Inter Pack Structure



To analyse which dog is the pack leader and which dog fits where in your pack, over a period of a week you need to observe who achieves the following first out of you or your dog.

  • Eats first
  • Demands most attention
  • Goes through doorways first
  • Wins games of possession and tug of war
  • Instigates chase games
  • Greets guests first
  • Which dog grooms which
  • Which dog has “the last word”

Whichever dog achieves most of the above is the pack leader. When you have worked out your pack leader give all privileges to the pack leader first. This means that the top dog should be fed first, groomed first, should be given attention first, be trained and played with first and allowed through doorways before your other dogs.

This clearly widens the gap between the dogs and so helps prevent tension building, as each dog is clear about his status in life and within the pack. You, as the pack leader of the entire pack, have the right to stop any bullying that is going on and this should be enforced.

Sometimes a young dog will take over the position of pack leader as it reaches maturity. If you see this happening, you should change allegiance and give all privileges to your new pack leader first. This will help in a smooth transition of leadership and reduces the stress for the dogs. Remember that in the wild it is quite natural for a young dog to take over this role as the original pack leader gets older, slower and weaker and thus able to lead the pack strongly. It is very dangerous to try and pick your favourite dog and make him/her leader.