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Old 09-07-2013, 03:59 AM
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CharlieDog CharlieDog is offline
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Default Pecking/Pack Order?

For those of you with more than two dogs, (or even two really) how does the pecking order work out? Has it changed on you at all, once a dog reaches maturity? I ask, because Indy seems to be coming out on top, for all the bluff and bluster Ozzy tries to put on.

Enzo defers to everyone except Jones, Jones defers to everyone when they're serious. Ozzy and Indy seem to be working something out and I'm not sure if it needs to be left alone, or intervened with. Indy gets what Indy wants pretty much when it comes to bones, toys, ect that are around the house, unless Ozzy is in direct possession of the item at the time. Sleeping spots as well. If Ozzy isn't in his crate, and Indy wants to lay in it for whatever reason, she'll go lay in it. She'll take Enzo's crate as well. Jones' crate she doesn't care for, as it's an airline, without bedding, but she'll saunter in and take toys or what have you.

Ozzy though, if he has an antler/bone/kong/whatever in front of him, Enzo and Jones will not even attempt to remove it from him even if it's a foot away. Indy will walk by and take it, if she wants it. Ozzy will usually lunge forward to correct her, and she will turn her cheek, lifted her lip and he stops. This is unusual, because the other two would be suitably chastised and drop the item, unless they were trying to instigate a game.

Normally, the "stealing" would have resulted in a very loud thrashing (Ozzy can control himself correcting another dog, well, most other (household) dogs) but for him to give it up made me start thinking about the fact that there might be a power shift going on in the household.

The one thing they seem to be, not having an issue with, but have come to some sort of understanding between themselves is in regards to tennis balls or chuck it balls, when they're playing with a human.

Ozzy is a jerk, plain and simple, and used to be perfectly content to take an item, usually a ball, right out of Enzo or Jones or Indy's mouth. Used to. I know this is rude, bad form, and against doggie etiquette, but Oz doesn't care. One day, Indy decided she had enough, and when she got to the ball first, and he attempted to remove it from her possession, she lit into him.

Of course, in a "real" fight, Ozzy will leave holes.

He left one on her neck that could have just been a misjudged bite, as it was barely a hole, so he wasn't "fighting" persay either. She gave him a good thrashing before I got there and told them to quit being as*holes and get back to the game.

They did, almost immediately, with no hard feelings. Now, whomever gets to the ball first, is the one to carry it back to me. Ozzy will get frustrated if Indy repeatedly beats him to the ball, so I try to throw so that he gets it often enough, and they both have a good time. Ozzy will occasionally get snarky and possessive, but Indy just turns her head and ignores him. This generally deflates his poor little ego, and he goes back to the game. Only once has he not let it go, and Indy flashed him all of her pearly whites in front of me and him both and he decided fetch would be more fun.

This is also unusual. Ozzy has never backed down from an offered fight until recently. I'm not sure if it has to do with him getting older and losing some of that DA tendency, if it has to do with Indy being a female, willing and able to challenge and best him in a correction, or if the fact that she's the first dog that has stood up to him and told him no has anything to do with it.

Anyway, the totem pole as it were seems to be shifting here. Enzo was low man on the totem pole, and is quite happy there until Jones got here, and naturally, as a puppy still, he's lower ranking than her, and she'll rightfully give him a thrashing if he oversteps or is too much puppy at once. She's really the only one that still puts up with his puppy, so they're best buds.

Indy and Ozzy have quite completely and directly revoked his puppy license about five months ago or so, and he is quite deferential to them.

Ozzy and Indy though, I can't figure out. Enzo and Jones will approach them from the side if they have something and Zo or Jones would maybe like to possibly share please, but Ozzy and Indy approach each other head on. I'm not seeing any tension in the approach, and neither one with each other has possession rights unless it's in their mouth, unlike with the other two. If it's laying beside Ozzy or Indy, or in front of them, the other two still seem to consider it in their possession and not attempt to take it.

Anyway, that's a novel. Cookie if you read!
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:12 AM
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I read! A chocolate chip cookie, please! Makes you wish you could talk to dogs and find out exactly what's going on in their little heads, doesn't it?

Of my three, Riley pretty much gets his way for most things (mostly toys, he's indifferent about food). Unfortunately, he is not a benevolent dictator; he's really a bit of an *ss. That said, Murphy, who is sooooooo laid back and mild-tempered (and let's Riley and Mick push him around), when he does lose his temper, he scares the bejesus out of the other two.

It takes a lot of pushing to make Murphy mad but Mick has done it a few times over the years, and Riley, once. I've been there for a couple of episodes with Mick and the one with Riley. It was almost worth it to see the expression on Riley's face when Murphy knocked him flat in a split second. Murphy will back off when told, and he did with Riley, he really is a pretty solid dog.

After an incident, Mick walk on his toes for a couple of days while carefully avoiding getting within ten feet of Murph. Riley, after putting his eyes back in his head, will also give Murphy a wide berth for a couple of days.

They've gotten into when I'm not home, too, but I know because of the walking on toes and avoidance behavior. No holes in anyone, though, Murphy is smart enough to prove his point without going too far.

Mick is a paper tiger - he talks a good game but it's all sound and fury. He has a more volatile temper (especially with Riley) but really does need his brother Murphy for back up. He's low dog on the totem pole and it only bothers him when Riley is being a jerk.

So, I'd say Murphy is number one dog, then Riley, then Mick.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:29 AM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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With my two it is simple: Summer is a pushover and Mia is a bully. They have never had a major fight, just a little snark here and there.

With all 5 paps, it is pretty much the same. Mia snarks at the others and the others are all very nice to each other. Beau will sometimes snark back and so will Nard. I think Beau just annoys Mia because he's so goofy and has a tendency to jump on her when he's not paying attention. Beau likes to play rough and wrestle and then Mia will not share toys and tennis balls with anyone. I watch them a bit closer when they're around. Mia and Nard's minor issues usually stem from Mia trying to drag Nard around by the tail and sometimes he's just had enough. Mia gets along fabulously with Rose. They're both a little bit... snotty. You would think that Mia would drive Rose insane but they just get along.

Overall though my dogs get along great and have very minimal problems. The main concern is Beau and Mia. Pretty much everyone is very even tempered except for Mia so they all just defer to Mia.
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Old 09-07-2013, 11:33 AM
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I never really had a pack where I could number things. It always changed on the situation, the day, etc. Now, I usually have 2 neutered males and one female and ultimately, they defer to her but not really in any way I would qualify as a pecking order.

Marley was the one who "seemed" the most submissive...very hunched over, lots of calming signals, would roll over if a dog just looked at him funny etc BUT when he really wanted something, he got it. He would sidle up next to the dog who was in the spot he wanted, or had the toy, or whatever, and start doing all kinds of appeasement gestures, licking there lips, whining, etc. Most of the time the other dog got annoyed enough to get up, giving Marley what he wanted.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:11 PM
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With my two, Ma'ii definitely runs the show while Charlotte is the submissive pushover that almost always backs down. Ma'ii can be a bit of a bully. He seems to think everything is his and Charlotte can't have any of it. He'll walk right up to her and grab a chew out of her mouth if we let him (which we don't obviously). He's that much of a prick! There have been a few snark fights, but thankfully nothing major. We pen them both when we're gone, and make sure there is nothing they can fight over other than a bowl of water.

That's life in the house. Outside, they are more equals.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:49 PM
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Even though Zoey is a lot more... pushy, she defers to Elsie.

Zobby and Elsie's relationship seems to be one of affectionate respect. Neither takes things from the other.
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmagick View Post
, licking there lips, whining, etc. .
Gah, this is what I get for writing quickly and then leaving for a bit...can't edit this...but its annoying the heck out of me. THEIR lips
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:27 PM
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Meg rules the roost in our house, no questions asked, but she's mostly a benevolent queen. Gusto is a little over 2 now, with no change. We finally got him a tiny raised bed that Meg can't fit on, because she has declared that both armchairs and both dog beds are hers. You can't force him on to one of them. If she has a bone or chew that he wants, he will beg and plead and offer her sad puppy eyes, but he won't touch it until she is far away. If I set two new bones down, he won't touch either until Meg picks hers.

Having said that - there's very little overt "dominance" between them. She'll show teeth and growl if she's on my lap and he leaps up as well - but never forces it further than that (and he rarely gives up). They've never fought, and have only had maybe two scuffles ever, usually when a piece of food drops and both go for it without thinking. Meg's really a wonderful dog for raising puppies around. I think she gets some credit for his incredible ability to read dogs.

And of course, she doesn't kill him when he does stupid little brother stuff like this:
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:18 PM
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Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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My dogs are all just kind of... there. Lol I couldn't tell you any sort of order because there really isn't one, at least not anything that I notice. They all leave each other alone and I don't allow anything that I consider rude. You don't get to take toys or chews from each other and you don't get to growl at each other or hog the bed etc.

If given the chance, I'm not sure if Lucy or Happy would be the bigger bitch. Juno I know is 100% submissive just based on her interactions at the dog park.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:26 PM
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Well Pip pretty much gets whatever he wants but I think it's because he's the only one who cares enough about anything in particular to escalate guarding into a fight.
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