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  #31  
Old 08-22-2008, 01:39 AM
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I like the title.
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  #32  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:16 AM
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Generalizations are not my favorite...the pack theory stuff they are I guess attempting to debunk? works in some breeds and in some households...and is needed in some breeds/households.

Dominance matters...to some dogs, and some breeds...and they will actually...make their point in a serious way, if the home or owner lacks the ability to keep things structured and their roles defined.

So...in regards to pack theory being bunk and not applicable...nope not in my experience. Not all dog breeds...are "distant" from wolves, and neither is their behavior.

Those are my thoughts...
Here are my thoughts ...
Pack theory doesn't even work the way it is popularized, in wolves. Some of the ideas DO work but not because of the reasons of 'pack' theory. IE making your dog wait while you go through door first. To do that you are training your dog. Its the training that makes the difference, not who goes through the door first. It works just as well if you make the dog sit first and then he goes out the door first.

The more 'violent' pack theory stuff like alpha rolls only works through learned helplessness. Same as putting a rat on a floor that shocks it every few seconds. It does nothing but teach the dog you are bigger and scarier than him.

The other issue I have is that dogs KNOW we are not dogs. They don't treat us like dogs, so why do we pretend to be?

Killer whales and Lions live in 'packs' but you don't see the people training them trying to 'dominate' them. People 'dominate' dogs because we can.

I live in a house full of reactive assertive little napoleons. There is lots of dominance stuff going on in my 'pack' but unlike wolves it is not clear cut. I am the leader in my house NOT because I am the meanest biggest wolf. But because I am the smart human and I own everything. All the toys are mine, food is mine, couch is mine, chewies are mine, etc. I am just nice enough to share them with behaving dogs.
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  #33  
Old 08-22-2008, 09:43 AM
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Here are my thoughts ...
Pack theory doesn't even work the way it is popularized, in wolves. Some of the ideas DO work but not because of the reasons of 'pack' theory. IE making your dog wait while you go through door first. To do that you are training your dog. Its the training that makes the difference, not who goes through the door first. It works just as well if you make the dog sit first and then he goes out the door first.

The more 'violent' pack theory stuff like alpha rolls only works through learned helplessness. Same as putting a rat on a floor that shocks it every few seconds. It does nothing but teach the dog you are bigger and scarier than him.

The other issue I have is that dogs KNOW we are not dogs. They don't treat us like dogs, so why do we pretend to be?

Killer whales and Lions live in 'packs' but you don't see the people training them trying to 'dominate' them. People 'dominate' dogs because we can.

I live in a house full of reactive assertive little napoleons. There is lots of dominance stuff going on in my 'pack' but unlike wolves it is not clear cut. I am the leader in my house NOT because I am the meanest biggest wolf. But because I am the smart human and I own everything. All the toys are mine, food is mine, couch is mine, chewies are mine, etc. I am just nice enough to share them with behaving dogs.
I think the problem is that "pack theory" doesn't even work in wolves, but that has nothing to do with the fact that dogs, and wolves, are social animals that live in packs. Therefore, understanding that dogs are social animals, that live in packs (if, usually, fluid and changable packs) is useful. "Pack theory" which is a discredited model, is not. For example, my trainer made the observation that dogs have different packs depending on where they are . . . there's the home pack, the dog park pack, the training class pack . . . they know the individuals there, have a rough hierarchy, and notice when someone is missing and new individual shows up . . . but unlike wolves, there's not one "pack" because, to a large extent, we bred that out of dogs, since a dog that won't deal with anyone outside of its pack and will attack them on sight is, in many situations, exactly what you don't want.

Now, i saw a pack of pariah dogs in India that acted very much like a wolf pack . . . but they had the highest value territory, if you're a feral dog, in the city of Jodhpur . . . the trash heap. And, from my encounters with them, they seemed to have a dominant pair, which had puppies, and a group of other dogs (same dogs) that helped with the puppies. Where they the exception? No idea, and I wasn't there to study dogs. Some of the research I have read suggests dogs are like coyotes . . . they'll form family packs, if resources permit, and those packs can be quite wolf-like (though not exactly the same). But they will also split up, form termporary alliances, or go it alone. Coyotes, and dogs, are more flexible than wolves. Perhaps that pariah dog pack had formed a tigher structure because they had something very valuable to guard . . . a litter of puppies and a huge mound of food.
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  #34  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:20 AM
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Many dogs bond with other dogs in various loose packs here there or everywhere, because they are not grown ups...but eternal puppies...that is as you say, our doing.

I can only speak from my experience with a breed that really could care less about your food or your pats...but about your spirit and if it's strong enough to be worth following. Some dogs DO care about how you present yourself...and in the absence of clear leadership they will assume it.

Quote:
since a dog that won't deal with anyone outside of its pack and will attack them on sight is, in many situations, exactly what you don't want.
Lilavati...Akitas have a home pack...and that's IT...lmbo. Like I already said...SOME dogs and SOME breeds..are not distant from wolves. I stand by that comment.

The leader in a pack is not the leader because they are mean...but because they run things well. That is what I consider when I think of a canine or human leader. They run things well with minimal stress to everyone...they are not blowhards nor pushovers.
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  #35  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HoundedByHounds View Post
Many dogs bond with other dogs in various loose packs here there or everywhere, because they are not grown ups...but eternal puppies...that is as you say, our doing.

I can only speak from my experience with a breed that really could care less about your food or your pats...but about your spirit and if it's strong enough to be worth following. Some dogs DO care about how you present yourself...and in the absence of clear leadership they will assume it.



Lilavati...Akitas have a home pack...and that's IT...lmbo. Like I already said...SOME dogs and SOME breeds..are not distant from wolves. I stand by that comment.

The leader in a pack is not the leader because they are mean...but because they run things well. That is what I consider when I think of a canine or human leader. They run things well with minimal stress to everyone...they are not blowhards nor pushovers.
I suppose I should amend that . . . the reason that it was bred out of most dogs is that in most situations, a dog that will not socialize outside of its "pack" and may be very aggressive, is what you won't want. However, there are some breeds that would be exceptions to that, because that was what their creators wanted. From what I know of Akitas, and their history, it would be logical that they are that way. But they are that way because that instinct was intentionally maintained . . . in most dogs it was bred out, and with good reason. I did not intend to say that NO dogs were that way . . .
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  #36  
Old 08-22-2008, 10:57 AM
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I'd wager with the amount of minorly to majorly dog aggressive pups we have had on this forum...picky dogs, dogs that need to be approached in very specific ways...the assumption that dogs SHOULD pack up and be happy with any dog they meet...is perhaps what is archaic or a fairy tale.


I don't speak to my pack in dog...most of the time...but I can...and they always seem to get the biggest kick out of it. It's not so much that you need to speak the language well...any tourist can tell you the Native's usually appreciate the effort.
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  #37  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoundedByHounds View Post
I'd wager with the amount of minorly to majorly dog aggressive pups we have had on this forum...picky dogs, dogs that need to be approached in very specific ways...the assumption that dogs SHOULD pack up and be happy with any dog they meet...is perhaps what is archaic or a fairy tale.


I don't speak to my pack in dog...most of the time...but I can...and they always seem to get the biggest kick out of it. It's not so much that you need to speak the language well...any tourist can tell you the Native's usually appreciate the effort.
I have never assumed dogs will pack up with any dog they meet. That's obviously not true to anyone who has watched dogs. Sarama loves dogs, and will pack up with many of them after a sniff. But there are dogs she simply DOES NOT LIKE, and will never "pack up" with them, or let them near her, or live with them. And there are many dogs that are no where NEAR as social as she is. Perhaps we should just avoid generalizations about dog behavior
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoundedByHounds View Post
Many dogs bond with other dogs in various loose packs here there or everywhere, because they are not grown ups...but eternal puppies...that is as you say, our doing.

I can only speak from my experience with a breed that really could care less about your food or your pats...but about your spirit and if it's strong enough to be worth following. Some dogs DO care about how you present yourself...and in the absence of clear leadership they will assume it.



Lilavati...Akitas have a home pack...and that's IT...lmbo. Like I already said...SOME dogs and SOME breeds..are not distant from wolves. I stand by that comment.

The leader in a pack is not the leader because they are mean...but because they run things well. That is what I consider when I think of a canine or human leader. They run things well with minimal stress to everyone...they are not blowhards nor pushovers.

I agree with you. I think most people have a hang up with calling dogs pack animals because they often associate it with people that claim to train dogs using "pack mentality" Just because walking first through a door doesn't really train anything, doesn't mean that pack theory is wrong. The application in that situation, maybe, but wrong, NO.

what's really the difference if we call them social, pack, or whatever. There have been some good responses in here. Some bring up that dogs don't see us as dogs, which may be true, but most often they are interacting with people the second they are born. If a baby tiger can see a dog as its mother, or a goose can see a dog in the same way it would see another goose, I think we dont' give dogs enough credit.
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  #39  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:49 AM
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Just to point out, my friends are very into Akitas. All of theirs, while aloof, are fine with polite dogs. They are fine with dog's outside of the 'pack'

In all the research I have read, yes they are more coyote like than wolf in their family situations.

Also wild animals even when raised full time with humans or other animals don't grow up to be domestic. Domestic animals even if deprived of all human contact for the formative years are still domesticatable. (done this, personally, with horses)

So a tiger raised by a duck will grow up to be a tiger..not a duck. (maybe a bit of a messed up tiger, but a tiger none the less)
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  #40  
Old 08-22-2008, 11:51 AM
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It's true that dogs know we aren't dogs, but whether they're pack animals or not, they're descended from pack animals and that's going to color their view of, well, everything. Think of how many humans anthromorphize cats and dogs. That's because we relate everything to what is most natural to us, human behavior. I don't think it's "out there" to suggest that many dogs see their human as a pack leader. They know we're not literally dogs. But just like we see dogs through a lense of humanity, they see us through a lense of canininity.
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