I still get clients on the phone telling me how their dogs are trying to dominate them and take over their home. The poor dog is lying under a desk growling at them and they think it is trying to dominate them?! The dog is scared and doesn't trust the person standing in front of him, so he's trying to tell them to back off.
Let's make this clear first, agression is used to create more space between us and an individual we are unhappy with. A dog that snarls, growls and snaps at you is not likely to be dominant or confident. It is more likely that he's telling you he's unsure and he'd like to create more space between you and him.
So back away, lighten up your voice, count to 10 and go and fetch a yummy treat or your dogs favourite toy. Then, from a good distance, try and coax your dog out instead of forcefully dragging it out of it's hiding place. If you are too angry to do this, then walk away and give them a time-out instead.
Anger will not solve anything, it will just put a barrier in your relationship with your dog.
I've been working with dogs and behaviour issues for over 20 years now and I very rarely meet a dog that is dominant, truly dominant. Most of the dogs that have been labelled dominant are in fact nervous and fearful.
One of the big issues with trainers that work according to the dominance theory is dogs that go up on sofas and beds. The people who live by the dominance theory claim that they will try to take over your life/home/pack/etc if you allow them this high status, high up place in your home. What a load of rubbish! I have had dogs in my bed and on my sofas since I was 7 years old. My own dogs, my boarding dogs and any visiting dog to our home has always been allowed on the sofas and in our guest beds. We've never had any issues with dogs trying to rule the roost...
Look at some of the pictures below, of different dogs of different ages, sexes, sizes, all from different families. Where do they sleep, despite the access to comfortable beds of their own? They sleep crunched up together. Why would someone who is trying to take over the world feel the need to curl up next to the individuals they would like to rule over? It doesn't make any sense at all.