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The whole concept seems to be so deeply ingrained that it's almost impossible to explain to people Why everything you thought you knew about 'alpha wolves', wolf packs, and dominance in canines generally and dogs in particular is wrong.

Maybe I should try harder but I just see their eyes glazing over. People don't like it when you try to cite sources while dogwalking. :-D

I didn't even try to suggest that the lady complaining loudly about another person's dogs being 'out of control' was herself quite often only in the most tenuous control of her own dogs. Brythen is certainly not very controlled, but hearing such complaints makes me feel that it's a good first step to at least *recognise* that 'dog is disappearing over the horizon, deaf to all calls and whistles' is a bad thing which requires some sort of preventative action...

Speaking of which, B. has got worse again. I suspect it's partly that he's no longer one of a gang of 4, so the temptation to wander is greater, and also he no longer has Suma Bungle to play with at home so he's not getting as much exercise there. Plus, the good weather is very tempting! Fortunately, today it rained, which was excellent. B is much more obedient in the rain, because he doesn't want to be out in it for any longer than is necessary.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
12th May, 2013 21:57 (UTC)
The dogs, after a few seconds of struggle, will look to a human as if to say, "Hey, buddy, a little help here?"


I was stalked by a pack of (captive) wolves once. It was a cold, dark February day at Whipsnade Zoo, and my ex and I were practically the only people there. There were lookouts, and the rest of the pack moved together, silently, along the chain link fence. It felt uncanny, like a supernatural encounter.

13th May, 2013 07:32 (UTC)
Sounds like one of those situations where you are suddenly very pleased about the existence of the fence...

And of course, that is quite un-dog-like, most dogs being more inclined to hurl selves at fence, barking loudly.
13th May, 2013 19:49 (UTC)
People don't like it when you try to cite sources while dogwalking. Heh.

Yeah, you're never going to convince some people that they need to look at the research... not when the media is full of Shiny Personalities telling them otherwise. *sighs*

The world seems to be full of tiny bunnies at the moment, and it's luring many a dog astray. When my farrier finally arrived this morning - running forty minutes late - he said that on his first visit of the day, his terrier had disappeared down a rabbit hole and had to be dug out.
16th May, 2013 07:05 (UTC)
Terriers! I am always pleased my dogs are quite big, so cannot physically fit into holes. More than once I have caught Az with his head and neck jammed into a hole, frustrated by his desire to climb into it by the annoying size of his deep chest. I imagine to a rabbit it must look like a dragon trying to catch someone in a cave.
14th May, 2013 10:09 (UTC)
At the Fools and Heroes Springfest at the May bank holiday, we had wolfman-themed monsters again (along with sheepman-themed and alluring-undead-sorceress-themed ones).

There was no reference to alphas at all, although the smaller and weaker wolves deferred to the bigger and stronger ones, and we tended to stay in groups. If one ran away, for example, everyone else would run away too. The leader of the wolves was very snarly and vicious, but was eventually defeated by someone giving him something to drink, rubbing his tummy, and singing to him after he'd had an exciting bit of running around and fighting - so he curled up and went to sleep.

Is this Progress?
16th May, 2013 07:03 (UTC)
Progress of a sort!

Although I'm slightly dubious about "smaller and weaker wolves deferred to the bigger and stronger ones" which still seems to call on the idea that hierarchy is dependent on physical force.

I can't say for certain that this is never the case with wolves, but in those species I am more familiar with, personality and determination is usually way more important than physical size or strength. Yama Bungle would be a good example!
15th May, 2013 07:54 (UTC)
Have you read In Defence of Dogs?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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