Contrary to popular belief, in Wolf or Dog packs there are no pack hierarchies. And it is not an altruistic society that looks out for one another. To the untrained eye a dog that is constantly picking on other pack members, most likely will be categorized as the alpha of the pack. When in reality they are not the strongest nor toughest dog, they just happen to be the biggest moron, idiot or stunod of the group.
If the individuals that received funding to study these behaviors had a better understanding of what they were observing, they would have never written any scientific research papers claiming there are defined pack structures and hierarchies within the packs themselves.
Even one of the most respected individuals in the field of wildlife biology ( L.David Mech) who has garnered quite a reputation as the authority on wolf and wolf pack behavior. Has said , and I’m paraphrasing here ” The notion of the alpha wolf is firmly ingrained in our psyche through lore and wolf literature and partly because of “The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species,” a book Dr. Mech wrote that was published in 1970.”
Dr. Mech is being very modest when he says “partly because of his book”. It’s usually one of the constantly mentioned attributed resources in dog training or behavior books written by others, when describing pack structures, alpha dogs or leaders of the pack.
Dr. Mech goes on to say that the alpha theories of the past are outdated and inaccurate, and that try as he may he cannot get the book publisher to stop publishing that particular book.
Hear from Dr. Mech himself in this Youtube Video.
I also have a different take on a couple of the topics Dr. Mech covered in the video, but I’m not going to go into writing another couple of hundred words unless someone is interested in hearing about it. I’m not a writer, I’m an animal guy.
Thanks for visiting
The Spirit Dog
Filed under: Breaking our bad teachings, pets, dog behavior | Tagged: alpha dogs, dog behavior, Dogs, L. David Mech, pack hierarchies, pack leaders, wildlife biology, wolf, wolf packs, wolves, youtube wolf |