Are Your Dogs In A Pack?

Or perhaps that word sets your teeth on edge?

The use of the word “pack” has gone in and out of style. Decades ago, it was quite common, but its use has faded in recent years. Many people like the term, but it makes others cringe. For many, it depends on what the term means to the people using it.

In the 1970s, many dog guardians began referring to their dogs as a pack because of research comparing dogs and wolves. If wolves live in packs and dogs are their close relatives, the reasoning went, a group of dogs living in a home should be considered a pack. Now, comparisons of wolves to dogs are frowned upon, in large part because they often lead to assumptions about dominance and “alpha” individuals within a group of dogs. The term “pack” came to imply assigning wolf social structure to dogs, and objections to doing so reflect an understanding of the differences between dogs and wolves.

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