Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Like a Pack of Wild Dogs
The more you study animals, and dogs in particular, the easier it is to understand humans.
Humans are social predators; pack animals.
Look at the human face -- eyes forward, same as a dog or a lion or a wolf.
In mammals, eyes forward is the sign of a predator, just as eyes on the side (cows, deer, rabbits) is a sign of a prey species.
One reason humans feel such an affinity with dogs is they too are social pack predators.
Not only do dogs make us part of their pack, but if we have a proper relationship with our dogs, we are also the “alpha” leader of the pack.
This is why dogs are popular across the world, and across all economic sectors.
While almost everyone has to be subordinate to someone else at some time in their day, nearly everyone is King or Queen at home with their own dog.
It should be said that dog packs, like armies, churches, and offices, have hierarchies. To step outside the hierarchy is an act that generally results in a response designed to symbolically restore the order.
Not everyone is comfortable with this.
Folks who are not dog people may see an omega dog in a pack as a pitiful thing which must show submission to the alpha female or male, and which eats last, and must ask permission to go through a doorway.
But is this life really any different or worse than the army private who cannot go the to Officer’s Club, or the new hire at the company who does not have a parking spot?
Labels: dog training