In "Alpha and Omega", the term Alpha isn't exclusive to just the leader of the pack. Alpha Wolves are wolves in the pack that work as hunters, trackers, and guards. They are also taught extreme gymnastics and how to beat up bears because in Alpha School, the leader of the pack is always called the Alpha Leader.
It is unknown how Alphas are differentiated from Omegas but it is confirmed they are classified at young ages because Alpha wolves, during pre-adolescence, leave the packs around the end of autumn to attend Alpha School for the whole winter. The Alphas expectably return in spring after completing their training .
In real life, the Alpha wolves do not exist, but, due to some badly-done research by wolf behaviorists in the past, it still got popular (see Trivia section).
Known alphas in the film include:
- Kate - Alpha Leader/Alpha female of the Western Pack
- Winston - Alpha Leader of the Western Pack (retired)
- Eve - Alpha female of the Western Pack (retired)
- Tony - Alpha Leader of the Eastern Pack (retired)
- Garth - Alpha Leader of the Eastern Pack
- Stinky - Future Alpha Leader
- Claudette - Future Alpha
- Lyle and Link
- Princess (King's daughter)
- Claws and Scar (From the Eastern Pack)
- Although it is generally believed by many wolf fans that wolf packs have ranks like "alpha" or "omega", real wild wolf packs in fact have neither. The supposed "alphas" are just the oldest wolves in the group and therefore often get mistaken as leaders. The "Alpha-omega-wolf"- theory actually came to be due to a behaviorist observing captive animals that expressed this "ranked" behavior because of stress. A lack of further research and the publishing of Schenkel, the behaviorist, made the theory widely popular, which is one of the main reasons why it's still frequently being used in media nowadays (not only Alpha and Omega, but also other movies, series, and books). The theory got successfully debunked in 1999, where other behaviorists, who had studied real, wild wolves, discovered that the wolves' behavoir did not match with Schenkel's observations. Further research was done, and the theory, though still widely popular to this day, has been proven to be wrong for wild animals.