To be an effective dog trainer or dog owner for that matter, you need to understand the pack mentality in dogs. To understand dogs mentality we need to go back, way back in time long before dogs were domesticated.
History before the wolves tells us of the large size canid carnivores, the Canid family can be said to be divided into the “wolf-like” and “dog-like” animals of the tribe Canini.
This might suggest the evolution of the wolves, but I are not saying that these were ever domesticated, so I will leave them here.
Some theories on the domestication of dogs have suggested that the domestication of dogs or to be technical Canis lupus familiaris all started from the domestication of the gray wolf being technical again Canis lupus many thousands of years ago.
It is the largest member of the Canid family of wild social predators who lives in the nuclear families,which consist of a male and mate, who together monopolies all the food and rights to breed.
These rights are then passed to their biological offspring and sometimes to their adopted family. They primarily feed on live meat, which they hunt in packs. They are at the apex of most predators within their range, as their only significant threat is from humans and maybe lions and tigers.
According to Archaeological records the earliest known domestication of dogs was at somewhere around 30,000 BC, but for certainty around 7,000 BC.
As far as evidence goes the earliest clear record of domestication is the discovery of the first dog found buried with humans from around 12,000 years ago in Israel in East Asia.
The reason for this little history lesson is to let you know that during these times that these animals lived in packs and that all packs must have a leader or the Alpha.
Despite the fact that dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still possess the inherent dog pack mentality associated with the pack.
This ultimately means that your dog considers you and your family to be members of the pack that it is part of. With this dog pack mentality it is only natural that the dog expects that there be an Alpha of the pack.
This is where you the dog owner/trainer comes in, it is vitally important that you take and execute this role effectively. Within a dog pack hierarchy there is no democracy there is only leadership, sit means sit and stay means stay.
If you are not prepared or willing to take this role your dog will, especially if you have a big dog like a Rottweiler who by nature are very dominating.
I know as I have two myself and have raise around 50 pups in the pass 7 years or so and even now the oldest ‘Lion’ a female still likes to have her own way sometimes.
While the male ‘Rock’ he tried for a while when he was a puppy when it came to his food. Now he has excepting me as the Alpha.
With a dogs pack mentality they only go after leadership when there see that it is lacking, but they are perfectly happy for you to be the leader.
However, if you allow them to become the leaders you will be in for a lot of problems, from they taking you for a walk to they wrecking your home.
Those in the pack follows the leader with sole intention of pleasing the pack leader, this is how they fulfill their role in the pack.
So it is imperative that you assert yourself as pack leader from day one by establish the rules of the pack.
Understand a dog’s pack mentality encompasses the fact that you should be the first to do everything and that you should be the one to initiate everything, e.g. activities.
Understand and accepting the role as pack leader also means that you have the responsibility to treat the pack members with the highest amount of respect and love.
Treating your pack members this way will command loyalty and ultimately your dog will respond very well to your training.
So the moral of the story is that we must understand dogs pack mentality and that you have to be Alpha and be in charge of your pack. Dogs need you to be a leader, so you job is to learn how to be an Alpha of your pack.
They are inherently a social pack animal and they have a dog pack hierarchy structured of leadership with the dominant or Alpha dog at the top of the pack this is you.