Should We Train Dogs as Pack Animals? Debunking Myths and Facing Facts

From the minute you take your new pup or dog home, he’s weighing up the ‘pack’ and his position in the team.

He’ll be exploring the house and will start prodding and probing to understand where he stands in the hierarchy. He won’t feel assured until he’s identified the pack leader.

If you’re planning to be your pup’s trainer, you must establish your place as the pack leader, so he’ll listen to you and respect you as his owner.

This means that in many ways, you do need to train your dogs as pack animals. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Here are some ways to establish your dominance in the pack.


In a wolf hierarchy, pack leaders don’t allow youngsters and lower pack members to run riot and have what they want whenever they want it. To abide by the rules, they must practice patience with the pack leader.

A pack leader will use his authority to make pack members wait and establish dominance. Sometimes, to make a statement, the leader will even deny pack members altogether.

While it may seem cruel, it helps set a strong example of who’s in charge and teaches patience. This is especially important for young, excited, and impressionable pups.

To practice patience with your dog, teach him to sit and ignore the exciting things around him to prove your leadership. For example, you can have his bowl of dinner, a tasty treat, or a fun toy nearby.

Sleeping Arrangements

In a dog family, no worthy pack leader would ever let a subordinate member of the pack near his sleeping den, let alone join for the night. Only a female of choice is given the benefit of sharing the pack leader’s bed.

So, while it may be tempting to let your adorable pup join you for snooze time, it gives them the wrong idea. Not only will your dog get used to sleeping in your bed with you, but he’ll also respect you less and will develop naughty and improper behavior.

It could be disobedience, or possessiveness that can turn into aggression with time – you won’t know until the damage has been done.

Keep your dog in check and never let them snuggle up in bed with you, no matter how persuasive he may be! Dogs belong on the floor and that’s where they should remain if you want to maintain your status as pack leader.

Dogs as Pack Animals

These are just a couple of the ways in which dogs work as pack animals, but there are many other ways you must establish dominance to remain as the leader in a dog pack.

Remember, if your goal is to look after a dog that listens to and respects you, you must consistently display dominance and authority. Use positive methods to train your dog to become an alpha in your pack who’s respected and trusted.

After all, dogs are our pets and deserve leadership, help, and guidance based on love, trust, and respect.


Please review our Frequently Asked Questions.

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