I’ve been a professional Dog Trainer for about a decade now, and I often wonder if I view the happenings on Teen Wolf differently than other people. From my point of view the sheer number of built in dog jokes and behavioral issues is beyond hilarious and it catches my attention in a different way.
I suppose its also why I dont get upset when people refer to Scott or Posey as a puppy. I just can’t see that as an insult, since I like dogs better than people most of the time. And because I think the writers and director intend for us to see the werewolves that way- because they are members of the canine family.
So, here goes some of the scenes that my family definitely viewed differently than perhaps other people.
1. Scott suffers from Resource Guarding, particularly Ball Aggression. Actually, so does Boyd. When Scott is playing that first Lacrosse game he’s keeping himself more or less in check until those two opposing team mates came up on either side to try to snag the ball from him. Scott instantly goes rigid, the gold eyes and fangs come out, and even Stiles can sense the increased hostility pouring off him.
The other ‘resource’ he jealously guards is his mate, Allison, although by the end of Season 2 he is finally trusting enough to let her go her own way.
2. The way Scott always tilts his head when hearing a sound or figuring something out is a very obvious dog movement. Poseys love of dogs comes through in his performance with every tilt of the head, slight lifting of his head when he’s scenting/tracking, every lift of his lip and the deep scowl lines in his brow when Scotts ticked off.
3. Harris’s line about not letting the separation anxiety get to them in S 1 had me laughing out loud for real.
4. If you pay attention, Scott apparently had pretty good grades before the Bite. His test paper has ‘Not like you! see me after class!’ written on it, and Scott listens to a voice mail from a teacher offering him the chance to make up some school work- teachers don;t generally do that for a student who isn’t invested in his grades and future, so its safe to assume that the writers meant for us to understand that failing is not Scotts usual state. Add into that Scotts horror when his mom points out that failing his exam will mean being left behind- this concept seems new to Scott as well. The reason this falls into DOG behavior is because a dog goes through a phase when its senses begin to sharpen and it simply becomes distracted by everything. Even more amusing is this occurs during what would be considered a dogs ‘teens’.
5. When Scott first identifies werewolf Isaac on the playing field, Two totally dog like behaviors occur. The first is when they each ‘kick off’ as the run towards each other. Notice Scott didn’t do that with the others. Dogs kick up grass and soil as part of claiming territory (and is, in my opinion, better than having them peeing on everything… cough). Both werewolves scrape up a claim and charge each other. When they land, however, they land in a completely different pose than any of the other kids Scott tackled. Facing each other, heads low, and more importantly, elbows bent. Neither wolf is taking a dominant nor submissive posture. This is called a play bow, and it it a sign from one dog to another that their next move is a play move (this is how a dog can tell if the other dog is just screwing around, or if it actually is attacking). Right after that signal, Isaac decides to trust Scott enough to ask him to keep his secret.
6. Territory. No, not Scotts house, (thats probably his moms) but that patch of land near the ravine/canyon that he consistently returns to. I’m pretty sure that is now Scotts Personal Space in his mind.
7. Unlike Stiles, we only ever see Scott drink water. No Sunny D, no milk, no pop. Its such a tiny thing, but somebody, somewhere consciously decides what Scott is drinking in a scene, and it is always water.
8.Many times in the earlier part of Scott and Dereks relationship, Derek very deliberately flips Scott to land on his back, belly up. That is Doggy Dominance 101 right there. This actually has the effect of stopping their fights a few times, or at least making Scott pause and regather himself. When Peter utterly dominates Scotts mind in the school gym and forces him to succumb to his will, he has Scott belly up on the floor and basically caged by Peters body. Thats pure canine dominance folks.
9. Alpha Rolls (and Alpha Roles). Often, when we see Scott and Allison making out, Allison takes the lead. She often flips Scott belly up, then he playfully does the same. Theres several things going on when we see that. Allison if clearly a dominant female, and in the canine world a female can absolutely lead. In the wolf world in particular, if a male Alpha dies, his female counterpart will either choose the next alpha or take the role herself. Scott lets Allison flip him, even though he’s obviously stronger. But Scott is a confident enough male and a confident enough Alpha that he can easily share the role, and not take himself too seriously. he gives Allison that top position when she wants it, without losing anything himself. In the real world, dogs who can read others well and not be rigidly locked into how they view themselves ranking wise get along the best with other dogs. Scott makes friends left and right, unlike Jackson and Derek simply because Scott is fluid. He is changeable yet consistent, and that resonates well with the others- especially the other Betas, if you pay attention to Isaac and Boyds opinions of Scott.
10. Scruffing. The act of an adult dog grabbing a younger dog by the scruff of the neck and pinning it somewhere. How many times did we see Derek do this to Scott and Jackson. And Peter does it to Stiles.
11. Sensing fear aggression, jealousy, etc. are all things dogs are known for. Scott seems especially good at that, because my theory is that if Scott were a dog, he’s be a therapy dog (as would Isaac). Scott not only senses Allisons emotional distress at school and comes to her aid with calming words and gestures, but he senses Ericas epileptic seizure before it happens. Service Dogs are trained to do exactly these kind of things. At the Lacrosse game when Stiles is close to breaking down, Scott sits quietly next to him and again offers very low keyed calm words. He may as well have on a Paws for a Cause vest in that scene, because he projects a sense of serenity that actually seems to settle Stiles down.