The Value of Loyalty

I had 3 dogs. After a breakup I now have 1 dog. When I had all 3 I was fascinated by their behavior and the way they presented a unified front against any perceived threat.

Dogs have a pack mentality. That means that they are happiest when with their pack, or as humans call it, family. They are not happy when they are alone or away from their pack. Dogs all know their place within their pack. They may test their status every now and again but they know where they belong.

Dogs love to play and fight with each other. When one of my dogs had a toy he was playing with, the other dogs immediately wanted that toy. Even if there were several other toys available they had to have the one that their brother had. This fascinated me that they could be so selfish one moment and want to take away the toy the other dog had.

But what really fascinates me is that in an instant the dogs behavior can change and they present a unified front. Say they heard a sound in the backyard, they would all run to the backdoor and bark together.

It didn’t matter what they were doing, or if they were fighting with one another, if one dog barked or sensed a threat they would all 3 jump in and immediately help their pack member.

“Don’t ever take side with anyone against the family…ever.” – The Godfather

This is why I love dogs. They are 100% loyal to their pack without question. Doesn’t matter if they are barking at a squirrel, a bigger dog, a bear, or a neighbor, they are all there together to protect each other. A dog will die for his pack.

Because of my dog’s unquestioning loyalty he isn’t just ‘my dog’, he is part of my family. Because he is part of my pack his loyalty is returned with my unquestioning loyalty and companionship.

Primitive tribes had the same structure as a dog pack. Each tribe had it’s de-facto leader(s), the Alpha Male and Alpha female, the followers, the beta males and females, and the weak, crippled, sick, and young, the Omegas.

They would have had to present a unified front in the presence of danger – other tribes, large carnivorous animals etc.. If they did not remain loyal to their tribe they risked being ostracized and banned from the tribe.

Humans, like Dogs, need companionship, security, comfort, and a sense of belonging to be healthy and happy. Think of the dogs that have been chained in a backyard for their entire life without much human contact or care and without another animal to interact with.

These are not the dogs you want to stumble upon unknowingly. Those of us without a tribe, pack, family, to give us a sense of belonging and purpose are like these chained dogs. We may be content but we can’t be truly happy without a purpose.

Young men who do not have a strong family life, or sense of purpose, will get together with other guys from the same background and form gangs. In interviews these guys will repeatedly say that they joined because they had a sense of family and loyalty for the first time in their life.

These guys would unquestioningly inflict violence against anyone who harmed (real or perceived) a part of their tribe, or gang. These guys referred to their gang buddies, which they really felt like were their family, as their “dogs”. These guys are the true backyard dogs who have been chained up for their whole life – and this is what can happen without a strong sense of loyalty and belonging.

In our modern world of celebrity gossip and other BS, loyalty is not a common trait. Just take a look at the latest divorce figures. 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

What it would take for me to get married is 100% unquestionable loyalty from my spouse. If you don’t have your spouse or significant others back 100% of the time and don’t present a unified front it can never work. You can’t have a fulfilling relationship without loyalty.

This is not easy to find. In fact, you have to treat your s/o like you would your dog. If she is good you reward her (attention), if she is bad you punish her (withdraw attention) until she learns what you demand – loyalty.

To be a real man you must be loyal to those you love and you have to demand loyalty right back.

You must be willing to die for what you believe in.