Why, within a decade, has the birth of overly dominant subjects increased by ten, twenty, or thirty times? And what has set back, at least in part, our ability to handle this disturbing phenomenon?
One of the most frequent reasons given is the incapacity of the owner to manage the dog, but this explanation doesn’t hold in mind the comparative analysis of the quantity increase reaching back to the 70’s. During this historical period, the dog was still a “normal” animal, and the number of subjects as pack leaders was limited to very few puppies (usually, two per litter). All of the others had the gregarious instinct to submit themselves naturally to the represented “pack” of the family they went to live from their third month. Even the meek element of the family enjoyed an automatic recognition of superiority from the puppy and resulting adult dog. Obviously the Very dominant (VD) or Dominant (D) subjects require another approach from the part of the parents, but in most situations it was enough to intervene with authority at the first sign of challenge and it was not difficult to keep the dog at its rightful place. The charging authority of a single member of the family was enough to deter the dog from challenging other family members. Currently it’s frequent to find that the VD or D subject respects the authority of one member of the family, but tends to “rebuild it” with some others who are more weak (children and the elderly, especially when the leader is not at home).
Unfortunately there are current educators who are convinced that the best educational system is that of persuasion and sweet education. Very nice in theory, but far from the natural law, at least from the pack leader subjects: they frequently behave very well with the trainer, who is obviously authoritative, but will return home unmanageable or actually worsened. In my professional life I have found a large number of these situations, even if they are trained together with the parents. Underlying all, there is the consideration that authority is an innate gift and that you can’t earn. As to say that facing a pack leader subject, it’s almost inevitable, for an erroneous perception of the situation, that the whole family should bow to his rule. This doesn’t mean that such subjects are not affectionate or playful, but the dominant character will emerge in every occasion that you want to impose something or that something bothers them. Consider that many people (really too many) are convinced that it’s normal for a dog to bite a child “because they are a pain in the neck”. It’s correct to teach children not to unnecessarily harass the dog, but keep in mind that dogs don’t have any sense of time. Twenty to thirty years ago, apart from very rare cases, a dog would not even dream of biting. It would stoically endure all and as the only possible reaction (not even frequent), it would stay away to avoid the prosecution of “martyrdom”. To reiterate, when a dog bites a child, it is doing something that is not part of normal behavior.