The Alpha Fallacy

Dr. Ian Dunbar | Mon, 08/04/2008 – 10:19

The Alpha Fallacy It is popularly held that rank is established and maintained by physical strength and dominance and that the more dominant (i.e., higher ranking) dogs are more aggressive. Hence, dogs that frequently threaten, growl, fight and bite are often assumed to be “alpha” animals. Not so Joe! The above assumptions are quite awry. Not only do they betray a theoretically simplistic view of a most sophisticated social structure but also, such notions tend to be counterproductive, inhumane and dangerous when cavalierly extrapolated to dog training, or the treatment of behavior problems.

From Sandy: When the “Alpha Theory” came about they were studying wolves that are NOT related to today’s canines. The above excerpt is just one of many long time and highly respected dog behaviorists.

Leave a Comment