Understanding the canine pack
Understanding our dog’s behavior is much easier if we have an understanding about how canines live together in packs. All canines, including our domesticated dogs have the instinct to live in packs. Below are a few short, but informative paragraphs about packs and the pack leader or most often referred to as the alpha.
The instinct to live in a pack
One of the most important instinct that a canine has is the drive to live in packs. Living in packs is how canines survive in the wilderness. A team of hunters are more efficient then just one dog hunting alone. When dog’s defend their territory they make a better threat to an intruder as a group than one canine all alone. In our society the closest parallel to a human pack is our military. Our military forms groups of men and women that work together to defend and conquer. Military is structured for everyone to work, eat, and sleep as a group or a team. However our normal human society isn’t created to live in packs. Instead we live according to our economy, bank accounts and employment which gives us the freedom to live as individuals. Canines do not have the ability to understand individual life styles.
The Leader of the Pack
Packs are formed by a social order, and within the social order the pack members are given jobs and responsibilities. There are many different roles that the canines have within their pack, some being more important than others. Let’s take a look at the most important role a member of the pack can hold, this is the leader’s position or usually referred to as the alpha.
The word Alpha has become a well-known term in dog training language. The word alpha gives the definition to a position or a vocation that a dogs holds. This office is the highest position in the social order of a canine pack and along with the position comes many jobs and responsibilities.
The Canine Alpha Has an Office
The office of the alpha is taken by a particular canine that is able to cope with the responsibilities that come with the alpha position. The alpha must make sure the pack has enough game to eat and plenty of water to drink. He also makes sure that his pack is safe from predators and has an adequate territory to live in. He must also provide a social order in the pack and within that order make sure all the members of the pack are doing their assigned jobs and are following his set rules as they live under his authority. He is in the highest office of pack society making decisions for everyone to follow.
Alpha’s Need to Make Decisions
Every day the alpha must make many decisions. What could a dog possibly make decisions about? You might ask. Below are just a few examples:
An alpha needs to decide whether or not it is time to move to better hunting grounds.
He also must determine when is the best time to hunt and were the best locations of prey will be.
Another decision an alpha has is to make is how to distribute the food to his pack in the most beneficial way.
An alpha also must make decisions on how to discipline within his pack, if a pack member doesn’t listen to his direction or becomes rebellious then the alpha must decide what action to take in the situation with that pack member.
By the examples given above, you can see the complex and important job an alpha has. In the canine pack all of the canines lives according to the alpha’s rules and his decisions. This makes the pack a very tight knit group. Everything they do is for the good of the pack and its survival. If you want your dog to respect you as the alpha then he or she must trust you to lead them accordingly.
Canines regard for authority
Dogs don’t regard the power of authority the same way most people do. Dogs don’t abuse the leader- ship position. Canines regard the leadership position as a way to serve the pack, making sure the pack members have access to what they need and protection from the dangers they encounter.
If the pack members recognize their alpha is an efficient and beneficial leader then they will not challenge this leader, instead they will follow his direction and summit to his authority. However if one of the pack members thinks that he can run the pack more efficiently then the one that is already in charge he will challenge the existing alpha for the lead position.
For More Details about Canine Packs
To learn more about pack interaction go back to the Best Friend Training home page and click on the icon for the Free Evaluation on the Free Evaluation page along the right side is a plethora of free information about packs. It is split into categories that are under five subheadings. Happy reading and enjoy learning about your dog’s instinctual desires and natural understandings on how to live.
*Our fee evaluation is still under construction, so on the evaluation sight, the icon for free evaluation will not work. However all of the information about “the canine pack” along the right-side is working.
* We are hoping to have our free evaluation working soon and when we do we will announce it on our blog.