Mutt Myth Exposed: Sleeping on Beds Doesn’t Make Dogs Behave Badly

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | July 13, 2010 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

Mutt Myth Exposed: Sleeping on Beds Doesn’t Make Dogs Behave Badly

If I let my dog on the furniture or sleep on my bed, he’ll think he’s dominant over me.

I’m sounding the Mutt Myth Alert!! Let’s bust this myth one piece at a time.

First, no one can look inside a dog’s head and read his thoughts. My dog Vinnie sometimes sleeps in my bed. When he’s snoozing there he looks peaceful and comfortable, but I have no idea what he’s thinking. Neither does anyone else.

“Dominance” is a term that’s misunderstood, misinterpreted and misused rampantly in discussions of dog behavior. In ethology (the scientific study of behavior), dominance refers to “priority access to a limited resource,” and is dependent on context and the distribution of resources. This is not what most people have in mind when they say their dogs are trying to dominate them.

In my experience, what folks usually mean when they say their dogs are trying to dominate them, Continue Reading

Consistency Counts, But What Does It Mean?

By Lisa-Anne Manolius | February 06, 2010 ~ Be the 1st to Comment

One of the things trainers try to impress upon clients and group training class students is the importance of consistency when training dogs. Consistent training sets dogs up for success by helping them learn new behaviors faster and more easily. But what does “consistency” really mean? What does it look like in practical terms? Continue Reading