Pecking/Pack Order?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by CharlieDog, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    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!
     
  2. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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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.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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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.
     
  4. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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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.
     
  5. Shakou

    Shakou New Member

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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.
     
  6. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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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.
     
  7. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    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
     
  8. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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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:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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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.
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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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.
     
  11. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    I don't have a pack where I can number them all, either.

    Bella and Billy are definitely at the bottom.

    I want to say that Frag is on top, but it's hard to say. None of my boys really challenge each other. He and Sir would be the two to go at it if they did though. Recon is happy for now being below them, but will absolutely fight to remain # 3 against another male. If a dominant female came in he'd happily let her take over, but he makes sure that males know from day one he's bigger than they are.
     
  12. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Gavroche has ALWAYS been Top Dog. It's his Napoleon complex lol.

    Logan is more submissive, or at least puts up with Gavroche's ****. When I got him, his breeder told me he was sort of "dominant" and challenged the other boys frequently...especially his daddy and his brother (granted I think those were the only other males there at the time). I saw him do this several times over the 2 days I was there. But I brought him home, and he immediately accepted that Gavroche was boss and hasn't tried to challenge him since.

    That is, until now. The last few weeks I've noticed a shift. Logan has been posturing more...and Gavroche has been just "Okay, whatever...I guess you win :/" which sort of makes me sad, because it seems to me to be a sign of Gavroche getting older and slowing down :( It'll be interesting to see how it pans out over the next several weeks/months.
     
  13. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    It's the same with Ozzy. He didn't used to care about intact status, gender, anything. He'd fight or take what he wanted. Now, I'm not so sure he hasn't learned so manners, because up until now, there's never been a pushy bitch in the house.
     
  14. Torch

    Torch New Member

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    Right now, my normally very submissive and easy going hound mix, Henry, is the top dog in our house. It's only because the other dog is a 15 week old puppy, who is also a male. Henry is an excellent puppy raiser and is the bossman over any puppy he's raised. My parents' 3 year old boston mix is hell on wheels, but she defers to Henry.

    I'm curious to see how the dynamic works out between Henry and Rhys; right now Henry lets Rhys get away with some stuff, but is still clearly the authority figure. Should be interesting as I feel that Rhys is going to lose his puppy license soonish.
     
  15. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I can't comment on my dogs growing up, because none of them were what I would call stable. In a group of three dogs, at least one of them was always SSA/unpredictable around other dogs, which through every dynamic out the window.

    With Cynder and Abrams, Cynder is definitely "the boss". She lets Abrams get away with murder and prefers to politely ignore most things, but when she does get assertive he grovels. It will be interesting to see if things change as Abrams matures and looses a lot of his silly-puppy behavior, but I have a feeling he'll still be a stupid, derpy boy who doesn't want to make the queen bee mad. LOL
     
  16. ThoseWordsAtBest

    ThoseWordsAtBest Wu-Tang Steph

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    They just.. exist together? I can't think of how I would rank them. No one messes with Smalls, Shambles and Magpie know to leave Jonas alone, and the cat is above all of us.
     
  17. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    Right now Teagan is defiantly the boss. She has not problem correcting him and he respects her a lot and takes the correction from her. I don't really see that changing.

    Although I would not call Pan Submissive, he is far from it, he just really respects Teagan and knows not to get on her bad side or else he will get a spanking.
     
  18. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

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    It goes back and forth between my two. Ivan defiantly rules in the house(the pushy bratty little snot), Peewee more outside than Ivan. I have noticed that as Peewee ages, Ivan takes over a bit more. Nothing overt, but very subtle. The only real place that peewee isn't willing to give on is his dog house, that is his and only his. I haven't noticed any changes with food and what not, because I don't feed them together or give them chew bones with both out.

    One thing I have noticed though that a pushy bitch in the house always seems to rule the roost.
     
  19. Dagwall

    Dagwall New Member

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    Only thing close to comparable I have is how Jubel interacted with my long term foster Duncan who was with us for 9 months. Jubel was definitely the "top dog" between them but the only time he was ever really pushy about anything was greeting me first if I got home and my brother had left both of them together in the living room. For the most part they were separated when no one was home. Jubel would body block Duncan from me and maybe even give a little snark at him if Duncan pushed it a bit. This lasted all of the few minutes required to greet Jubel and I could pet Duncan at the same time as long as my focus was on Jubel.

    That was really the only way Jubel was pushy about it. But Duncan did defer to Jubel on pretty much everything. The first few months in my home Duncan was too scared to try and push anything. As get got more comfortable in his socially inept way he sorta tried to challenge Jubel who mostly just ignored his attempts. Duncan would put his chin on Jubel's lower back/rump, like other dogs do over other dogs shoulders. I'd just redirect Duncan and warn him Jubel's only going to put up with so much nonsense from him before he tells you off. Shortly there after Duncan pushed just a bit too far and Jubel corrected him, Duncan reacted badly to the correction and snarked back, so Jubel grabbed a bit of scruff and gave him a quick shake. Duncan screamed bodied murder, it was all over in a matter of 5 seconds from me seeing it coming and the time it took me to make the few steps over too them and separate them.

    Duncan ended up with a small little cut on his scruff and never tried to mess with Jubel again. Jubel acted like nothing ever happened. Jubel was never really pushy about taking chew toys from Duncan but if he wanted it he'd walk over to Duncan and look at it. All soft body language, no threats or posturing but Duncan would always drop it and walk away to another chew toy. I always made sure there were lots of chews out so plenty of other options.

    Jubel also let a 6 month old chi/terrier puppy who was at most 10 pounds steal his chew toys from him. She was a little resource guarding bitch who spent about 2 weeks with us. Her foster didn't bother to mention her resource guarding before dropping her off which could easily have cost her her life if Jubel wasn't such a good boy. The only time he corrected her awful behavior was when she snapped at him over treats when I was treating them next to each other. I'd probably still say Jubel was "top dog" in that situation too he just didn't care enough about the toys to bother correcting her, and let me deal with her resource guarding me.
     
  20. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    There was never a pecking order in my house. It generally went oldest to youngest by default, and the dogs relied on each other for different roles. No dog was cemented in top dog role or bottom dog role. Between 6 dogs(often more with fosters), they just sort of rotated depending on what they wanted, who they wanted to play with, and they all got what they wanted at any given moment. They were individual in certain behaviors, but it wasn't really separated out by rank.

    They all played together. They ate side by side. They were left out to roam the house 24/7, whether we were there or not. It was like that (and has been that way even after I moved out of my mom's house) for almost 10 years.

    Definitely blinded me coming into the dog world, though. The concept of dogs not getting along completely baffled me.
     

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