Alles over clickertraining en mijn flatcoated retriever Tom.
Daniëlle » Dominantie


Boek aanrader (engels):

Plenty in Life is Free. Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace. Kathy Sdao, ACAAB.

Echt een aanrader! Het basis idee van ik moet de baas zijn is ook in veel 'positieve' training nog aanwezig. Maar heet het nu NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) en de hond moet overal voor werken en krijgt dus niets meer gratis. Kathy laat haar ideeën hierover zien, waar het vandaan komt en waarom dit niet de beste manier is om met onze hond om te gaan en welke (betere) alternatieven er zijn.

Interessante artikelen op internet in het nederlands over de misverstanden rond dominantie:

Interessante artikelen op het internet in het engels:

Dominance and Dog Training

Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Position Statement

There has been a resurgence in citing "dominance" as a factor in dog behavior and dog-human relationships. This concept is based on outdated wolf studies that have long since been disproven. Contrary to popular belief, research studies of wolves in their natural habitat demonstrate that wolves are not dominated by an "alpha wolf" who is the most aggressive pack member. Rather, wolves operate with a social structure similar to a human family and depend on each other for mutual support to ensure the group's survival.

Dogs are not wolves. The idea that dog behavior can be explained through the application of wolf behavior models is no more relevant than suggesting that chimpanzee behavior can be used to explain the intricacies of human behavior. While wolves and dogs share some similarities in behavior, there are many more significant differences. Dog training and behavior modification strategies that rely primarily on misinterpretations of wolf behavior are therefore irrelevant, ineffective and can lead to serious negative complications.

While dominance is a valid scientific concept, the term "dominance" itself is widely misunderstood, such as when it is used to describe the temperament of a particular dog. Dominance is not a personality trait but a description of a relationship between two or more animals and is related to which animal has access to valued resources such as food, mates, etc. It should not be used in any way to support the belief that dogs are out to "dominate" us, especially as that misunderstanding causes some people to respond with force and aggression. This only serves to create an adversarial relationship filled with miscommunication and even more misunderstanding. The unfortunate result is often anxiety, stress and fear in both dogs and humans towards each other. The use of techniques such as the "alpha roll" on dogs, which is based on these mistaken beliefs about dogs and wolves, has no place in modern dog training and behavior modification. Dogs often respond to this perceived threat with increased fear and aggression, which may serve to make a behavior problem worse and ruin the dog-owner relationship.

The APDT's position is that physical or psychological intimidation hinders effective training and damages the relationship between humans and dogs. Dogs thrive in an environment that provides them with clear structure and communication regarding appropriate behaviors, and one in which their need for mental and physical stimulation is addressed. The APDT advocates training dogs with an emphasis on rewarding desired behaviors and discouraging undesirable behaviors using clear and consistent instructions and avoiding psychological and physical intimidation. Techniques that create a confrontational relationship between dogs and humans are outdated. Modern scientifically-based dog training should emphasize teamwork and a harmonious relationship between dogs and humans that fulfills both species' needs. Most of all, it should be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers encourages and supports continued trainer education in order to promote gentle, effective, fast, and fun ways to train dogs using the most up-to-date information and sound, scientifically-based methods.

For more information, please see related information on our Web site at


APDT Board of Directors


Approved 10/20/09

E-mail from Sue Ailsby about Dominance.

I think it's time for some serious talk about dominance.

I don't want any of you to let the "dominance" thing go to your head!

The dominance model of dog behaviour is an easy one to understand, and supplies simple rules for people to follow. Unfortunately it's partly wrong and it leads to people thinking unfortunate thoughts - like "he runs out the door because he's trying to be dominant".

Dominance, if it actually exists in a group, is not a linear situation. It's circular, flowing. Possession IS 9/10 of the law. THIS dog may be the boss in THIS situation, but THAT dog is the final authority in THAT situation.

99% of dogs don't give a hoot who gets to be the boss. The key point - THE KEY POINT - is that they have to KNOW what the rules are. Who's going to pay the bills? Who do we report to? Who's in charge of the food?

While typing the last paragraph I had a sideslip to a Hutterite colony. This is a communal community. Everybody works for the benefit of all. Within each colony there is a livestock Boss, a kitchen Boss, a vehicle Boss, and so on.

What this means is that there IS no Alpha dog. There Can Be Only One - or two, or three, or whatever - and that One is me. Not because I'm bigger, or stronger (or smarter), but because I make the rules and let everybody know what the rules are. If a dog is standing on my lap, or a child is throwing toys at my head, it's not because they want to be Alpha, it's because *I* have failed to let them know what the rules are.

When I'm talking about dominance, I often say this:

Every dog needs to know what the rules are and who makes them. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels know that the boss is the person with the money for Dairy Queen. If there's no boss, there'll be no ice cream today. Cavaliers sit around every morning talking like this: "Spot, are you going to be boss today? Me? Oh no! I was the boss yesterday! Too much responsibility! Hey, I know, let's get mom to do it!"

Giant Schnauzers, OTOH, know that the boss is the person who makes the sun rise and the grass grow. When you wake up in the morning, they'll be sitting beside your bed staring at you. "What do you people want?" "We just want to know if you're on the ball today. It's nearly time for you to make the sun rise!"

Dogs, like children, need rules. Rules provide stability, confidence, security. It doesn't really matter what the rules are, as long as there are rules. Dogs and children, unaware of rules, will push their limits until they find some.

They play head games to determine what the rules are. And we frequently lose the games because we didn't realize we were playing. All the "No Free Lunch" programs are designed to help humans play and win the games. This is truly a win-win situation, since, as I mentioned, the dog doesn't care who actually comes out on top in any given situation, so long as the rules are clear to everybody. Some No Free Lunch programs are confrontational. This is not the way dogs normally operate. All group-oriented animals have huge numbers of body language "words" to help them avoid confrontation. Fights only happen when communication about the rules has broken down and the body language discussions aren't solving the problem.

Leading The Dance is the name of my version of the No Free Lunch thing. It's specifically non-confrontational. It's designed simply to help humans establish or re-establish rules so everybody can live together comfortably.

Once in a while a dog (or person) comes along who doesn't speak the language, or simply refuses to be a communal creature. These dogs (or people) or safest placed in situations where they can't harm anyone or be harmed.

Sue Eh?

LEADING the DANCE (Sue Ailsby,

Building A Better Relationship

Leading The Dance is a problem-solving tool. Use some of the items for the rest of the dog's life - particularly the feeding regimen, song, and roadwork. Continue others only until the dog understands that good things come to him through you. When he graduates, release him from the items one at a time over a period of several weeks, watching for him to go back to his old ways. If there's any part of Leading The Dance that is liable to get you bitten, DON'T DO IT and GET HELP from a competent trainer! If any of the exercises are causing you more trouble than you can handle without getting into a fight with the dog, leave them out. The more exercises you do, the faster your results will be, but FIGHTING WITH THE DOG IS NOT THE POINT. Also, be SURE that Leading The Dance is used as part of a coherent clicker training system. Leading The Dance is about your relationship with the dog and about setting both of you up to succeed at training.

1. Umbilical cord - As much as possible when you're at home, keep the dog on leash and with you. Put a 6-foot leash on the dog, and attach the other end of the leash to a sturdy belt around your waist. Ignore the dog and go about your business. Having to constantly watch what you do and where you go will bond the dog to you and make you important in his eyes.

2. Eye contact x 2 - twice a day, sit down with the dog between your knees, and use a known cue such as Watch Me, or make funny noises, or tap the dog's nose and then your own to get ANY eye contact, reward that eye contact with a click and reward, and quit.

3. Obedience x 2 - Twice a day, have a quick working session using whatever the dog knows how to do (Down, Sit, Come, etc), repeat as needed. Train for a couple of minutes each session. Do NOT touch the dog to praise him.

4. Feed x 2 - When food is left down for the dog to eat, the dog owns the food. Instead, feed the dog twice a day in a confined area such as a crate or the bathroom. If he doesn't know how to immediately clean his dish of everything you offer him, teach him to eat.

5. Possession is 9/10 of the Law - At least once a day, handle the dog. Repeat the words These are my ears! This is my paw! This is my muzzle! This is my tail! as you handle him. If he fusses, go slower. It's important that the dog has a positive experience - that he comes to see that you will be handling him and it's of no concern to him. When he's completely relaxed and accepts your handling, say OK and release him. If your dog won't allow you to handle him like this without getting angry or getting away, DO NOT do this exercise. Do the rest of the exercises and use the clicker to teach the dog to allow this handling later.

6. Long Down-Stay - Do one 30-minute Down-Stay every day. You can watch TV but the dog must be in plain sight and you must be aware of him. If he can't stay down on his own, confine him instead. Keep him in sight and, if he's fussing, reward him with a click and a treat when he's NOT fussing.

7. Sing a Song - make up a silly song using the dog's name. It doesn't have to rhyme, only make you smile and get the dog's tail wagging. Sing it to him (he won't criticize, I promise).

8. I'm-The-Mommy Down
– At least once a day, just because you felt like it, tell him to down. When he does, use your voice only to tell him he did a good job, say Okay, and walk away. If he doesn't know the cue "down", use the clicker to teach it to him.

9. Leadership Is In The Eye Of The Beholder - Consider life from the dog's point of view. He sleeps where he wants, he eats when he wants, he leads you around. Any wonder he gets the impression that he's in charge? If he goes through a door or into stairs or a hallway ahead of you, simply turn and walk back in the other direction. Try to position him or yourself so you're leading and he's following. If he's lying down, don't walk around him. Put your feet on the floor and shuffle right through him (note you don't kick the dog, just push him gently out of the way) - make him think about where you are and what you're doing. When he orders you to let him out, take charge of going outside. Build a ritual around the door. Focus his attention on you: "Do you want to go out? Sit! " When he sits, go to the door. "Want to go out? Sit. Down. Sit. Stay." Then open the door: "Okay, go outside!" You change the situation so you're the leader. Keep the dog on the floor. Not on the couch, not on the chair, not halfway up the stairs surveying his domain, not in your lap, not on the car seat. On the floor. Don't leave the dog loose in the house or yard when you're not home. Free run of the house when the Boss isn't home allows the dog to feel powerful and responsible for the house and what happens in it. Don't allow the dog to sleep on your bed, or on a child's bed. Dogs recognize the bed as a throne for the Boss. If he sleeps away from you, though, he may think that you own the bedroom, but he owns the rest of the house. He should sleep in your bedroom, but if that's impossible (allergies, for instance), confine him to his crate.

10. Work Off Energy - Roadwork adult dogs 4 days a week. Start small, but work up to a mile for small dogs, 2 miles for medium dogs, and 3 miles for large dogs. Many problems will disappear with no more effort than road-working. You can jog with the dog, or ride a bike, or longe him with a Flexi, or use an ATV, or lend him to a jogger who's afraid of being mugged. Be sure that puppies have ample opportunity to play. The "Come Game" (calling the puppy back and forth between two people and rewarding him for each come) is excellent for giving puppies exercise AND for teaching them to come. Speak to your vet about the difference between "ample" exercise and "too much" or "not enough" exercise for puppies.

11. Busy Pawss Are Happy Paws - Consider the things your dog likes - getting petted? Food? Toys? Chasing a squirrel up a tree? Whatever it is, remember that YOU are the one who can supply him with it. If he loves to chase a ball, he might jump at you, bark, try to grab it out of your hand - if you throw it while he is behaving like this, he'll continue to behave like this because it got him what he wanted. If you wait until he's NOT jumping on you, or until he's momentarily silent, or until he sits (even if it takes ten minutes), and THEN throw the ball, you'll be showing him that GOOD behaviour, not bad behaviour, gets the ball.

12. Eliminate Hormones - Have problem dogs neutered. Some problems will solve themselves with no more effort than this. Not only will the dog be healthier and easier to live with, but your life will be made simpler.