Ranking in dogs and wolves
To understand certain behavior of a dog, you can sometimes look at how the wolves behaved. Dogs descend from the wolf, so the ranking in a dog still plays an important role. To explain what the ranking means, let’s go back to the natural behavior of the dog and / or wolf in the wild. Being aware of your dog’s ranking is helpful not only in training but also in bonding with your dog.
Dogs and wolves are pack animals. This means that they live in groups. Wolves need each other to survive by moving as a group:
- larger animals can be hunted
- can provide several for the boy
Such a group has a number of properties:
- communication takes place between the group
- there is cooperation and division of tasks
- there is a ranking within the group
The alpha bitch
Many people think that the men in the animal world rule but with most animals the woman is the leader. The alpha female is the only one in the group to give birth. The strong male in the company is her partner. Due to stress in the group, the other bitches cannot get into heat, but they do sometimes show false pregnancy. This allows the other bitches to feed the puppies so that the alpha bitch can immediately go in search of food again.
The alpha bitch is also the one who eats first. The rest is there crying and restlessly around, but they leave the bitch alone. Then the next in the rank will eat a piece. The order in a pack is as follows:
- Alpha bitch
- Strongest male
- Below are the other males (this order is determined by fighting)
- The other bitches
- The puppies
Today dogs are often kept as pets. In this, the dog sees people as a pack and must therefore also have his rank in this. The human should always rank higher than the dog because the dog will recognize them as superior and will obey. During the socialization period, especially from the fourth to twelfth week of life, the dog learns to determine the order in the group in a playful way.
How to learn what his rank is?
- don’t go to the dog, let him come to you
- start a game yourself and end the game whenever you want
- brush the dog
- do not feed the dog until you have eaten
- make sure the dog has its own place to sleep
- act confident by, for example, maintaining an upright posture during training
- never punish him in his own place
This is just a small list of things you can do to help rank your home. Dogs will see children up to about 7 years of age as lower in rank due to behavior and height. So be careful with your child if he / she, for example, wants to disturb the dog while eating and / or drinking.
Dogs among themselves
With dogs, a ranking is always determined. If you already have a dog and a new one is added, the oldest remains in most cases in higher rank. The older dog may choke the young dog to let the puppy know who’s boss. So don’t correct your senior dog in that case. You can tell from the dog’s attitude whether it is submissive or dominant. The dominant dog is always above the submissive dog and that is often clearly visible in the tail, head, hair, etc.