Dominance Behavior in Canids
I didn’t really even WANT to make a post about this.
The alpha-beta-omega model of wolf packs is dead in scientific literature, hammered into the ground, so to speak, and it’s been dead for over ten years. So why am I still hearing about it on TV and reading about it in articles? Why are popular dog trainers that encourage you to “be the alpha” still taken seriously?
I think the unfortunate truth is that the idea that there are strong and ferocious leaders in wolf packs and that you, too, can take on that role with your dog is just somehow appealing to people. Almost romantic, in the older sense of the word. And because of this, it makes money. It sells werewolf media. It sells dog training classes. Educational science channels that have no business promoting this false ideology keep it on board because it gets people watching.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty fed up with the whole thing.
Okay, let’s talk about dominance, particularly what the word even means, because popular media does a terrible job of explaining it.
A great and very scientific but accessible explanation of not only why dominance (alpha) theory in canids is bunk, but how dominance hierarchies actually work.
Koryos is amazing and if you want super intense awesome posts about animal behavioral science, they’re a great person to follow.
Share this far and wide and off tumblr! This theory needs to be debunked in the modern pet world so, so badly. (I find this just as frustrating as the OP does).
Fascinating… Should I revise the Heskit and Draskit story in Paradox War because of it?