Understand your Dog

Do you understand your dog? Many people pick their dogs based on shallow reasons like cosmetic appearance. Those people are often disappointed when the dog fails to live up to their expectations. In these cases the dog is not to blame. Through comprehensive understanding of dog personality types, pack leadership, communication, and behavioral tendencies owners can align their expectations with reality and reduce incidents of pet abandonment or destruction. Consider this short documentary that shares some unique insight from the dog’s relative: the wolf. I really like how the film points out how careful owners must be with small children. Apparently dogs and wolves greet each other with clock positions on their faces with higher ranked dogs having a higher position than lower ones. Dogs who are not properly socialized can be unbalanced and a lot of the responsibility proper socialization rests on the owner.

Another really good point the film makes is about dog personalities and pack roles. The wolf researcher Shaun Ellis mentions dog and wolf personalities: Beta or Enforcer, Alpha, and Numbers. He also talks about the roles that dogs fill in the pack. My dog Heidi seems to be an alpha personality because she is always testing and always resisting us. But since we are dominate she fulfills a Beta role protecting the pack. Thumper has a numbers dog personality. He is low maintenance and supports the pack. He has a nervous and distrustful personality and he seems to fulfill a look out role for our pack.

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