You take your dog out for a walk, and they’re walking ahead of you. Some dogs will walk alongside of you, while there’s the dog that will walk a few feet behind you. What does it mean?
Dogs are social animals that, like humans, they have the instinct to be in a pack and it gives them a sense of balance and the ability to play with others safely under the right leadership.
How do I recognize my dog’s pack mentality?
Your dog’s pack mentality can differ when being around humans and being around dogs that they’ve never been exposed to before.
- Walking ahead of the group: As the pet owners, we can establish that we are the pack leaders by taking the lead and teaching your dog that they’re not allowed to walk ahead of you. When they have this instinct to walk ahead of you, you get tugged along for the ride and it’s not fun for either of you. Dogs that do this also tend to have the mentality to hunt for all the bare necessities: food, water and shelter. As the pack leader, they will believe they have the responsibility to protect you and can become overly dominating over you.
- Walking in the middle of the group: These are the balanced dogs. They can be the mediators of the group to help maintain a stable energy in the pack, as well as calming the excitable dogs.
- Walking at the rear of the pack: The dogs in the back are the watchful eye of the group. Though they might not be as dominant as the alpha of the group, they know how to fall back and stay watchful to make sure the group knows of any incoming dangers.
While they love to spend a lot of time with their human families, dogs need interaction with each other, playing with dogs that are similar in size, temperament and play style give them the kind of socialization they require to lead fulfilling and happy lives.
At Dogtopia Mississauga, our goal is to let your dogs have the socialization they need while making sure that no dog dominates over the other. By the end of the day, they’ll have made new friends as well as confidence which is so key in being a balanced and happy dog.