Forget the idea of alpha and dominance, that I don't buy into anyway...but the idea of dogs living in "packs" also makes me want to peel off my eyelids every time som'one uses it to explain behavior.
My dogs live together, they eat together, they hang out. They play, they share things, they chase each other. What a lovely little pack right?
Most people see a group of dogs in a home and think that, wow look they formed a pack.
Here's the thing.... My house has doors. My yard has a fence. My dogs hang out because they have too. Not because they want to. They get along because I've intro'd them correctly, given them each enough space they don't feel crunched and I've trained them to put up with, or even like, through countercondtioning, the other dogs habits they find annoying.
The dogs didn't "form" anything. I went out, acquired them, and now force them to live together. Kinda a new perspective on animal ownership eh?
if I left my gate open, and I wasn't here. They would wander off. I can't really say who would stick around, and who would leave, but with so many smells and things to do, I can say staying nearby is pretty boring. I imagine Tippy going the furthest, she gets so intense when she finds a scent.
Ironically, Tippy is the most attached to us, IMO. Yet, she'd be the first to bail.
I don't really envision them staying together either...maybe run down the same road until a split, and then, each engrossed in their own interest, part ways.
There are ALOT of stray, and dare I say feral even, dogs here. I see them alone, I see them in groups...BUT I always see them in DIFFERENT groups, or I see group members ALONE and then back again, but with a different group. They don't stay together. I've seen it with my own eyes. I don't need to travel to Romania, or to the Mexicans dumps. Its happening here. Right here in Socal.
Iam not a leader. Iam a resource. Just like a stray learns a house will provide food, since my dogs do not free roam, they have learned I provide food. Or attention, or access to things, etc. The dogs stay with me, not because they respect me as a pack leader. But because they need me, on a physical, or emotional level to survive.
Perhaps its the logical side of me that can say that, and not feel any ill will towards the dogs, and can not feel that cheapens the relationship we have. Truth is truth tho, truth doesn't not cheapen anything.
I tend to see things in a mechanical way, and not romanticize everything. Pack leader is a romantic title. Unfortunately, while I have no problem with romantic notions, in and of themselves...the over romanticising of ideas such as this one, can be to the detriment of our beloved dogs.
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