Subscribe to Our Newsletter
By Published On: February 4th, 2009
Sunny, Lucca and Teacher cooperating

Sunny, Lucca and Teacher cooperating

I’ve been thinking about coming up with my own theory of why dogs do the things they do, and I’ve come up with one! I like it too. I figure since we’ll never really know why dogs make some of the decisions they do, I’m pretty safe ranting on about it. I just might even be right.

I’m going to call it, though I’m open for more creative terms, The Theory of Cooperation. Skip the dominance stuff, it’s all about being cooperated with and being cooperative to make stuff happen. Dogs are social animals right? When things need to happen in a social group what’s the most effective way to make them happen? Drum roll please….cooperation among the members of the social group.

I am going to love playing with this idea. If someone else has already expressed it, my apologies, and applauds to you.

Instead of looking at behavioral issues with dogs as power struggles, who gets to be alpha, or pack leader, or who gets their way, try looking at the behavior as the dog’s way of either getting your cooperation (grrrrrr……please do not touch me!) or the dog’s attempt to cooperate with you (we’re walking right? ok let’s go, good thing I have this leash on my neck or you’d never get anywhere without me hauling you along!).

Maybe it’s simplistic and silly, but is it any more simplistic and silly than assuming that dogs just need to know who’s in charge in order to get stuff done?

Share this post