This is completely untrue. wild dogs (canis familiaris) feral wild dogs are not known to form packs. they will form loose tranisient relationships with other dogs in the area, Wild dogs are scanvangers not hunters. the pack is more of hinderance than a help.The Alpha of a Dog Pack
In the wild, dogs live in packs with a well-understood hierarchy. The pack leader or "alpha dog" eats first, gets his choice of mate, leads when the pack is on the move, and sits or stands higher than the subordinate members of the pack.
What Ever Happened to the Term Alpha Male
So the human model is not far from reality. all throughout animal behavior model the "pecking order" is coming under fire. Even where the term was first coined in observing chickens and rooster. It is now though much for linear hierarchy theory is more of a projection on the animal by those that observe them than actual ever occuring.In much popular writing the term is still in use today. However, keen observers may have noticed that during the past few years the trend to wane. For example, 19 prominent wolf biologists from both Europe and North America never mentioned the term in a long article on breeding pairs of wolves. The article, titled “The Effects of Breeder Loss on Wolves,” was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. In the 448-page, 2003
Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, edited by Luigi Boitani and myself and written by 23 authors, alpha is mentioned in only six places and then only to explain why the term is outdated
...Rather than viewing a wolf pack as a group of animals organized with a “top dog” that fought its way to the top, or a male-female pair of such aggressive wolves, science has come to understand that most wolf packs are merely family groups formed exactly the same way as human families are formed. That is, maturing male and female wolves from different packs disperse, travel around until they find each other and an area vacant of other wolves but with adequate prey, court, mate, and produce their own litter of pups
...The issue is not merely one of semantics or political correctness. It is one of biological correctness such that the term we use for breeding wolves accurately captures the biological and social role of the animals
Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs by L. David Mech
* note bold added by me for emphysis.The prevailing view of a wolf (Canis lupus) pack is that of a group of individuals ever vying for dominance but held in check by the "alpha" pair, the alpha male and the alpha female. Most research on the social dynamics of wolf packs, however, has been conducted on non-natural assortments of captive wolves. Here I describe the wolf-pack social order as it occurs in nature, discuss the alpha concept and social dominance and submission, and present data on the precise relationships among members in free-living packs based on a literature review and 13 summers of observations of
wolves on Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. I conclude that the typical wolf pack is a family, with the adult parents guiding the activities of the group in a division-of-labor system in which the female predominates primarily in such activities as pup care and defense and the male primarily during foraging and food-provisioning and the travels associated with them.
A Talk with Ray & Lorna Coppinger Authors of Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution
A Fresh Look at the Wolf-Pack Theory of Companion-Animal Dog Social BehaviorAlso, our first visit to Pemba in east Africa solidified the concept of the village dog -- the idea that dogs in many parts of the world, and no doubt since their beginning -- are like pigeons, rats and cockroaches, carrying out their lives in the company of humans but with no overt assistance in either their feeding or reproduction. The village dog is a key to understanding the earliest evolution of breeds.
...The alpha wolf model of dog training certainly does appear frequently in print, but we wonder if it was ever really incorporated into serious dog training. We suspect it was never very useful in training dogs, and that almost everybody intuitively knew that. It was "say one thing, do another."
Certainly all the new techniques, such as click and treat, are not based on dominance. We've watched top trainers like Terry Ryan and Ken McCort, and never saw any hint of "I'm the dominant wolf." People who try modifying aggressive dogs don't try to "dominate" them into submission. Everybody agrees that would be a disaster. Imagine training a wolf by dominating it. Quick way to get killed.
The Social Organization of the Domestic Dogwhen it comes to seeking information about the “natural
dominance hierarchies” of dogs, perhaps feral dog behavior would be a better
model. Five studies on feral dogs were located (Beck, 1975; Boitani, Francisci,
Ciucci, & Andreoli, 1995; Fox 1987; Macdonald & Carr, 1995; Nesbitt, 1975).
...it became abundantly clear that urban and
nonurban feral dogs tend to live not in socially structured packs but rather form amorphous group associations. Often, groups of two or three are observed developing a loose association and then dissolving it within a short period. It is believed that ecology has a lot to do with this. Urban feral dogs are scavengers, getting handouts or knocking over garbage cans; they are not hunting large prey. Moreover, the survival of pups is almost nil; unlike wolves, when pups are born, usually only the mother cares for them. The primary method for feral dogs’ maintaining their numbers is by the recruitment of stray companion-animal dogs. Thus, the natural pack behavior of dogs appears to be very loose, changing, and unstructured, as opposed to tight, constant, and highly structured. The question that begs to be asked is this: If wolves in nature (not captive) develop social structures completely different from those of feral dogs (not captive), should one assume that captive wolves will develop the same social structures as dogs in captivity?
A Longitudinal Study of Domestic Canine Behavior and the Ontogeny of Canine Social Systems
This study shows that the existence of the phenomenon "dominance" is questionable, but that in any case "dominance" does not operate as a principle in the social organization of domestic dogs. Dominance hierarchies do not exist and are in fact impossible to construct without entering the realm of human projection and fantasy
...Aggression is not relevant to the social organization of the domestic dog. Dogs do not use aggression in organizing either binary or larger social systems. Aggression leads to the complete disintegration of interactions. Furthermore, it damages the attacked dog as a functioning part of any social system. Thus, the first and most basic, important rule governing relations in the domestic dog’s binary interactions and in the emergence of social systems is: aggression will not be used.