One of the topics Dr Dodman discussed in his seminar was aggression and “dominance”. While people often confuse the two for being one and the same, they are not. Dr Dodman was careful to point out that “dominant” dogs are rarely aggressive.

One interesting point was that “dominant” animals have high stable levels of serotonin in their brains while aggressive animals have low unstable levels if serotonin in their brains.

“Dominance” is a term that is so over-used today that it has lost much of it's true meaning. Dominance refers to the status between two individuals, so a dog can't be “dominant” in isolation. Unfortunately, it has become so popular in today's society to refer to any and all behavior issues as dominance related, when they rarely are. Can dogs be dominant? Yes, but it does not explain all or even most of the obnoxious or naughty behaviors exhibited by most dogs.

For dogs with true “dominance” related issues, Dr Dodman says his program works in 9 out of 10 cases. What does his program consist of? Pretty much the same thing my program does, and most other positive-reinforcement based trainers: a good positive non-permissive leadership program. Dr Dodman does not promote or use punishment of dogs for any issues, and he works with some of the most severe cases you'll find.