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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Riddle me this...

Bonnie is more fiesty, faster, initiates play with Duncan more, barks more at strangers, and I assumed she was the "alpha." Duncan is more layed-back and follows her everywhere.
Then there's chow time. She will lay down (and it looks like sulking) and watch him as he attacks the food bowl (there are two bowls so they could eat side-by-side). It's almost as if she waits her turn before eating. Then, as he moves away (for a break or whatever), she approaches the bowl and eats. When he joins her, she sometimes eats with him, but more likely, returns to her "sulking" position, watching and waiting for him to move away again.
I'm actually watching their "little dance" with their dinner right now. Neither is a picky eater. I would say that Duncan prefers to eat a little more than she, but he CERTAINLY doesn't eat all the food -- probably just half (often they leave some behind). I don't really get what's going on. Is she really not the alpha? What are your thoughts? It's so interesting to me.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 06:44 PM
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Ha ha-- Jasper does the same thing with Cash. Jasper will go and hide until Cash has at least started eating. I was told that Jasper (who is older) is the Alpha but an insecure alpha. But eating last is his way of being in control. But I got this information from a not so reliable source. But it does make sense with my boys. When Cash first came we tried to give Jasper some status by letting him eat first-- but he would have none of it-- he went and hid.




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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hmmmm... insecure alpha. This may make sense. I am really interested that you see the same behavior! BTW, Bonnie can't hide since I feed them in the ex pen. LOL!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 08:09 PM
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Billy, sweet little Billy, is ALWAYS deferred to by Molly, who outweighs him by 10 pounds! Both are exactly the same age.

When the food is set out, Molly sits over to the side, watches Billy eat, and only when he moves away does she approach the dish. When they both get a treat, Billy wolfs his down, and Molly, who likes to take time and examine the treat, will usually either move aside so Billy can have it, OR he'll take it right out of her mouth!

Same thing with throw-and-fetch: we throw the toy, they both RLH, but Molly looks back and stops so Billy can get the toy first! There is no aggression, and no fighting. Molly just lacks assertiveness and Billy takes the lead.

Molly has, however, during the last couple of days, started "mothering" Billy...she'll "herd" him during a walk, she snuffles the back of his neck, and she'll coax him with her paw when she wants him to follow her. He is agreeable, so it's working.

It's just an interesting study in dog psychology!

Maureen and Molly
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 08:37 PM
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I never had this problem with my other dogs. When the food was put down, they ate it. These guys are somethin' else. Unless they are really starving, they will not eat together, either. Ans Shelby doesn't like you to watch her eat.


Michele
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 09:01 PM
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With only two dogs you are not going to have true pack behavior evident, but a lot of people get assertive dogs mixed up as the Alpha. Usually the Beta is more vocal than the Alpha. The Beta will keep the others in the pack in line for the Alpha. The Alpha is the one who determines play time and gets to eat first.

Like I said, true pack dynamics don't show with just two dogs though.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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That is just so cool. I'm fascinated by it. It did cross my mind that it might be a "mothering" thing Bonnie was doing. Could that be what I'm seeing? I've seen her "herd" him before and I know when he was learning to walk on leash, she was doing some "teaching" and "nudging."
Wild. I just love watching these guys. They are too much fun!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havtahava View Post
Like I said, true pack dynamics don't show with just two dogs though.

Now THAT would be another reason to get another Hav!

I've started my "Rationale For Hub For NEEDING Another Hav" list...thanks for giving me Number 9!

Maureen and Molly
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2008, 11:14 PM
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Maureen, I would need to look it up to be sure, but I believe you need five at least for a pack - two females intact, one male intact, one female spayed (or submissive) and one male neutered (or submissive). I'm just trying to guess from memory though. That may not be correct.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Havtahava View Post
Maureen, I would need to look it up to be sure, but I believe you need five at least for a pack - two females intact, one male intact, one female spayed (or submissive) and one male neutered (or submissive). I'm just trying to guess from memory though. That may not be correct.

Thanks! Now I have Numbers 10, 11, and 12!

Maureen and Molly
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