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Who is the Alpha Wolf in Your Pack?
One of my favorite movies, Never Cry Wolf, where a naive researcher studies the impact a pack of wolves has on the caribou herd, exemplifies exactly how relationships with our domesticated dogs should go in our homes. In one scene the alpha wolf of the pack urinates on the intruding human's tent in the arctic tundra, sending him a message of whose turf this is. To respond to this indignation the researcher returns the favor, marking the wolves’ den. In the real wild this would be seen as quite a challenge and likely a fight would ensue to determine who the real alpha is. Rarely in the wild do these fights take place because of the wonderful social order in a pack of wolves.
Jeffrey Vogl, DVM
March 20, 2012