What’s wrong with words like Alpha, Pack Leader, Leader?
We humans have made them bad for our dogs.
First of all, dogs do live in a hierarchical society.
So do we.
We live in a family order, from siblings to parents to grandparents – and so on. Family order means you don’t have to worry about a place to live, food to eat, and who does what to survive.
We live in an ordered society – city government that keeps you safe with law enforcement, provides drinking water, drivable roads (hmmm), activities, and other daily needs. Again, so you don’t have to worry about basic needs.
A government system that takes care of a society’s place in the world, keeping us safe from global threats and providing forms of trade that make it financially better to live.
What about our jobs. Yep. Basic everyday workers, to specialized workers, to a hierarchy of bosses and business owners.
Other primates live within a hierarchy. So do horses, cats, chickens (pecking order), etc.
Why are we now insisting our dogs don’t need this kind of order?
Because we took a small aspect of their pack lives and blew it out of proportion.
We focused only on punishment.
Yes, packs do have a punishment system, but nothing like what we turned it into. Alpha rolls, torture techniques, yelling, anger.
Yes, sometimes the alpha and even the beta dogs have to carry out some undesirable actions, but it’s because an offending dog is doing something that is considered a major threat to pack survival.
Alphas (totally just a scientific term to designate the dogs in charge – again, we made the term bad) who are brutal – yes some are – usually end up without a pack. The pack takes it for so long, then often disbands.
Packs need good leadership so the pack does not have to worry about their big needs – food and safety.
Leadership = keeping rules so the pack thrives.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.