In dogs’ most natural state, they occupy one of three major positions known as packs. These are the front pack, middle pack, and the back pack. All members of the pack will claim their assigned or natural position. This order is primarily based on dog’s level of dominance and capacity for aggression.
Dogs in the wild have to work harmoniously in order for their entire pack to survive. This harmony is made possible by each and every member taking their position and these positions’ accompanying responsibilities.
Here are the responsibilities attached to each position of the pack.
- The front pack- These dogs are the leaders, the most dominant in the group. They determine the direction of their pack’s journey and anticipate and fight off threats that the entire pack might encounter from up front.
- The middle pack- These are the communicators of the group. They relay pertinent messages between the front and rear positions. Their role is important as they provide group cohesion.
- The rear pack- Like the dogs u front, those at the rear also manifest considerable strength and dominance. Their main responsibility is alerting the entire pack about dangers lurking from behind.
Each of these positions is crucial to the entire pack’s survival. Without the front dogs, the rear dogs will not know which direction to follow. Without the rear dogs, those in front will not be warned should risks exist from the rear end of the line. If there are no dogs occupying the middle position, messages will not be efficiently relayed from front to back and vice versa.
Every function or position in the pack serves an integral purpose to the group. Without the ones occupying the front position, those placed at the rear will find themselves directionless. Without the ones positioned at the rear end of the pack, the pack members positioned in the front will not be made conscious of any troubles looming from behind. And, lastly, without the middle dogs serving as message senders and receivers between the front and rear dogs, these two stations will not be able to communicate.
Why dog pack “science” is important to dog owners
Understanding the science behind dog packs is important to dog owners because you ought to listen to nature and let it dictate how you deal with your pack of dogs. You must know which position your dog occupied before they were separated from their litter. Based on this information, you can then aptly tailor how you deal with them.
In a pack of dogs and a human–you—the human, ideally assumes the front or leadership position. You accomplish your front of pack responsibilities by protecting your dogs and giving them their primary needs such as shelter and food. You are also responsible for giving all of your dogs direction, which in this case is more or less metaphorical since you are no longer in the wild.
Your dogs will respond to your leadership differently, depending on their natural pack position. Middle-packers will appreciate your gift of direction. Back-packers will like the protection that you provide. Front-packers will respect your leadership, that is so long as you keep it assertive but calm.