If you’re aggressive, your dog will be too

Een jaarlang onderzoek met honden toont aan dat agressieve training de belangrijkste oorzaak is van agressie met honden.
“Several confrontational methods such as “hit or kick dog for undesirable behavior” (43%), “growl at dog” (41%), “physically force the release of an item from a dog’s mouth” (39%), “alpha roll” (31%), “stare at or stare dog down” (30%), “dominance down” (29%), and “grab dog by jowls and shake” (26%) elicited an aggressive response from at least a quarter of the dogs on which they were attempted.”

Een meer leesbaar artikel daarover vind je hier.

Daarbij ook even verwijzen naar de volgende bevinding, waarbij ook bij honden wordt vastgesteld wat ik altijd zeg als het over paarden gaat: dominantie is een gevolg, geen oorzaak. Dominantie ontstaat omdat een dier zich beloond weet voor het vertonen van dominant gedrag (de ander stelt zich onderdanig op), maar het is niet zo dat een dier dominant gedrag vertoont omdat hij dominant geboren wordt; hij kan een temperament en karakter hebben dat het makkelijker maakt om dominant gedrag te gaan uitproberen, én hij leert hoe het moet van z’n moeder – maar dat is heel wat anders. Bovendien wordt sociale rangorde voor 80% door “afiliative behavior” veroorzaakt, dwz: het ontwikkelen van onderlinge relaties dmv grooming en andere vormen van vriendelijk fysiek contact.
Dominant gedrag ontstaat overigens alleen wanneer een dier “resources” wil: voedsel, drinken, sex, en tot op zekere hoogte veiligheid.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior:
Dominance in domestic dogs-useful construct or bad habit? John W.S. Bradshaw, Emily J. Blackwell and Rachel A. Casey

The term “dominance” is widely used in the academic and popular literature on the behavior of domestic dogs, especially in the context of aggression. Although dominance is correctly a property of relationships, it has been erroneously used to describe a supposed trait of individual dogs, even though there is little evidence that such a trait exists. When used correctly to describe a relationship between 2 individuals, it tends to be misapplied as a motivation for social interactions, rather than simply a quality of that relationship. Hence, it is commonly suggested that a desire ‘to be dominant’ actually drives behavior, especially aggression, in the domestic dog. By contrast, many recent studies of wolf packs have questioned whether there is any direct correspondence between dominance within a relationship and agonistic behavior, and in contrast to wolves, hierarchical social structures have little relationship with reproductive behavior in feral dog packs. Nor do the exchanges of aggressive and submissive behavior in feral dogs, originally published by S. K. Pal and coworkers, fit the pattern predicted from wolf behavior, especially the submissive behavior observed between members of different packs. In the present study of a freely interacting group of neutered male domestic dogs, pairwise relationships were evident, but no overall hierarchy could be detected. Since there seems to be little empirical basis for wolf-type dominance hierarchies in dogs, the authors have examined alternative constructs. Parker’s Resource Holding Potential (RHP) appears to be less useful when applied to domestic dogs than to other species, although it has the advantage of incorporating the concept of subjective resource value (V) as a factor influencing whether or not conflicts are escalated. The authors propose that associative learning, combined with V, can provide more parsimonious explanations for agonistic behavior in dogs than can the traditional concept of dominance.