I think it's important to establish boundaries for a dog I don't think one has to dominate them to do that but the human is in charge of establishing them.
But there is nothing in that thought that goes against the idea of a mutually respectful relationship. A mutually respectful relationship is only possible in the context of the "rules" even if unwritten. I expect EVERYONE in my household; animals, children and adults, to treat each other with respect. That HAS to include respecting boundaries and household "rules". Children, animals and even spouses
need to be taught those rules and boundaries.
At the end of the article she says:
"It's about observing the body language of another species and having enough respect that when that being, whether a dog, wolf, or dolphin is clearly uncomfortable, we don't push things to the point that they feel they must defend themselves. In the end, it's not a matter of who's dominant. It's a matter of who's more evolved--and that's supposed to be us. Let's start acting like it."
I think that is the crux of the matter. A lot of dogs get labeled "aggressive", when they are actually defensive, trying to protect themselves, and mis-understood.
An example of respect in our house…
Kodi was given a stuffed toy rabbit by a friend the other day. Last night, he was playing with it, squeaking it wildly. Usually, when he is in that type of playful mood, he enjoys a game of fetch or tug. But as I approached him last night, He started growling wildly… not his typical play growl, but the high-pitched, "I mean it" growl that he VERY RARELY uses, but is ALWAYS used in a situation where he is guarding something he values highly. Now, I know from MANY previous experiences, that if it's something I CAN'T let him have… something that could be dangerous to him, or something he just can
t be allowed to chew up, even when he is in this state, (WAY beyond being willing to trade for a cookie) I CAN go and pry whatever it is out of his mouth, and he won't hurt me. But this was CLEARLY HIS toy, had been given to him but someone he values, and he was very clear that right then he wanted to play alone. So I just said, That's OK, that's Kodi's toy!" and let him be. Later in the evening, he came and offered it to me in play. To me, that's a perfect example of mutual respect.
Some people, especially those who live in fear of their dog becoming "dominant", may have felt the need to force the issue, and "prove" to the dog that he HAD to give up the toy, no matter what. IMO, this was something that was clearly his, and there was no reason to make a federal case out of it. If he had taken something that didn't belong to him, or something that could harm him, my response would have been different, but NOT because I felt the need to show him who was boss, and NOT because I had any concern of him showing "dominant behavior".