The Secret to a Copacetic Pack, Part 1: Receiving and Responding to Social Cues by Kevin Ash and Nancy Beaurpere


An important way to foster a young dog’s social growth and expand his emotional intelligence is to give him ample opportunities to engage with his conspecifics in a pack environment.  The “power of the pack” stems from its foundation as a teaching platform whereby older dogs are able to “correct” younger dogs – through body language and vocalization – thereby teaching them boundaries as well as the rules of proper engagement.

Some dogs – particularly those in the adolescent state of maturation – may choose to ignore corrections and attempts at disengagement from their other, more senior pack-mates.  Whether it be due to insubordination or ignorance, when a dog repeatedly ignores social cues from another dog this can lead to unfortunate incidents in a dog daycare setting.   That is why it is imperative that all dogs in a large daycare setting have both the aptitude and the desire to both receive and react to corrections and other non-verbal social cues from their pack-mates.

Being committed to the safety and happiness of all the dogs in our pack means having to identify older dogs with low tolerance thresholds and younger dogs who ignore social cues – sometimes that means removing dogs who fit those descriptions from the daycare setting, at least temporarily.  In instances such as this we will often recommend some additional socialization training and/or smaller scale interactions in controlled settings where human intervention is easily accessible and the dog to dog ratio is low (in order to avoid overstimulation).

If you are the owner of a dog who fits any of the descriptions above, not to fear!  Many dogs learn social skills over time and even the most aloof of pups can be taught manners and decorum if given the right tools in the proper setting.  Every dog needs an outlet and there is an outlet for every dog.  If a large daycare environment is not appropriate for your dog, we are happy to recommend alternatives, even if those alternatives fall outside the Dingo’s ecosystem.

Wag more.  Bark less.  #dingosdogsitting

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