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Dogs are meant to live in packs, or in family groups; to hunt, breed, and raise their young together; and to protect each other. Each pack has a pecking order with the alpha animal - the strongest, both mentally and physically - at the top. The pecking order continues downward, ending with the animal with the least power. When a dog lives with a human family (even a family of one), that family becomes that dog's pack. This family, too, needs to have a caring and confident pack leader to keep things under control. If there is no pack leader, the dog will attempt to assume leadership himself, since someone has to do it. The lack of a leader can be very confusing for your dog, because he never knows what the limits are. Once your dog knows his place in the pack, he can relax and get on with being a dog. However, if he's on top, you might not feel so relaxed! A dog who feels himself to be the pack leader might growl or bite to keep you in line, creating a dangerous and unpleasent situation. It is essential that you establish yourself as the pack leader.
 

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Who ARE you .. and what exactly is your mission here? Are you trying to wow everyone with your personal knowledge? Are you just trying to be the one with the most posts? Or are you like.. the phantom of the dogfoodchat forum? :confused:
 

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Dogs are meant to live in packs, or in family groups; to hunt, breed, and raise their young together; and to protect each other.
Thats pretty close to right so far.

Each pack has a pecking order with the alpha animal - the strongest, both mentally and physically - at the top. The pecking order continues downward, ending with the animal with the least power.
You should have stopped with your first sentence because you get way off track here. What is say was the conventional thinking years ago but has been disproven in modern times. Your theory began with captive wolf packs. Those were wolf packs I describe as artificial packs because they are an bunch of unrelated wolves thrown together.

Dr. L. David Mech is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He has studied wolves and their prey since 1958, as well as several other species of wildlife. Dr. Mech spent many years in the wild studying wild wolves. In his 2003 book, Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation tell us that wolf packs in the wild are made of a male and female wolf and their offspring. So the Alpa wolf is in all reality "daddy wolf". He is the leader and makes the decisions. He is not questioned challenged because he is the daddy, not becaue he is the biggest meanest wolf in the pack. The pack follows his lead pretty much like human children and adults rely on the advice and leadership of their dad.

When a dog lives with a human family (even a family of one), that family becomes that dog's pack. This family, too, needs to have a caring and confident pack leader to keep things under control. If there is no pack leader, the dog will attempt to assume leadership himself, since someone has to do it. The lack of a leader can be very confusing for your dog, because he never knows what the limits are. Once your dog knows his place in the pack, he can relax and get on with being a dog. However, if he's on top, you might not feel so relaxed! A dog who feels himself to be the pack leader might growl or bite to keep you in line, creating a dangerous and unpleasent situation. It is essential that you establish yourself as the pack leader.
You are partially correct but you are putting too much importance on this alpha mentality. Yes, a dog needs a leader. Yes, a dog is more confident, happy, and relaxed when he knows what to expect and what is expected of him. But no, he won't turn into a vicious animal if the leader doesn't lead. He will not become the leader if he doesn't see one. He WILL wander through live being very undeciplined and not kowing how to behave if a leader doesn't show him. He will generally become a pain in the butt to live with. I've seen and worked with many hundreds of dogs like this.
 

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Dr. L. David Mech is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota.
Man, I would get tired of telling people what I do for a living with a job title like that :biggrin: You'd have to grab a glass of water in the middle or something, yesh
 

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What does pack order have to do with how dogs think and learn?

Lab2009 - you need to get over yourself. I bet you were picked on as a child, and now you're trying to be in the "in crowd".

Someone needs to give you a wedgie - you need to learn your place in the pack & it's not as the leader.
 

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Who ARE you .. and what exactly is your mission here? Are you trying to wow everyone with your personal knowledge? Are you just trying to be the one with the most posts? Or are you like.. the phantom of the dogfoodchat forum? :confused:
I was wondering this too!
 

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Thats pretty close to right so far.



You should have stopped with your first sentence because you get way off track here. What is say was the conventional thinking years ago but has been disproven in modern times. Your theory began with captive wolf packs. Those were wolf packs I describe as artificial packs because they are an bunch of unrelated wolves thrown together.

Dr. L. David Mech is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He has studied wolves and their prey since 1958, as well as several other species of wildlife. Dr. Mech spent many years in the wild studying wild wolves. In his 2003 book, Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation tell us that wolf packs in the wild are made of a male and female wolf and their offspring. So the Alpa wolf is in all reality "daddy wolf". He is the leader and makes the decisions. He is not questioned challenged because he is the daddy, not becaue he is the biggest meanest wolf in the pack. The pack follows his lead pretty much like human children and adults rely on the advice and leadership of their dad.



You are partially correct but you are putting too much importance on this alpha mentality. Yes, a dog needs a leader. Yes, a dog is more confident, happy, and relaxed when he knows what to expect and what is expected of him. But no, he won't turn into a vicious animal if the leader doesn't lead. He will not become the leader if he doesn't see one. He WILL wander through live being very undeciplined and not kowing how to behave if a leader doesn't show him. He will generally become a pain in the butt to live with. I've seen and worked with many hundreds of dogs like this.
THANK YOU!:biggrin:
 

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Dogs Thinking Power

Generally the fact is that dogs don't think at all ... either they just react to external stimuli like robots , or respond according to genetically controlled "drives." Dogs are rarely credited with the ability to solve a problem mentally; to analyze a situation; imagine ways to manipulate or control it, then take a pre-planned course of action toward a goal that was preconceived in the dog's mind. But Dogs are smart. They can, and usually do, think rings around their owners. And they can do it because most owners have never learned how to think like a dog. For examples, the can opener predicts dinnertime. The leash predicts a walk, the doggie shampoo predicts a bath etc. Here’s some more equations:

Mommy + doggie shampoo = I’m getting a bath
Daddy + car keys = daddy is leaving the house
My dinner bowl + on the kitchen counter = I’m eating soon
 

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Generally the fact is that dogs don't think at all ... either they just react to external stimuli like robots , or respond according to genetically controlled "drives." Dogs are rarely credited with the ability to solve a problem mentally; to analyze a situation; imagine ways to manipulate or control it, then take a pre-planned course of action toward a goal that was preconceived in the dog's mind.
I've got to STRONGLY disagree with that. I have had multiple dogs living with me for close to 20 years. I see them planning, solving problems, and manipulating each other and the humans almost on a daily basis.

The best example I can thing of was one day when my dearly departed Skylar walked into the den one day. I observed her during the whole next series of events. As she walked in, she looked at Zack laying on a Nylabone. You could see the Nylabone sticking out from under him. Skylar looked at the bone for a few seconds then began looking around the room. She noticed a squeak toy laying off by itself. You could tell by the expression on her face what she was thinking, "There is the answer to my problem." She walked over and picked up the squeak toy, then walked over to about 3 feet in front of Zack. She squeaked the toy 3 times then dropped it. Zack got up, picked up the toy and went to another part of the room and began to play with it. Skylar almost smiled as he got up because she immediately walked over, picked up the Nylabone, layed down across the room and began chewing on it.

It was very easy to watch the plan unfold from the second she walked in the room. You could see her brain operating as she looked around the room for a method to get Zack up. You could see the expression on her face change when she saw the squeak toy. You knew all along what was going on in her mind.

This was an example of seeing a problem, thinking it through, coming up with a solution, and implementing that solution to a successful conclusion.

I see these things happen on a daily basis around my house. One of the greatest things about having multiple dogs is watching them try to outsmart each other. :smile:
 

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I have to agree w/RFD. Dogs can and do think and they also respond as you say to stimuli such as a can opener and a dog leash. As in Pavlov's Theory. However, so do humans. For instance, this is an easy one... I, as well as my dogs know when my husband has come home because his car door slam sounds different than the neighbors and we all go to the door to greet him. This is an example of simple thinking, however as RFD stated with his dogs squeakie and nylabone example that is more complex thinking. My dogs do the same thing. As do my cats believe it or not. When one of my cats wants to play and be chased by the dogs/cats he looks around and sees who is in the room and runs by a couple of the animals and is usually chased by one of them. It's a riot to watch! :biggrin:
 
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Dogs are certainly very clever. Just note how many picky eaters there are on this forum --- dogs who have their owners constantly switching their food because the owners think the dogs don't like what they are being fed. My Gunther is certainly clever and knows how to manipulate me. The thing is, he doesn't know that I am aware of his game-playing and am just playing along with him. I enjoy watching my own dogs try to outsmart every foster dog that blows thru my home. Must be quite an education for each foster dog, huh!
 

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Well, I gotta ad my wurds in dis cuz I iz smart. I aint sur wot dat post iz all bout but iz kno dat dem dawgs of mine dun learnt sumptin. Duz dat mak me a alfa? Maw and paw aint neber called me dat be for. Day dis call me Big-un.

Now old Tater, he da smart dawg cuz he knowd how ta git wot he want. Den dairs little Lucy who is fast as liting. And den coms Pooder dats real slow in da hade but he as sweet as day come. And Tater and Lucy always lookin out for Pooder and sharin every thang wid him. And I jes watchem run and play all day.

I aint sur who taught dem to steal mommas apple pi off da winder seel but its a site to be hold. All dem dawgs runin as fast as day kan, me watchin from da swang, and momma chasin all 3 of dem dawgs round wid a broom. I don't knowd why momma wanna chas dem dawgs, she aint neber caught narie one but she keeps a tryin. After momma goez back in, I finds my dawgs and hugz them real tite and eats da last peec of da pie. Momma mak good apple pie.

Now all dat goez da showd dat dem dawgs can learnt stuff from jes bout any one. Only alfa i ever knowd wuz alfalfa on da TV show. Dat show mak me and all my dawgs laff.
 
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