Talk:Dog society

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Merge proposal[edit]

I propose merging this article with the Dog Behavior article. Most of the content here relates to canine social behavior, not society per se. The dog behavior article is horribly lacking, likely in part because it is redundant with this page and Grey Wolf#behavior. Thesoxlost (talk) 18:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)thesoxlost


Changes in dog society from research?[edit]

Anon user has posted here and in dog collar that recent research says there is no dominance hierarchy. I've heard or read nothing to that effect. Has anyone heard such a thing and are there sources to cite for this, as there are plenty of other sources for the current knowledge that contradict this? Elf | Talk 02:46, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I recommend that you do more reading. Read Coppinger, Mech, VanKerkhove, O'Heare and Semyonova for starters. Also look up the Russian silver fox studies for the effects of domestication on behavior. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.23.35.82 (talk) 02:48, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for sources, dissent[edit]

I, too, would be interested to see some journal sources cited, particularly dealing with dogs, not wolves. I live in a rural area with three Golden Retrievers. They exhibit a clear pecking order. One dog, if nearer the door I'm about to open when the other two approach will always back away and enter last. This same one always eats last, even when served first.

More assertive dogs typically are more demanding of attention, they insist on having the rawhide bone or ball -- often forcibly removing it from the others, and so forth.

In short, there're generations of observations of real dogs to support the view that they arrange themselves -- with, without, or despite owner training -- into a definite hierarchy. Choosing not to label them alpha, beta,... omega, seems to go against the facts.

That's my observation, too, and as you say there are plenty of reference sources for the existing view. I have taken the liberty of reverting the changes, since they were made by anon user and we have no supporting evidence. Elf | Talk 00:26, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Clearly, one's individual experience with three golden retrievers is evidence that a pecking order (which is based on chicken research, btw, and was shown to be irrelevant in chickens) exists in all dogs. It is interesting that posters are clamoring for scientific research that dominance hierarchies do NOT exist, but the postings on here don't even mention having read the the two studies that explored the existence of said hierarchies, which are more than 40 years old. One showed that there was a predictable outcome between two Beagles over a bone and the second could not prove the theory. The problem with "generations of observations" of real dogs is that observations are not objective. They are SUBJECTIVE unless quantified and reviewed by scientific peers. If you want evidence, look to the pariah dogs all over the world. They are not pack animals. They do not form hierarchies. And their behavior is much more similar to the domestic dog than the wolf. I also recommend reading anything published by David Mech, including two papers released in 1999 and 2002. He is one of the foremost wolf biologists who has studied their behavior for almost 40 years. He has shown that wolves do not even form a linear hierarchy, so that blows your foundation that dogs, being "like wolves" must have a linear hierarchy. Dogs are social creatures, like humans, and like humans have formed flexible social hierarchies designed to reduce conflict. You have a boss - does that mean he's dominant over you? Please do some more research (significantly more) before claiming to know that dominance hierarchies exist in dogs based on watching your three dogs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.23.35.82 (talk) 02:45, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Please provide sources for new material[edit]

To anon user who has twice posted edits to the dog society article that fly in the face of everything I can find published on wolf and dog pack behavior: If you want this information to stand, you'll need to cite multiple reliable references for why the thinking has changed. If you can cite only one reliable reference, the info really needs to be listed as an alternative theory, not changing the whole article. If you can't cite any reliable references, please don't change the information to your own theories. Thanks. Elf | Talk 21:46, 26 February 2006 (UTC)