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Life Arts    H2'ed 7/28/08

Power, Peace, and Puppies: Common Sense and Nonviolence

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[10] Dogs Rescued from Tn. Puppy Mills Arrive in D.C. Area June 30, 2008.


[12] Policies and Positions on Responsible Breeding

[13] The Original Dog Whisperer by Andy Sternberg.


[15] The 'Dog Whisperer's' style speaks volumes by Denise Flaim. Newsday. Nov. 21, 2007.

[16] Millan is careful to note that hitting should be done with a cupped hand, (apparently that makes it acceptable.)

[17] Flooding is the term used when a dog (or any animal, including humans), suffering from a specific anxiety is placed in a prolonged and forced exposure of the very thing that triggers the anxiety. Supposedly the anxiety then subsides, but it could be that it only apparently subsides, because the animal shuts down in a state of learned helplessness. One trainer put it this way: “If you are afraid of spiders, will it lessen your fear if I give you a massage with a pair of tarantulas?”

[18] February 23, 2006

[19]  Talk Softly and Carry a Carrot or a Big Stick? by Jean Donaldson, Director of the Academy of Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA.


[20] The Dominance Myth in Dog Training. Paul Owens.  Although not a perfect mirror, some similarities exist in the social orders between wolves and dogs. L. David Mech, one of the world's leading experts on the pack behavior of wild wolves, prefers to associate the term alpha with parenting. He says, "In natural wolf packs, the alpha male or female are merely the breeding animals, the parents of the pack, and dominance contests with other wolves are rare, if they exist at all.”  Mech continues, “Breeding wolves [only] provide leadership because offspring tend to follow their parents' initiative…. The point here is not so much the terminology but what the terminology falsely implies: a rigid, force-based dominance hierarchy.”  Mech’s research shows that, while breeding wolves provided the most leadership, wolves who had subordinate roles also provided leadership during travel. He says, “No alpha would suddenly run to the front of the pack and force the subordinate to get behind him.” According to Dr. Karen Overall, many animal behaviorists believe that although each member of a group works in his own self interest, that self interest manifests in shared responsibilities. It would be abnormal for one animal to constantly have to demonstrate through force that he was dominant. In reality, each situation in the group dynamic entails a collaborative effort. In the wild, these social interactions are dependent on what’s going on in the environment because success for the group is dependent on working together. Wolves have a complex communication system; we are still trying to translate their subtle language. We do know, however, that studies suggest the only situations that trigger an absolute rank hierarchy are around disasters or stressful situations relating to resources like food and sex (procreation). (Footnote for info above is: Mech, L. David. 1999. Alpha status, dominance, and division of labor in wolf packs. Canadian Journal of Zoology 77:1196-1203. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. Version 16MAY2000)

[21]Terminology Think Tank: Social dominance theory as it relates to dogs.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2007) 2, 137-140. Angelica Steinker MEd, CDBC, CAP2.

[22] Mech, L. David. 1999. Alpha status, dominance, and division of labor in wolf packs. Canadian Journal of Zoology 77:1196-1203. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online. Version 16MAY2000


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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