WOLFDOG BEHAVIOR 101
UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL RANKING/ORDER
AND "PACK DYNAMICS" IN THE WOLFDOG HOME TM
Wolves/wolfdogs/canines are extremely social animals and live in groups called packs. Packs comprise of top ranking leaders..sometimes referred as the alpha.
Once you bring a wolfdog into your home/life he is a part of your pack, your pack can be you..and your human family, as well as other animals in your household. Remember, in the WOLFDOG PACK..you have to be the leader and you are in charge of the pack dynamics!
You lead by example...you lead also by what you allow them to do passively.
This is achieved through your direct participation in leadership. Indirect participation is when you see a lot of behavioral issues, as like a naughty child a animal will run a muck.. It is crucial to always reestablish pack order when greeting your companion after long bouts of being away, please find exercises that will reenforce this boundry.
Once you have a clear understanding of what this is..........
(YOUR ROLE IN PERSONAL PARTICIPATION WITH SHAPING A ANIMAL , YOUR WOLFDOG) and the consequences of direct and indirect involvement , the better you will understand what is normal in a wolfdog and his behavior. You do indeed have the power to sculpt it by reinforcing desired behaviors and putting down undesired ones.
This is the secret...reading them (knowing their ways)...and applying what you are seeing by positive reinforcements and gently steering away negative behaviors as you build relationships. A animal that does not have a relationship with the household members will not do well, or if it is fear driven.
Fear driven is not how one trains a wolfdog, as it can cause lots of issues. Trust is the core...for a confident well behaved companion pet. You must build and stabilize trust....your outcomes that are pleasing and predictable build this trust.
Canines/wolfdogs have a rigid social structure that is based on a dominance hierarchy, somewhat like a king and queen, and their court. An alpha pair (if there is one), or you the lone alpha, lead the pack.
( I have noted that my male and female lead our other 5 wolfdogs, however when we are present, we lead them, this is to be your goal) If we are not around, as the Alpha's, they acquiesce to another adult in our family if the action calls for it. Note this is again all relational. If your animals do not have a relationship with certain people, they may want to test them/try them, or they could totally be the opposite and submit. There much like children with a babysitter, some mind and some do not at all listen. Start making the rules..and enforcing them, commit to consistency...tey key to molding a pleasant demeanor.
Wolfdogs in a pack can work in tandem, deciding where and when to move in a yard, pen, or in the house. I have noted that when I just move a few feet inside my home..they all get up and follow, when I sit down, they sit down. Almost like...monkey see, monkey do! A silent acknowledgment of my Alpha status. If you want to know who they silently respect, watch this pattern in your pack.
it holds the position of the alpha card and then reinforcing.
The rest of the your household members of the pack are considered the subordinates;
Next in the hierarchy in your household pack, is the beta, the last the omega (last rank)...you will have one!. The beta can be male or female, human or other animal that is present in the house. Here lies some of the struggle if you have multiple animals or people. One maybe pushy to the other and thus some conflict. It is up to you at the time to direct this energy and put it down. Not only does it reinforce the pack dynamics,
Subordinate are lower ranking than the leaders (you ect) See the ranking in your mind as A, B, C, D, ect. Never try to rearrange or force a unnatural order outside your Alpha ranking and your human family. We are talking about lesser ranking animals. Wisdom needs to prevail. This spells alot of trouble...anger....frustration..ect. This will happen on its own. You can sculpt to a point, but you cannot reinforce a omega position to frontal Alpha.., as all hell will break loose. Positions in the family can indeed change over time, however be aware it is natural and not something to be pushed or forced into, unless is your Alpha ranking.
You may note sometimes if you have more than one animal, the leader of the wolfdog group has to greet first. If they, the other pack members run ahead first, this could cause disruption in a form of some fighting, as they are out of order. Same with feeding. The alpha eats first. You as a human would be wise to have your animals watch you eat dinner first. Yes we know they will be begging ect...but don't feed them scraps. Enjoy your meal...get up from the table and then feed your animals. In the wild, the lead wolf eats first..or gets first choice, then the subordinates get their fill of the lesser desirable tidbits, or picked over areas. Often a Alpha can punk a lower ranking animal for a position to feed on a carcass he finds that he now wants. Be careful what you are reinforcing!
These behaviors are hardwired into your wolfdog and normal. You must reinforce good behaviors and put down undesirable ones as the leader of the WOLFDOG.
Always feed your animals if you can, in the order of their ranking, IF YOU DON'T KNOW THIS..PLEASE TAKE TIME TO LEARN!...as it is important to your pack dynamic, and understanding the why's and how come's.. Getting it out of order will cause confusion and even aggression, remember its almost like a insult. To many times doing this, in the negative, could lead to some serious fights and injuries and lead to more aggression. REMEMBER....it takes awhile to know their ways. STUDY STUDY STUDY your animal and others...... Nothing is as insightful then your personal experiences.
These are AHA'S opinions....they are based on OUR cumulative personal experiences with wolfdogs. One cannot discount a actual experience or experiences AND how they have shaped our views.