Salon, Kelly Lauerman (Click on the Salon link to read a great author interview) It's news that should shock and delight dog owners, scolded for decades by trainers and dog whisperers that they must relentlessly assert their dominance over their dogs: Yes, it's perfectly acceptable to let Fido sleep in your bed.
You can also let him enter a room before you, and you can let him win at a game of tug of war, all without fearing that you will somehow signal that you are the submissive one and he is in charge. Contrary to long-cherished theories, dogs aren't competing with us for position in the pack, but are largely performing for our approval. And that -- no matter what the Cesar Millans of the world would have you believe -- is because much of what we've been led to be believe about dogs' hard-wired behavior has been totally wrong.
In his densely illuminating new book, "Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet," John Bradshaw explains how our understanding has been skewed by deeply flawed research, and exploited by a sensationalized media. In place of the rigid, often violent, alpha-led wolf societies we once believed produced the modern dog were actually cooperative, familial groups. And in place of the choke-chain school of negative reinforcement should be a training program based primarily on the positive.