Call it whatever you want, but a dog the regularly controls resources is above the other dogs in hierarchy.
And yes a dog that obeys commands is trained. He obviously understands what you want when you give a command. But what motivates him to obey?
Commands always roll downhill. At work, in family, society, in animals. They never go up hill and equals do not command each other.
The dog whining at the door is not a valid comparison. The dog is not commanding you to get up and let it out. You have a choice. You can sit there and ignore the dog. But hopefully everyone is intelligent enough to realize if they don't let their dog out, the dog is going to pee on their floor.
But when you tell a dog to sit. You are not ASKING it to sit. You EXPECT it to sit. IF the dog chooses not to sit do you say to yourself, oh well, and walk away? ( probably a lot of folks do that) But if the dog refuses and knows the command it was given, most people are going to work on that. But either through reward and repetition, or whatever method a person choose use. The goal is to have a dog obey. And if it obeying you even when it does not want to ( Example - you put the dog in a stay in front of two dogs running and playing) then you have control and are socially higher than the dog. If you were not, the dog would blow you off and run out and play with the other dogs. And why are you dominant at the end of the day.... Because YOU control the resources. That is exactly why NILIF works so well.
That is the same reason you listen to your boss... He or She controls the check book.
Now.... I DO think folks get way way too wrapped up in Alpha, Dominance, etc.... When I hear someone talking about it, I roll my eyes....... They caught the Cesar Fever..... I NEVER talk about dominance or Alpha when I am training people. We didn't talk about it 35 years ago. But we knew it was there. But just because people go overboard with it, does not meant it does not exist.
And just because there are "experts" that have discounted it exists in canines..... Does not make it so. For every "expert" that says it does not exist, there is an "expert" that says it does.
It is there.... Not just in dogs, but people, all higher animals. The only question is.... How big a part does it play in a given animals life. You don't have to be an "expert" to see it. It is there right in front of you. If there are five doe deer in a field and in season, and three bucks walk into the field, one buck is going to run the other two off and breed the does. Pick any animal and you do not have to look far to find some social aspect of that species in which dominance does not play a roll.
Now someone is going to say but dogs and deer are VERY different. Yes they are.... But if you see a stray dog in heat in a vacant lot and three male dogs come into that lot... One is going to run the other two off and breed the female. I have a feral cat feeding station outside my office window. Every day, when the lady comes and dumps the food, all the cats rush in to feed. But there is this big biscuit headed Tom that takes his sweet time. When he gets there, all the other cats back off the food and stand clear. He eats his fill and they wait, sometimes he lays down by the food and rests before eating more. They all wait. Whenever he decides to move off the rest of the cats feed. Is that cat not dominant?