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What You Need To Know About Dog Pack Hierarchy


For millions of Americans, owning dogs is something they’ve done their entire lives. Growing up in a home with dogs can be a very enjoyable experience. Owning dogs is a great way to teach children about things like compassion and responsibility. Families that own dogs also learn a lot about patience when trying to iron out the behavioral problems their canine has.

There are over 150 different dog breeds. Each of these breeds exhibits different personality traits and physical features. Watching dogs interact with each other can be fascinating. These animals definitely operate on a pack hierarchy.


If you want to gain a better understanding of your dog, then expanding your knowledge of this hierarchy is crucial. Read below for some helpful information about dog pack hierarchy.


Dog Pack Hierarchies Are Formed Early On


Most people fail to realize that a dog’s pack position is determined very early on. Once a dog learns their position, it will never change it. The fight for dominance occurs when a new litter of puppies is born. Each of the puppies will begin to jockey for position when being nursed by the mother. Dominant dogs will get more milk because they show aggression to other members of the pack.


Submissive dogs will learn to wait during this phase of their life. The initial struggle for pack position involves food, which can be the difference between life and death for wild dogs. This makes this process both impactful and extremely primal.


Pack Positions Defined


The average dog pack will have three basic positions. Alpha is the term used to describe the most aggressive dogs in the pack. Betas are the dogs that are subservient to the alphas. The omegas are dogs that are subservient to everyone in the pack. The job of the alpha is to protect the pack. Omega dogs usually alert the pack to danger while the beta dogs play mediator between the alpha dogs and omega dogs.


How Does The Dog Pack Hierarchy Work in the Human World


Experts maintain that dog domestication started nearly 29,000 years ago. The way a dog acts in a home is drastically different from how they act in the wild. In most domesticated situations, the dog realizes that its owner is the leader of the pack. Figuring out whether you have a dominant or submissive dog is important.

Dominant dogs usually do things like:

  • Appear jealous when you focus attention on other animals

  • Mount other dogs

  • Push other dogs out of the way to be first

  • Get territorial about sleeping and eating areas

If your dog is submissive, you will notice things like:

  • The inability to sustain eye contact with humans or dogs

  • A tendency to follow behind other dogs

  • A willingness to give their toys or place to other dogs

The more you know about what type of dog you have, the easier it will be properly train them.

Do you have a dog that is exhibiting behavioral problems? If so, it is time to seek out the help of The Dog Training Academy.


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