The pack is the basic unit of canine social structure, which is challenging to analyze in a household setting. However, we can extrapolate what we know about dogs, wild dogs, and wolves to determine how stable hierarchies are kept.
Every doggy yearns for a sense of belonging. It’s a survival mechanism that permits them to hunt and battle enemies as a single entity. There is an alpha male and alpha female in each pack or family.
These are the most concrete positions. Alphas are susceptible to provocations to their authority, and establishing oneself as an alpha requires a lot of effort if your doggy has already adopted the role.
Below the alphas, the other pack members follow a nearly linear hierarchy. Therefore beta pack members could emerge as a strong second in the pecking order.
When wolves are in packs, how do they act? Aren’t doggies similar to wolves?
Observations of free-ranging wolf packs by wildlife biologists have provided astonishing insights into the lives of these majestic canids. When traveling, seasoned wolf pack leaders, for example, a survey from towards the back of the pack rather than adopting the lead position. In times of famine, the leaders also allow the young to eat first instead of feeding themselves.
A lack of accounts of wolves pursuing prominent places in the pack, no traces of a leader rousting a subordinate from a chosen resting area, and an alpha wolf rarely starts pinning are some interesting observations (a dominance behavior).
When the wolf kids reach adulthood, they leave the pack, find a mate, and start their own family instead of competing to unseat the pack leader. A parent-family paradigm, rather than a competing hierarchical model, better depicts wolf-wolf relationships.
Identifying the Doggy Pack’s Leader
The leader and the omega are easy to detect because they will let you know. The leader’s body language and interactions with other canines will reflect this. In the park, this is the doggy that other doggies approach, not the other way around. The omega doggies will also inform you, as they will demonstrate submission to all canines and people.
Because they have their hierarchy of dominance and submission, the middle of the pack doggies are more challenging to spot, and this can even shift among them if they’re all at approximately the same level. As a result, a doggy in the middle who appears to be dominating the majority of the other doggies may suddenly become subservient to some of them or doggies that are generally not submissive.
The position of a doggy in the pack does not alter, as we previously stated. Because these canines are still betas, this behavior isn’t contradictory. They bargain for power amongst themselves while remaining in the same rank.
How about hierarchy in your home?
In your household, who is the alpha doggy? As the provider of food and walks, experts agree that you should be the ultimate pack leader or “alpha.” Doggies recognize a leader; for example, if a doggy lives with two parents and two children, the doggy will frequently accept the leader as the parent to whom the children turn for direction and permission.
If you have more than two doggies, perform these things in the following order: alpha doggy first, betas next, and omegas last. This will help to reinforce the doggy pack hierarchy and ensure that all of your doggies know where they belong. When an alpha doggy feels uneasy in his position, the alpha may compensate by exaggerating his authority, leading to aggressiveness.
Also, keep in mind that this hierarchical system does not imply that the omega doggy receives less attention or goodies than the alpha doggy; she receives them later.
You can’t modify a doggy’s pack position until you remove all of the pack’s more or less dominant doggies. You can, on the other hand, pay attention to Mother Nature — and your doggies — and use their natural pack positions to bring balance and harmony into your home by allowing them to be a pack.