Studies call the "alpha dog" concept into question

07/21/2010 |

The concept of an "alpha dog" that dominates the pack stems from a 1949 animal-behavior theory developed largely through the study of dogs trained in the German military. More recent studies show leadership is much more fluid among packs of dogs left to sort things out for themselves. This Psychology Today piece posits that the newer view means training should take the form of behavior modification through positive reinforcement rather than the more aggressive tactics preached by trainers such as Cesar Millan.

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