lenient and you’re not showing the dog who is boss.”

According to the veterinarian behaviorist from Tufts University, dogs do not have a need to be dominate and therefore they do not need to be trained away from the tendency.

They simply want easy access to something they want but they’re not lording it over you.

According to the head of the Tufts Animal Behaviorist Clinic it’s fine to let them sit on the couch, sleep on your bed, unless it interferes with your comfort.

Dogs are social. The higher the perch, the better they like it.

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This is an example as to why you find dogs on stairwells all the time, because they like to survey where they are — not trying to dominate you.

Another one is when they are walking in front of you, some people say “heel” or “stay back there.” Erickson says they are walking in front of you because they are excited to sniff something or maybe get through the door easily, not to say, “Hey, I am better than you are.”



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