After reading this it feels to me that it would be safe to say that much of the “alpha, beta, omega” pack sort of mentality that is assigned to wolves and dogs actually comes as a projection of the species who is writing the papers. Aka, us humans.
Humans are taught to look to leaders other than their parents for years. We struggle in our ranks from elementary school pecking order on the playground all the way through our everyday jobs once we are adults. Pitted against one another time and time again it becomes, I feel, only natural to assign the same behavior that we “perceive” in the creatures around us. Both in Wolves, and Lions, and other pack animals alike.
Anyone who has spent any time actually studying dogs or wolves *and animals in general* will be able to look at things like Family structure, and see where some of the misconceptions came from, acknowledge them for the times they were written in, and look on to re-evaluate what they know to be true.
That being said, I do not find it necessarily inappropriate that an ABO (Alpha/Beta/Omega) sort of pack structure in Werewolves to be wrong. While werewolves are “families” they are more often than not rag-tag teams of individual “once humans” who come together. They might look to the most father like figure, or the strongest figure for protection and to be their Alpha just as humans look to the strongest human (or smartest… or sometimes just the richest but that’s another rant for another day.) to be their leader. In addition to simply stating that werewolves are sadly a fictional creature and as writers we could write them however we wanted regardless of actual pack standards for wolves or humans. Especially with the diversity that already exists within the genre as to what actually constitutes a werewolf. It varies widely on the person writing and the universe they are creating. Some never go full furry, some don’t have a fully animalistic form. Some are the arch enemies of vampires, others could give two shits as to whether or not vampires even existed.
So to state that “everything you know about the wolf pack is wrong,” I think goes with the amount of time one has focused their education around the creatures that we’re speaking about. Wolves and dogs, as with humans are going to have varying personalities and temperaments. Sometimes a strong willed individual or “Alpha type,” is going to be a good leader, sometimes that person is just an ass. Instead of stripping the word “Alpha” of its meaning in terms of being a leader, why not rethink what its applied to and how we are using it? Instead of the Alpha of the pack, wouldn’t it be the “Father” of the pack? Then again depending on how you use the word Father, they are the head of the family, the leader of the family in our patriarchal society, so isn’t that almost stating the same thing?
Just my thoughts on the matter.