Tales From The Pack #6

Back in the pack again!

This time we’ll look at feeding time.

In the pack situation, the strongest and highest ranking dogs will always eat first. Followed by the highest ranking females, then the other adult dogs. Older pups get the scraps while the younger ones are fed by their mothers and occasionally by other pup-less females.

If a lower ranking dog tries to muscle in on the food while the higher ranking dogs are feeding, there will inevitably be a lot of snarling and menacing shows of teeth as the higher ranking dogs put the interloper into his place. If he persists, then a fight will likely break out until either the lower ranking dog is dismissed or he proves himself and ousts his seniors. In which case he attains a higher rank and things settle down quickly.

How does that translate into the home?

Well, if a dog growls at you when you approach while he’s eating, then its a sure sign that he feels he outranks you and he’s just warning you away from his food.

The way to get round this behaviour is to have a look at some of the other posts in this series and see if you are allowing him to lead you in any way. If he does, then you can correct the behaviour by making sure you take the lead and he knows it. Once his rank has been taken away, his behaviour should return to that of a lower ranking dog.

Terry Didcott
Dogs Wish