I had a conversation recently that made me think about the words we use in the "dog world". I try to be careful about certain words, like aggression for instance. Sometimes people use it to describe their dog when in reality they mean something else. I always hesitate to label a dog as aggressive due to the fallout of what that means for the dog. They may be acting aggressively in a specific context, however that doesn't mean they are aggressive all the time. Aggressive can be a label that can become a death sentence for some dogs.*
I personally think the word dominant is being over used in dog circles (thanks to a certain TV personality) and I know another trainer that hates the word reactive. All dogs are reactive if they are alive is her point. Something happens and they react to it. That can be as simple as a can of food being opened. (Soups on! The dogs arriving at the dinner bowl is their reaction.) Instead we tend to hear it used as a description word for dogs that get snarky or barky at something/someone. "The dog was being reactive". I'm sure I've used it that way myself. It seems we all have our hot button words.*
It also occurred to me why the phrase "Be calm and assertive" rubs me the wrong way. Why? Well, isn't assertive another word for pushy? Shouldn't we be calm and confident? How about calm and attentive? Either is a better choice for how we are with our dogs if you ask me. Just my two cents.
Speaking of words do you suppose fewer people would dock tails if we really called it what it is: cutting off puppy tails? (ref "cropped" photo above) Food for thought.
What words do you dislike in your world of dogs?