Dogs are pack animals and it’s important that you establish yourself as a pack leader. They are descendants of wolves and although they have been domesticated and socially integrated into the human society, the mentality of being a part of a pack still remains.
No matter how much we love and adore our furry little friends, we need to maintain the proverbial “Chain of Command” when interacting with dogs. You should always be in charge, no matter what the situation is.
There is a reason Dogs are called man’s best friend. Beneath all that love and devotion, there is a huge amount of respect dogs give us as the alpha member of the pack.
So, how does the pack order work?
Pack Leader – Pack Order
For wolves (and subsequently dogs), the pack is their order of standing. It’s comprised of Alphas, Betas, and Omegas. There are one Alpha male and one Alpha female – they rule the pack. A number of Betas follow them. Omegas follow everyone and generally are at the bottom of the order.
In case of domesticated dogs, humans become the alpha and hold the dominant part of the relationship.
Here are a few signs that show that you are a pack leader. Go through the list and tell us which ones match with your dog!
#1. Your Dog Follows You Around
Following the master around is one of the things dogs really like to do. This also shows that you are a pack leader.
The pack code tells us that leaders or alphas lead the way, omegas are the rear lookout and betas fall as mediators for both.
Observe carefully and see if you are an alpha or beta. If the dog follows you more than anyone else in the family, then you’re in the top spot!
#2. Let’s You Walk Through A Door First
The alphas always lead the pack. So if your dog lets you go through a door, then it’s a sign that he is following your lead.
A pack leader has the responsibility of leading and protecting the rest of the pack. Your dog will be looking for protection by letting you face anything dangerous on the other side of the door. In other words, he will be looking up to you because, in his mind- you are in charge.
The same behavior can be seen with dogs and wolves in the wild. An alpha will always enter a cave first and make it safer for the rest of the pack.
#3. Adores You with Affection
Dogs are incredibly social animals. They shower people they like with love and affection. Jumping hugs, licks and kisses are very common.
The subservient attitude also comes in a form of approval from the alpha. So the constant licks and kisses you get is a sign that your dog is looking for your approval.
While wolves are not social like dogs, they have their own form in getting approval from their superiors. The affection they show also varies from pack to pack. Whatever the form of affection is, affection giving is always a sign that you are being looked upon.
#4. Doesn’t Steal or Snatch Food from You
If you are a dog owner, then you know that dogs love to eat. In the wild, they have an unwavering rule of allowing an alpha to get the first bite.
A respectful dog will not snatch food from you. As you are the alpha in the household, he will respect you and allow you to eat first.
In the household, you decide when it’s time for your dog to eat, and what to eat. You’ll notice that he doesn’t jump and steal food from your plate. He will wait patiently for his mealtime or for table scraps.
It doesn’t, however, stop them from staring.
#5. Leaves the Best Spot for You
Dogs mark their territory, it’s in their genes. But if you are the pack leader, he will leave the most comfortable spot (according to him) for you.
The spot may be occupied when you’re not present and he might have a lie-in the couch where you like to relax. He will undoubtedly get up and leave the spot the moment you’re on his radar.
It’s also not unusual for them to greet and guide you to the spot. It’s a sign of respect – one only and alpha will receive.
#6. Breaks Eye Contact First
Intimidation through eye contact is even recognized in the animal world. Dogs are no different. The eyes are the windows to the soul and in addition to growling, alphas intimidate betas and omegas with their eyes.
You are the pack leader in your household. With that, you have the ability to discipline your dog by just one look. Your dog will always break eye contact first.
The breaking of eye contact and bowing down their head also show that they are submissive to you, the alpha. It may also mean that they are sorry- in case if they have made a mistake.
#7. Stays Calm in Stressful Situations
As a pack leader, it’s your responsibility to take care of your pack (i.e. your dog) at times when they are feeling stressed out or nervous. Such times can be when you’re visiting the vet, giving them inoculations or rough weather such as thunderstorms.
You’ll notice that he will be calm during those times when you are present. That means, less whining and squirming. However, they might lose faith in you if you abuse or hurt them during the times when they’re most vulnerable.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility. And like every relationship, you have to give something to receive. Repay their undying loyalty with lots of love and the best care possible. Dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to us humans. So make the best of what time you have with your furry little friend.