The thing is First Mate, most domestic dogs will not be encountering dogs they are related to, so the family model of the majority of wolf packs does not equate to most domestic situations. Also the younger wolves in the wolf pack might not challenge the breeding pair for primacy, but they will compete with each other.
I have fostered various dogs over the years and when a new dog is brought into the family, there is an initial period of jostling for the dominant position which then determines who eats first, who gets to sleep in which bed etc.
Even if I stop the physically aggressive jostling for position, later, the more dominant dog will have still taken the prime position and the more submissive dog will have been pushed out.
If both dogs are assertive, the jostling for the dominant position can become quite serious.
If this is then taken outside and the dogs from my family meet dogs they do not know, they will co-operate and work as a group even when playing, but from what I've seen the hierarchy is still evident as the dog that has shown its dominance in the house will do things like stand between our dog and the stranger in a protective way, or push the less dominant dog out of the way to get the food from the old lady who feed the dogs, or get the first stroke etc.
As for David Mech, he is arguing that there is no rigid hierarchy in wolves, but who said there was? What hierarchies are rigid? And so what if the pack leaders are related to the rest of the pack, that does not mean that the hierarchical family structure is not relevant. The hierarchical structures and pack co-operation developed as a means of not constantly fighting over resources as it improved the change of survival of the individual and these instincts can still be seen in domestic dogs, despite the fact they are no longer needed for survival.
So if the instinct is still in domestic dogs, whether to a greater or lesser degree depending on breed etc, and domestic dogs constantly meet dogs they do not have a relationship with so have not yet placed into their hierarchy, there is likely to be some tension between the dogs until they know what the other dog is about.
If your dog is balanced and if the other dog is socialised enough to read your dog's signals, then they should get along fine. I think that cases where the other dog's owner is practically hysterical with fear, or overtly aggressive, even a balanced dog might not react in it's usual way.
Whether this is even related to the dominance and hierarchy of dogs, which I believe exists, I can't say, but I still stand by my point that owners who project their fear and hysteria to their dogs, need just as much work as owners whose dogs are aggressive.
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