The Wolf Pack Theory

Like humans, wolves live in an extended familyThere is an order humans and wolves follow. Wolves have become one of the most highly social of all carnivores. Wolves and wild dogs live in packs. A pack is a group of animals that are usually related by close blood ties (family units) like humans. A hierarchical order exists within the pack and every animal knows his or her place within the pack.

Like humans, wolves live in an extended family. They work as a pack and cooperate with each other to help live and survive. They also use the pack to define and protect their territory.

The male and female leaders of the pack are called the alphas. They lead the pack in hunting and are the first to eat along with their puppies. Generally, but not always, the alpha male and female are the only ones to have puppies.

As you know a pack is made up of more than just the alpha male and female. The wolves under the alphas are called betas. These wolves provide food for the pregnant and nursing alpha female. They are also the protectors of the pack from other wolves and predators that may enter their pack territory. There is also a position within the packed called the omega. This is the lowest ranking wolf of the pack. This wolf is always last to eat and is the wolf that gets picked on. The omega is usually the smallest and weakest wolf of the pack.

The male wolf matures around 22 months of age. At this time they may test their maturity against the alpha male. If they succeed in beating the alpha male then that beta wolf usually becomes the new alpha male of the pack. In turn the beaten alpha male will leave the pack, becoming what is called a lone wolf. This lone wolf will then go out to search for a new female to start a new pack. Rarely are lone wolfs allowed into an already established pack.


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