I love the pack mentality. Ever since I started having sled dogs I have always enjoyed watching my dogs interact and the hierarchy that they establish. We have very few dogs that don’t get along and several that just don’t like the hub bub of the free running pack so they usually end up staying in the house or in another of our yards.
We have 5 “freedom” yards. No chains. Dogs are free to roam around large areas. But I think it is very important for the happiness and cohesiveness of the pack to bring all the dogs together into one yard each day for a romp. This always happens in the afternoon before feeding and the dogs interact anywhere from an hour to several hours. We have very few dogs on chains and those are rotated through the yards throughout the day. Yes..it is time consuming and a lot of work but when dogs are a huge part of your life and their happiness is important to you, then we just make the time to do what needs to be done.
We also have 16 house dogs that all get along great and we never worry about a fight breaking out. They have their status throughout the pack and it is respected by all (especially by us!). I always encourage people to try to let their dogs off chains and interact with them but I also warn people that if you are at all afraid and have trepidation about doing this, then the dogs will pick up on this and you may have spats. If you don’t understand a dogs need for some structure within the pack and their body language and hierarchy rules then I encourage you to read as much as you can and try to establish peace in your yard. The rewards of having a free run kennel are amazing and the bond that you will establish with your dogs is truly unique.