Canine loyalty and protecting the safety of the pack

BY | August 07 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

canine-loyalty

Dogs have long been a source of love and inspiration due to their unwavering commitment to their companions. Regardless of the type, canines never take friendships for granted -- canine loyalty is paramount among all breeds.One dog in Atlanta, Georgia, proved his loyalty when Michael Mason spotted the four-legged hero outside of his local church on July 22, 2014. Standing over his injured friend, the

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

named Herman protected his fallen companion by the side of the road. Mason was so touched by the gesture that he snapped a photo of the duo, sending it to a friend and asking for help.According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the image took off and went viral, even earning a Facebook post from actress Kylie Szymanski, one of the stars of AMC's "The Walking Dead." Following the massive popularity of the photo, Herman was picked up by Fulton County Animal Services - the employees provided his moniker. They're hoping to find the hero dog a

new home.However, Herman isn't alone in watching over and protecting his friends.What makes dogs so loyalFrom bomb sniffing dogs saving soldiers' lives

overseas to seeing-eye companions guiding vision-impaired owners, there's no shortage of uplifting stories about the loyalty of canines. Cesar Millan, the renowned dog trainer, discussed the long-winding history of dog companionship and the

reason behind this animal's steadfast loyalty to owners and their families

.Dogs are naturally pack animals, making friendship a standard aspect of their personalities. Whether the pack is made up of humans or other dogs, these furry friends love to be part of a collective. Whenever they lose a member, even for a short while such as soldiers deploying overseas or owners going on long vacations, dogs feel like a part of themselves is missing.They're also an affectionate species with instincts that cause them to form bonds. They want to share love and feel it, too. This drives dogs to contribute to their pack and protect fellow members from danger. With Herman and his injured friend, he was following his natural instincts to watch over a member of his proverbial family.The relationship between dogs and friendship dates back thousand of years. Herman is merely one example of the loyalty and companionship that canines exhibit when the people - or animals - they love are hurt or in danger.

Does Your Pet Look at You as the Pack Leader?

Dogs being pack animals, look for a pack leader to get a sense of security. If you do not establish rules and boundaries, and display actions that station you as the pack leader, your pet will just look at you as a playmate or even position himself as the pack leader. It can become difficult for you to command, control or discipline him/her when he/she does not look at you as a pack leader, while it can also be stressful for him/her. Here is a look at signs that your dog does or does not look at you as a pack leader.

Leading the way

If your dog is leading you when you take him/her for a walk, then you are probably not being a pack leader. Of course, it is a little different if you have a sniffer dog on the

leash

. Your pet would not want to follow you if he/she is sniffing a trail, and it would make more sense that he/she leads. You can even watch for cues on how your dog behaves when you are walking in/out of a room. If your dog looks at you as a pack leader then he will let you take the lead. If he/she is having a free run around the house, jumping on the couch, bed, kitchen and everywhere else, then you have not set clear boundaries with your pet.

Food rules

Do you feed your pet first before you eat? It may be a nice gesture, but in canine world you are clearly marking yourself as one of the pack members, and your dog as the pack leader by doing so. In canine packs, the leaders always eat first. So if you want to establish yourself as the leader, you eat first. Stealing

food

is a big no-no. Your dog would not steal from a pack leader, and if he is stealing food from you then it means that he/she does not respect you as the leader. Be sure to set clear boundaries on who is the pack leader with your pet.

Vocalization and actions

Do you find the need to yell or scream to get your dog's attention? Does that sound like what a pack leader would do? Pack leaders effortlessly command attention and respect. Dogs easily pick up cues from your body language, energy and tone of voice. If you have to use force or yelling to get your dog to listen to you, then you are probably doing something wrong. Also, this kind of energy can make your dog feel anxious or scared, so you want to refrain from being that way around your pet.

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