At Cherry Hoggs when we speak of the pack theory we are specifically talking about the pack mentality of the animals. Within packs there are hierarchies, which come down to each individuals unique characteristics and personality.
We are firm believers and correction and reward, just like how humans learn. Correction seems to have a strange misconception of being inhumane… there is nothing wrong with saying no to your dog and making them understand markers to correct.
At Cherry hoggs we study the psychology of our dogs to understand the behaviors particularly using segregation methods against the dogs as who wants to be away from their pack, this is our greatest advantage when training. This gives our dogs a clear black and white contrast of what’s expected when we want them to modify a behavior
The pack dominance theory is something completely different to the pack theory of how dogs have a pack mentality. This has not been ‘debunked’.
Read the paper to understand. Especially If you believe you are your dogs “mum” or “dad”.
Debunk by definition:
expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).
The pack theory of Dominant Hierarchy came into existence between 1930 – 1940 when two Swiss scientists studied a pack of Zoo wolves living together
Several other studies took place shortly thereafter which supported their findings
Including Dr. David Mech, a renowned scientist and wolf expert, studied wolves in the wild as part of his PhD thesis. The outcome of his study was the publication of his book in 1970 entitled, “The Wolf” that totally supported the early alpha and domination theories of the two Swiss scientists. Years later, after further study and observation of wolf packs, Dr. Mech changed his mind
In 2000, he wrote a paper that was published in the Canadian Journal of Zooloogy which reads that the wolf dominance pack theory is totally misleading, based on the fact that the Swiss study was limited to the behavior of wolves living in a zoo
(We are FIRM believers that no animals should be kept in captivity!)
Similar hierarchies are present in many animal “packs” – not just the wolf. It is particularly evident in animals with obvious social groupings such as primates, dolphins, several types of birds, elephants, hens, etc.. The hierarchy is a “pecking order” naturally understood within the groups.
Mech claims that a pack of wolves in the wild is nothing other than a “family”.
Simple family dynamics are responsible for the pack structure, which points to the “dad” and “mom” as what would be considered “alpha”, and the “children” following, learning from, and respecting their parents.
Dr. Mech points out that unrelated wolves forced to live together in captivity causes tension and fighting, which is the reasoning behind the more hostile findings of the earlier study.
Dr. Mech’s paper was a turning-point for believing whether or not the pack theory of dominant hierarchy really exists.
It has now been debunked by many dog professionals. Confusion exists as people debate the social interactions of dogs and how they learn
SO… IS THE DOMINANCE THEORY DEBUNKED?
I guess a good place to start looking for answers is by determining whether or not we believe that dogs actually descended from the wolf. Due to their more trusting, dependent nature, a true domesticated dog could not have survived a day in the wild now. However they still share 98.8% of the same DNA.
If you continue to read Dr. Mech’s research, he does state that unrelated wolves will sometimes join another “family” of wolves. When that happens, these unrelated wolves blend in and submit to the leadership of the parent, until perhaps mating with the parent’s offspring and starting a pack of their own.
This all makes sense.
So, after we boil it down, what type of “assemblage” are we left with?
An “order”, a ranking, dare I say, a hierarchy?
The issue here is not so much the terminology… whether it be “family”, “pack” or “hierarchy”, but rather what it suggests.
Stronger, more assertive, wolves lead their pack. The more submissive members follow.
Therefore by the definition of debunked. It’s not quite, as they still move in packs and although there is not an aggressive dominant alpha, there still is a leader of the pack.
Not like how we’ve been media manipulated that meat is good for you AND your dog! Now we actually have Scientific facts that it’s completely false, this a real debunked theory