Dog On Life

The myth of the Alpha Dog in Washington

My human took me to the store with all of the tools and lights and lumber. Great wood smell…I had a hard time not lifting my leg. Anyway, he met two of his friends and they were all worked up about…you know human barking about the new human vet stuff. It’s called Obama-cut or something. Their point was that all kinds of things are wrong with it and people can’t use it or even understand it. Apparently this Obama guy really thinks that he is the Alpha Human and he’s growling back a lot when people complain. A lot of humans think that to be the Alpha Dog, we have to be tough, bark a lot, and push other dogs into doing what we want. I was listening to the lighted box when they had that animal show on. I was surprised that humans have finally gotten the Alpha thing right. They had a guy named Coren on who has studied us for a long time. He is a professor at a Uni-something and an ex-purt. He was talking about the myth of the Alpha and how it works. It ain’t the old tough-guy things. He said ,and I don’t understand all of the words, “The dogs that were usually found leading the pack tended to be the older, more experienced dogs, but not necessarily the most dominant. The pack seems to allow leadership to dogs, who at particular times seem to be most likely to contribute to the welfare of the pack through knowledge that can access the resources they require.” I guess this means that if the Alpha Human is trying to push something that a lot of the human pack doesn’t smell as good for them, and he doesn’t have a lot of experience, the other humans start to think of him as a non-alpha. For some reason they figure this out from pools or polls or something. Don’t ask me how that works, I’m just a dog, but it sounds pretty right.