Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog training - dog behavior

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 15th, 2011, 06:22 PM
millitntanimist's Avatar
millitntanimist millitntanimist is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
They establish a hierarchical relationship and top dog gets first pick of food, toys, resting area, etc.
I don't know if that's true. Dog social relationships are a lot more fluid than their wolf cousins. Dogs don't form packs like wolves, a wolf pack is a family unit. They are groups of monogamous hunters. The "alpha" male and female are the breeding pair and the rest is made up of their juvenile or adult children - all of whom work to raise the next generation of pups (in fact, since the pups are offered all of the best resources and have a great deal of social freedom, I think there's a convincing argument to be made that they are dominant ). A wolf hierarchy is naturally more rigid because otherwise offspring would start breeding with parents and that makes for bad genetics. The size of a wolf pack is also directly dependent on the type of game available. Wolves in areas that only support small game do not form packs, there is too much competition.
In contrast, domestic dogs are non-monogamous scavengers. They occasionally form loose associational groups but that is not their "state of nature" unless they are beholden to a food source that requires it. They do not form groups that pool resources to raise young. Since almost all feral dog populations exist around human settlements and garbage dumps there is no need for a hunting group to form - again, too much competition for resources.
My point is coming, I swear :P
It is my experience that dogs in houses function much the same way. They do not form rigid "pack" hierarchies. One may take preference in food sources (we feed out dogs from puzzle toys), one may take first access to toys, and one may get the best sleeping spot. It's more of a free-for-all and the order is always subject to change. No one animal commands all resources all the time even if one animal is deferred to more often because they are more assertive in claiming said resources.

Originally Posted by SamIam View Post
If you side WITH the more dominant dog, you will have a happier safer family.
In our house the best behaved dog gets first access to resources - this means that everyone behaves very well .
Reply With Quote
Old May 15th, 2011, 08:58 PM
SamIam SamIam is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 447
My dogs are a pack. They are, however, a pack of dogs and not a pack of wolves.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:13 AM.