It’s important to know how dogs interact socially amongst themselves without human intervention in order for us humans to be able to communicate with them better. Some of the most groundbreaking studies were done recently on free ranging dogs in different parts of the world. These studies try to discover how dogs live, interact, and what kind of social structure will occur amongst them.
Being a leader does not mean that we need to be aggressive or instill fear because there is a difference between being an assertive and trustworthy leader, and a dominant and aggressive dictator. Do you remember a great teacher you loved and respected in school? Were they mean? Did they scare or hurt you? Probably not. They also likely did not gain your respect by bribing you either.
Learning to be our dogs leader entails changing many aspects of how we interact with our dogs, to show them they can trust us, and look up to us to be their leader. That being said, leadership is something that is earned.
Once you are able to earn your dogs trust as their leader, this is when your relationship with them will flourish.