This is for any of you who share your life with more than one canine. Repeat after me, all dogs are wolves. Every genetic test of our canine breeds lead back to their origin as wolves. It does not matter if you have a little lap dog or a mountain dog-under the right circumstances any dog can revert to its genetic roots.
When you have more than one dog you have a pack and a pack mentality is unavoidable. If you understand The pack mentality in the dynamics and interactions between the pack then peace will probably prevail. If you do not understand the pack mentality or choose to ignore it bad things can happen. If you have large dogs the potential for dangerous situations exist when the pack order is disrupted.
As some people know I share my life with five German Shepherds. My dogs are kind gentle beasts who love their people and have done much to show others what a wonderful breed they are. Our dogs of been used it the Atlantic veterinary school for teaching purposes and when they visit the veterinarian veterinarian looks forward to treating and seeing our dogs. If you visited our home, as some of my friends have, it is not uncommon to have a shepherd climb up on the sofa beside you and lick the back of your head.
I have had dogs in my life for over 60 years and herself has spent an entire career training, breeding and showing dogs. Herself is clearly the pack leader and all our dogs defer to her discipline and rules.
All that aside, repeat after me, all dogs are wolves. Last week I made a rookie mistake . Herself was away and thus, the order of the pack was disrupted. In addition, one of our females was in season which fills the pack with sexual tension. When a female is in season she is isolated from the rest of the pack. I made two mistakes. Firstly, I accidentally allowed her in to the rest of the pack. Realizing my mistake I raised my voice and my body language was not calm.
The result was a red zone dog fight to the death. All dogs are wolves. Two females got into it and when they are in the red zone nothing matters but the fight and there is no logic, intelligence or reason which will break up the fight. I chose to intervene to avoid the death of a dog. At that point I am nothing more than another dog in the fight. I did manage to break them up but I suffered the consequences as did the smaller dog. Both of us will heal and after the fight neither dog has any awareness that they did anything wrong.
The purpose of this is simply caution. We think of our companion animals as big fluffy people and we love them as family members. This is as it should be. However, we must never ever forget that these animals can revert to their genetic roots and seriously damage themselves or others.
All dogs are wolves.