MYTH: My dog pulls, jumps, is a couch potato or won't let me clip his nails because he’s dominant.
REALITY: Dominance is used to explain away just every bad behavior in dogs that owners can possibly complain about. The problem is, dominance is completely incorrect. If a dog jumps, it’s because he has not learned that this is bad behavior. If he pulls on the leash, he hasn’t been taught that he should walk beside you. If he doesn’t like being groomed, he finds the brush and clippers uncomfortable or scary. Don’t worry about “dominance.” Instead, decide what you want your dog to do, and then teach him and reward him for doing it right.
MYTH: Using food is bribery.
REALITY: See this article.
MYTH: Should my dog should work for me only because he wants to please me?
REALITY: Humans can count ourselves incredibly lucky to have such wonderful creatures appear to enjoy our company and share our lives. We need to understand that this is a mutual relationship, dogs benefit from their relationships with us through getting food, shelter, play, and affection. So, when a dog does something that makes us happy, we shouldn’t jump to the assumption that a dog “only wants to please us” – they do it because they will get a treat or are able to live comfortably. If you believe that a dog only should do things to please you, you will most likely find yourself with a dog that is difficult to train because he will have a hard time discerning when he’s done something right without any reward history.