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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pack Theory....

Guess what...dogs are not wolves ;-)
Alpha Rolls are bad.

During a conversation a few weeks back a lovely woman corrected me when I referred to "My pack". She actually gasped and said I should never say is much more accurate. Ok...I needed a few minutes of entertainment I asked why is that...
Boy did I get an earful...with lots of studies by folks with fancy titles...something about alpha roles, and the TV show the Dog Whisperer (he does not have a fancy title...all the harm he does, should pulled off the air...should never force a dog)....all outdated...blah....blah...blah. I felt my eye in the early stages of twitching...I thought for sure she would be using the dreaded phrase "Pet Parent".

I smiled and asked her how many canines are part of her How well Trained... they enrolled in a few classes but things came up...the dog would rather play with all of the other dogs. How old is her dog....4, how long has the dog been a family member...since puppy hood.

I stated that I had never actually had the Pleasure of meeting the Dog Whisperer. While I am not an expert on all things regarding the Dog Whisperer, having only seen a few episodes....there was nothing I witnessed that made me say he should be pulled off the air. No....did not agree with all he said, he was entertaining, spoke clearly in a way his clients could easily understand...he stayed until the people could easily get the same results.
He seemed dedicated to improving the relationship of human and canine and guess actually have the ability to change the channel, nor do you have to hire him ;-)
It would seem to me that he has done more to advocate daily the life of the dog then most. Let me also add that there are those individuals that want immediate results, there are those folks that have been through three four trainers and still needed help.

OK folks.... In my household I am part of a pack...and I mean that with the utmost respect. I do indeed realize My dogs are not wolves.
While I have had moments of insanity... I would not invite a wild animal in my home...on purpose...hmmmmm Gemma was truly a "wild" dog...and well ok, there indeed is a critter living in the attic and s/he has out smarted me at every turn and just refuses to pay rent, or vacate the premises. Every few days I hear scratching in the ceiling....a little gnawing and the "Pack" and I will go in that area of the house and make allot of noise....the dogs bark....I bang on the walls....tap on the ceiling with the broom.
I have done my best to get a couple of the dogs to meow...they just refuse ;-)

I really do refer to my "family" as a "Pack"...I use it in an endearing....loving, and above all...respectful way. With four dogs, well they are a pack.
Oh...just as they are a pack.... I am the head of the household (you will be very happy to know that the gov. thinks of me that way as well)....and when one of my furry friends can hold down a paying job and pay taxes (several in past packs have actually worked to earn their kibble), serve dinner, be in charge of my grooming (and licking bare feet is not at all what I mean by grooming) they too can be the head of the household....I would gladly be a pack member. Hell, I would be happy if they would just vacuum up their fur on a daily basis ;-)

Human Nature....our chests puffed out...many of us realllly want to be the leader, in charge....Alpha. I am the Big Dog ;-)
When you share your life with a pack, the most amusing thing is that sometimes....well not so much. My sister would share with you that any shoes left about in my house would soon find it's way into a Goldens mouth and eventually be used as a tug toy. Yes indeed...they know leave it and drop, sit, and down....but an unsupervised shoe... just way to tempting and soooo much fun....they are anything feet obsessed.
Would they really dis me like that...I am after all the pack leader...aren't I
The dogs are smart enough to know I am the one that is in charge of feedings (a Personal Dog Chef...just one of my many "titles")...all treats, food comes by way of me.
Go past one of their feedings to see who is really in charge ;-)
Love and affection....yep....lots of that in a healthy pack....respect....more of that. I wear many hats...have many titles....that of entertainment coordinator, doggie walker
and if you read my post about the new dogs beds....all the comfort I can afford...all these things are given, though not freely....there indeed is a price...

Kidding aside they actually all do have a job and all earn their kibble. Their job be my ever faithful companions (comes natural to them) and to work along side of me responding to obedience commands....accompany me on walks, fetch, agility....and yes, even have some fun with shoes left about unsupervised.
My Theory... Nothing in life is free.

I wonder...
Has all the analyzing helped the dog. I am right, your wrong just seems silly to me.
All are fully aware that canines are not wolves...

All dogs require daily....Yes Daily Exercise...fresh air is good. All dogs should know the Basics in Obedience. Somewhere along the way the Basics in Obedience has been "dumbed down".
Many folks do not successfully teach their dogs Sit. Sit is actually more then the dogs touching his/her tush to the is pretty amazing to actually go through the entire process of teaching something so basic as a solid sit with distractions.

Nothing makes me smile more then seeing a dog and his person working together...and the dog having the ability to do a nice solid sit. Why is that so important....that is an individual that has taken the time to educate themselves and their dog...spend time with and actually get to know the dog. Humans, we sometimes do not know just how much the dog, in the process of us teaching the dog, just how much the dog is teaching us. It is a wonderful experience for both the dog and human.

In all of the years that I trained dogs and their people...the dogs...oh so very easy. In my career I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most intelligent have I worked with a few dogs that gave me a run for my money....boy oh boy did they make me work...what a learning experience...canines are so giving and so willing to teach us a thing or two.

The humans, funny I used to so often chuckle and say that many a dog was 10 steps a head of their people, and not just on leash ;-)
To our dogs, we are a quick study. They being so much better at reading our body language, tone in our voices...oh and the things they can smell about us.
In spite of of this we manage a way...and our dogs, oh so very patient as we fumble along, and then once we "get" too does the dog. ;-)
"Lord...Help me to be the person my dog thinks I am" ;-)

No need to To borrow a phrase....Just do it.
Exercise, play, train....make time for your pack...two legged and four ;-)

Just as I know my pack is not a wolf pack, neither are they human, nor are they my children. I respect and love them for who they are... dogs, furry companions.
They are Magnificent creatures that I have chosen to share my life with...and we make an awesome "Pack".

What are your or there such a thing as pack leader?



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