Lv 5
CoCo asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Are your dogs "Pack Oriented"?

Ok, I would like somebody to explain to me exactly how that works. Apparently, I am a "bad dog owner" because I allow my dogs to sleep in the bed with me, and get on my furniture, and eat when I eat. Does all that crap really matter?

Does it matter, even if my dogs know I'm in charge? Does it matter, even though they have all been well-trained and socialized? Should my dogs be "pack oriented"?

Thoughts/opinions. No thumbs down please.


Hello Sunshine, I completely agree. They are NOT brats, and really never have been. They are all on schedules, me and my fiance aren't though. Sometimes we eat at 4 or 5 and other times we don't eat until 8 or 9. So is it fait to them to make them wait to eat? I don't think so.

Update 2:

Ruby Sky- That's a bunch of crap. We have had our oldest male for over a year, he's never mounted either of us. We've had our female for over 3 years, she's never pressed her "rear" against us. Neither of our males "mark" in the house, and they are both unaltered. If you have had problems like that, maybe you need to get better control over your dogs.

Greekman- I understand completely, you work with dominant dogs. What I was getting at is, do you feel it's neccessary for the average person to have a pack oriented dog? If my dogs are all well-behaved and listen to me no matter where, why, what time, etc., then does it really matter if they are "pack oriented"?

14 Answers

  • Boss
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The difference between humans and dogs is that the concept of pack structure comes naturally to dogs- not to humans. If dog owners constantly focused on pack mentality, we'd go insane. Dogs aren't stupid enough to think we're dogs and they don't lose respect for us if we don't adhere to their ways of life. If you want to let your dog sleep with you, allow it on furniture, and feed him when it's convenient for you, by all means, GO FOR IT! That's what I do. I enjoy sharing my furniture with my dogs and it would be punishing me to ban them from it.

    When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is that your dogs behavior is under your control and they earn privilages on your terms.

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of dogs have dominance issues. As in, normal socialization, play, and training doesn't keep them pointed in the right direction. Some dogs are more dominant than others, and require a little extra "rules" in order to be a pleasant dog to be around.

    Dogs not allowed on the furniture unless invited, is a great rule of thumb. If dogs get possessive or growly at other people on the furniture, they need to get down, and stay down. Same goes for the bed.

    As for eating? I think the most important thing is for a dog to learn that YOU GIVE THEM FOOD when YOU say, not the dog eats whatever he wants all the time. This shows authority without you sitting down to dine, and then HIM.

    All dogs have SOME pack in them. That's why they want to be with you. They're social creatures who like to hang out, and need to know their place, within the pack.

  • Amanda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Typically when I advise people to let the dog be inside and a member of the pack it's under the assumption that if they make their dog an outdoor dog they'll fall into the trap that most owners of outdoor dogs fall into--forget about/don't have the time for/don't feel like it today/weather's too icky to go out and play with the dog for two hours or more a day. Working dogs kept outdoors are working dogs and as such get frequent interaction with their human pack mates in the form of training and such. Owners of outdoor working dogs seem to often have more than one as well so the dog usually does have a companion to play with. [Edit] Majestic is correct, dogs have a much looser pack structure than wolves do. The most rigid pack structures are seen in feral dogs like Dingos and the pariah dogs of Asia. They function pretty much as Majestic put it. They may group up to hunt or they may wander off alone or in small groups to scavenge.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, they are!!! I purposely select and want dogs with a very high pack drive. That is one of the most important components in a dog's temperament for me, always has been.

    What people fail to understand is that ALL dogs do EVERYTHING out of pack drive. Our world may be colored but theirs in very much monochromatic, it's either black or white, period.

    Having a dog with a strong pack drive makes things easier for me to train and maintain at home and at work.

    My dogs tend to be VERY geneticaly dominant and I xould not have a dog that was not willing to accept direction and orders from me, the pack leader and alpha male.

    In my house there are rules that WILL be followed regardless of when, what, where and why...thats is just the way it is and my dogs know this. No, there are no animals allowed on the furniture, they are not allowed on my bed, some dogs are not even allowed to sleep in my bedroom in their crates, they have that much dominance issues and they will not sleep where the pack leader sleeps.

    Depending on the dog, most sleep in their crates at night, some dogs get to sleep out of them.

    Yes, I do eat first and yes I do walk through doors first and they do move out of my way when I am walking through.

    People let these little things slip by and slowly a dog will start acting differently...that is the first thing I ask when I evaluate a is the dog treated?

    I am not sure if YOUR dogs should be pack oriented, they come that way naturaly and they should remain that way for the rest of their lives too. Hope I helped!

    ADD: Courtney...If your dogs are behaving the way you say they are, then they have a strong pack drive, one does not work without the other!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I run 11 adult american bulldogs in a pack and ppl think I am crazy but it works for us! They know I am master and they are dogs. They sleep in my bed, take over the couch, beg for food when I eat, play together in the yard, go for frequent training/socialization sessions, eat a raw diet, and constantly build pack mentality. I would not have it anyother way! They don't hump or do the rear end thing either. Nor do my males mark in the house. I think it is the best way to raise stable dogs. They learn to form working bonds with their packmembers. Here is a pic of dinner time....this is so crazy!

    wont let me add link to photobucket will try another time! sorry

  • 1 decade ago

    If your dogs are respectful of you, obedient, and not challenging you for authority, then all of those things are fine!

    Furniture access, meal timing, etc... those are all things that can *help* to establish a "pack order" for you and your dog. But they aren't going to solve all problems, or magically make a dog obedient and respectful.

    If your dogs aren't brats, then let them keep the privileges that they have. If they challenge you for authority or "dominance", then remove the privileges.

    My dog sleeps up on the bed (sometimes, when he's invited up), but is not allowed on any other furniture (just gets too hard when I have guests over who don't want a shedding dog in their lap the whole time). He usually eats before me, because he is on a feeding schedule and I am not.

  • ♥L
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Our house and schedule sounds a lot like yours...and we don't have any issues. My AB was a brat when she was a pup, and we had to kick her off of our bed, but she's grown out of her brattiness :-)

    I think as long as the dog's know the you tell them to leave the bed or get off the couch and they do...then you won't have any issues. I think having good pack leadership is necessary, but I don't believe the feeding times and furniture really have a major effect on it. Why should it matter if you feed your dog before you eat or are still the pack leader because you are the one with the never ending supply of food in their eyes.

    I don't know...maybe I'm wrong...what the heck do I know LOL! I'm not an expert...that's just my take on it! Our life style works for our dogs...maybe it wouldn't for others.

    For the record: my dogs are allowed on the furniture and our AB sleeps on our bed every night. Our other dog prefers the floor, but joins us in the mornings on weekends. We wouldn't have it any other way :-)

    Also wanted to add that...I do not allow my dogs to go through doors before me and they know the command Move...means for them to move out of our way. I think that there are plenty of different pack leadership skills that we do in our house...and that's why we don't have issues with dominant dogs...and haven't had problems with them being on the furniture.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I say that as long as you are okay with how things are done in YOUR home then who cares what others think of you as a pet owner. If you are fine with them on the furniture and sleeping with you-so be it.

    Just as long that there is no question as to who has authority. I on the other hand don't allow Milly to sleep on the bed, she is crated at night. I don't allow her in our son's room. We do try to feed her around the same time everyday whether we eating or not. She doesn't challenge us in any way and that's just how it works for us. The label 'Pack oriented" is just that a label. Your home is ran how you choose. PERIOD!

    Source(s): Me. Myself and I...
  • 1 decade ago

    My dogs sleep on my bed and sit on my furniture. But I'm still the alpha dog to them. Good for you for socializing them, dogs who can;t be around other dogs without going crazy is way a huge problem. Not where they are sitting or sleeping or eating. If they are happy and so are you then to heck with everyone else.

  • 1 decade ago

    I let my dog sleep on the bed with me, and get on the furniture... He eats at seperate times though, I usually make him wait, depending when I eat.

    I don't think that necessarily makes you a bad owner- you need to be in charge but I find nothing wrong with being on the bed or furniture, as long as you okay it.

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