Thursday, 19 February 2015

Wolves And How They Affect You And Your Dog

Your dog has a strong connection with wolves.

That means wild wolves and the connection stretches back many many thousands of years. These are creatures that survive by cunning and merciless pursuit of prey as well as fighting between themselves.

You will probably know of the background to a wolf pack where they have an alpha male and female as dominant heads of the pack. They have a ridged social hierarchy maintained the strongest and fittest wolves. The old and weakest wolves are at the bottom of the hierarchy, often starve to death when there is not enough food to go round.

The dominant ambitious alpha male, having fought his way to the top, maintains his position by sheer force. This dominance by the alpha male is the basis for many dog training programme because these programmes use the fact that dogs have inherited many of the instincts of the wolf including being subject to domination.

So there it is then - Dominate and Control and you will have an obedient dog.


The Facts

Dogs have inherited many instincts and behaviour patterns from wolves, including social behaviour. These instincts and behaviour pattens are now in the genes of your dog. However, the behaviour of a wolf, as a pack member, is very different from the popular belief expressed above. Also for thousands of years dogs have evolved as a separate domesticated version of the wolf. This is because once a few wolves became associated with human groups for mutual benefit, the wolves gradually modified some of their behaviour ( but not all) and over time the breeding of these domesticated wolves produced the basis of the dogs we have today

Wolves are highly sociable animals within their own pack. They have to be because it is only by working together as a pack that they are enabled to successfully hunt for food. This is often very dangerous if the prey is large and lethal.

A wolf pack can usually obtain enough food to sustain every member of the pack although nature sees to it that the strongest hunters get enough to keep them going thus continuing the food supply for the whole pack.

The leadership of the pack is not the hotly contested position that people assume. It comes about mainly by a sort of mutual consent and the needs of the pack. Wolves are not usually ambitious in the way that humans might be. Wolves and dogs are usually content if there is a pack leader, however, if there is a temporary situation without a pack leader they might try to take control for the sake of the pack. Obviously they don't think this way, it's just an instinct.

People who have made a study of wolves in the wild have found that very little actual fighting takes place between members of the same pack. The pack is usually cohesive and each wolf works in harmony with the rest of the pack.

You and Your Dog

So how does this affect your dog and what is the influence on dog training?

You will still use the wolf factor and the alpha dog approach but it is not about dominating your dog. It is about using the basic instincts of your dog to suggest what you want your dog to do. You achieve this by learning to read your dog and using rewards, patience and kindness.
No shouting, no striking the dog, in fact, hardly any punishments at all but lots of rewards and devoting time to your dog.

This method of dog training is sometimes known as "Dog Whispering" or "Dog Listening" but it is not a mysterious method but something any one can learn.

Elsewhere on this Website there are details of several downloadable books, e-books (for e-book readers like Kindle) and CDs. All of these promote the natural way of dog training. You can see more details of what is contained in a typical book by following the link below.