Dominance Theory
You know Trifan I have seen the most abuse done in the GSD circles. Still do. Stringing up was commonplace.
I had to ask myself is it the type of people GSDs can attract, big man, big dog syndrome. One thing I am sure when I see such "dominance" is I know the handler/trainer is week and fearful. Because if you are making choices based on better not let the dog get one over you or else. That is fear and ego talking. I wander if it is because these people are week that they are so prone to buy into this.
I think fear for sure and a lack of confidence in their chosen method. "Oh, I will put a DD collar on in case my method fails." How can you be in the right head space when you feel the need for an emergency back up plan such as this.

Yes GSD world is full of chest thumpers and air punchers. I have seen it over and over, people who bath in the accolades of their power over what is perceived as a mighty dog. Sorry, but if depriving a creature of the basic needs of life i.e. oxygen, is ones idea of power and strength then yes they are in reality weak people.
I've never heard of the DD collar when Cesar did it it looked like a rope slip lead. Whatever agree it's appalling.
Max has a funny little quirk in that when standing alongside a couch or park bench, anything that is the right height, he will prop his hind leg up on it. Is he trying to dominate the couch or bench ? I think not ! I do not discourage him from standing on my lap when invited, in fact I have advanced it to standing on my back when invited. If my old bones allowed me to get up and down from the ground efficiently I would teach him to stand on the soles of my feet.
At a tracking event when Max was approx 10 months old we were all sitting around a camp fire and I casually invited Max onto my lap. I always have treats in my pocket and randomly train when the mood strikes me in any situation. When he got up he stood on my lap as I had requested and he did his quirky thing and put his hind leg up upon my rather ample breasts, a platform of sorts, not unlike a couch or bench. Now I'm not saying that I support him doing this when on my lap but it was most definitely not a display of dominance.

OMG, you should have heard the comments from the "old schoolers". i.e. "easy to see who the alpha is in your family", "you'll find yourself in trouble with that dog, if you don't nip THAT in the bud".

Oh lordy, lordy, I just replied, "Max doesn't have a dominant bone in his body". Replies were rolled eyes, tutt tuts, long head shakes, "your call".

So here we are, Max is now 18 months old and all is well. Funny boy still props his leg on things, still stands on my lap when invited to but does not prop his leg on my breasts for no other reason than I don't like it and he now knows that now.
Trifan we also invite Dilwyn to sit on our laps he done it since a puppy and enjoys a good bit of fuss but he will get off when told or of his own accord.
I just avoid these people at all cost. Partly because everyone has their own opinion but I find it hard to respect that and keep my mouth shout when I see the poor dog. It really upsets me.
Ah the GSD world, Trifan. Not usually the crowd I hang out with. However I have over the years found some exceptional GSD trainers. In fact I would say my greatest mentor was a GSD police dog handler/ trainer. He was way ahead of his time. Exceptional dog person, his pearls of wisdom I pass on today.
Gideon is also one of those dogs that puts his rear feet up on things. It is definitely not a respect issue. He has no respect issues with me. He has done this from the smallest puppy, along with lying on the back of the couch like a cat. He likes working on uneven surfaces. I think he sees it as a challenge.
Gotta love 'em.

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