Do you believe in "pack theory" now?

I want everybody who comes across this to star it for me proves a big point. -warning, this is a 10 minute video-

Youtube thumbnail

&feature=related This video is on YouTube but Ed himself added it so there's no copyright infringement. Anyway this video demonstrates pack behavior (raw, instinctual pack behavior in puppies). It shows how aggression is a normal part of pack behavior and I think it also proves that pack theory isn't theory, but law. So my question is -legit- What do you think of pack "theory" after watching this video?

Also no "dogs know we're not dogs" talk, I know this, most people know this, but just because we're humans doesn't mean we're not viewed as pack members/leaders to a dog.


Bindi? I've studied wolves (non-captive) and yes, there is a social structure. Only the dominant female has pups, if the other females get pregnant they're either chased off, have their pups literally taken by the dominant female, or they're killed...I've also seen a pack make a kill and literally be kept at bay by the dominant pair, and seen the dominant pair get up and leave and the rest of the pack follow...without getting a meal...if that's not hierarchy I simply do not know what is. Also dogs are technically a subspecies of the Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) as they are sited as Canis lupus familiaris. Also as far as rescource guarding, as you can see, it's an instinct, not a bad habit. It must be trained OUT of the average dog and isn't something that's usually accidentally trained INTO a dog (like 90% of bad habits). Dutch, I've been good, I've been on a witch hunt for a new stud, finally found one, an Iko vom Ausland son...ridiculously hard dog, dark eye, I predict Kkl1 in his future!

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I wasnt aware that anyone with any expertise questioned pack theory.

    It seems obvious to me - I spent years with horses, and they do the same thing.

    I am puzzled why someone would think that positive reinforcement could not coexist with an understanding of pack behavior.

    Ed uses both in his training....I have his DVD on marker training.

    Source(s): lots o dogs
  • 1 decade ago

    When I first started working with dogs, "pack leader" wasn't the phrase on the tongue of every person who thought they knew something about dogs. There was no Caesar. I just observed groups of dogs and used what I saw between them as a reference for working with them myself. I never had a real name for it, but simply from observation I had a pretty good grasp on how things worked between dogs and how their body language functioned as a part of that structure. Just by watching, I clearly saw pack dynamics and over time I learned how it worked - and it fascinate me.

    In the past, I really didn't know how to explain what I saw - it seemed so obvious to me, I didn't understand why other people didn't get it. Now, because these things are so much more mainstream, I have an easier time of explaining it to people.

    Unfortunately, celebrity ruins everything - and this is no exception. Part of me feels that people like Caesar have taken a good thing and ruined it by celebritizing it.

  • 1 decade ago

    I've always believed in the "pack theory." I have always had multiple dogs and there has always been a "pecking order." It's a natural behavior in dogs.In litters of puppies,the alpha pup lets itself be known fairly early on by fighting for the best teat,then fighting over the food bowls,toys,etc.But I always let my pups know that that kind of behavior will not be tolerated and they would later eat together with only an occasional scuffle over food. And of course I can always reach into my dogs' mouths and take whatever is in there.It's important to teach the dog that you are the alpha,especially in a family with small children.

  • I will simply say, I have always believed in pack theory, even before watching this video. Its what dogs relate too, and instinctually go by. For quite some time, i have been applying pack mentality methods, with my dogs when training, and in return, i have a very well balanced, disiplined, structured pack of dogs, who view, and respect me as their leader.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I absolutely believe in the structure of the pack, and I really don't know how anyone, in this day and age and with the wealth of information and studies available, NOT believe that this is the natural order of canines. Heck, just watching domestic dogs in any kind of a group is proof enough, unless some people just truly don't recognize and understand dog behavior.

    Your addition is true, what you say of the wolf pack, and even people like Jack London recognized its validity and included it in his stories. The pack and hierarchy structure is ingrained and prevalent in many animal societies, such as apes, big cats, and even flight animals like deer and horses, as Monty Roberts figured out and shared with us all. It's not a fanciful notion. It's just fact, and one of the most useful ones to know when dealing with dogs.

    Source(s): Current Veterinary Technician student Years of personal and professional experience
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Curtis...all serious trainers believe in the pack fact! This fact has met a lot of resistance lately because of all the bunny hugging new fangled methods of training that flourished and the all positive garbage that has surfaced in the last few years.

    All dogs, no exception, function out of one fundamental drive and that is the pack drive...everything else comes out of that drive and develops.

    Yes, there are some dogs that are so badly bred and so screwed up while being raised that their pack drive has all but vanished, but, those dogs do not last long either....

    ADD: Bindi...Killer whales cannot wear a prong or an Electric collar on their necks, but, they also cannot blow a recall out on a busy 6 lane highway and go splat...they can only swim to the other side of their pool. People that I know who train dolphins for Special Warfare have told me that after training a dolphin for several years, investing millions of dollars into one, when they hit the open ocean for training or a real deployment, they have a less then 50% chance of recovering that you know why?

    No reliable recall, no negative consequences when the dolphin did not come back, so, since they were never proofed correctly, they can do as they please.

    No Bindi, your clicker articles are not telling you the whole story, you still need physical corrections to proof a dog!

    Hope I helped.

    Source(s): Realist
  • 1 decade ago

    I have 5 generations of my dogs who all run together. Spayed, older girls, younger unaltered girls and in tact males from 6 months to 12 yrs. "I" am alpha. They all know it. I am the pack leader. Everyone has their own place in the pack and when a dog who has left me returns, he's low man on the totem pole and accepts it. I have only had an issue with one of my boys and it's not the girls he wants, it's me. I am the trigger. Since I'm with them most all day every day it's usually when they "help" me clean the dog room that Jordan gets testy. The first time he snaps at someone for getting to close to me, he's snatched up and sits in a crate ( time out LOL ) until things have settled down again. Works for us. : )

  • 1 decade ago

    Thanks so much for posting this.I have one dog out of the 11 and I thought he was the pact leader as he always wants to fight when he is next to my husband or has something that he wants no one else to have.I find out watching the 20 that he is the lowest in rank!! How interesting.Watching the 20min video I had my husband watch also to learn how to be the pack leader as my boy knows I definitely am and does;nt pull any crap with me.It is my stance and my voice that he listens to,no hitting or screaming just thavoice and stance..I am so happy I saw this,Thanks again as I totally believe in this now and now know tha ranking of my is the link to the 20 min version

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, I am not sure why you found that so enthralling or concrete evidence of pack structure. It was resource guarding. More than just pack animals resource guard. I have seen Tigers, penguins, mice do exactly the same behavior.

    Did you really think protecting life sustaining food was not instinctual? He asked in the video what obedience training would you use to correct this...Duh, proper nutrition, the degree in which something has value depend on how much you need it. You notice he starved the puppies first to bring out this behavior. Satiated animals are far less driven to risk injury by fighting than starving animals.

    Sorry, while I think understanding pack behavior is important, you forget that most likely the lone wolves which did not do well in the packs are the animals that humans began feeding and domesticating not the strong pack minded ones.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have always believed in pack behavior. Can't you tell by my screen name? :) The pack order is very clear in my family. I can take a raw piece of hamburger and put it right next to my dogs say only one word and they won't touch it. I can put them in a down stay and put it almost touching their noses and then watch tv and they still won't touch in until I tell them ok. I have very balanced and well mannered dogs.

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