Sunday, April 13, 2008

Not all Sweetness and Light

Oliver has hit his teenage stage-the stage when most puppies get shipped off to the pound. But, this is Oliver, and it has mostly expressed itself with a little more energy and a disregard for the potty protocal as well as an interest in chasing the old cat.

His Bitty bullying is getting a little more intense-some of that is due to his age and some of it is due to the lack of Dottie. She was a tyrant who would tolerate no young dog foolishness except for Prissy.

Prissy's bullying of Oliver has abated because he's twice her size, but she will still give him no quarter in the battle of the pink spider tug.

Lily is sometimes a part of the pack and sometimes not. Sometimes Prissy is her role model, sometimes Bitty. (Remember, Bitty looks like her sibling)

Oliver looks mostly to Cody, his idol, for guidance now that Dottie is gone. Greta seems a little stressed and overwhelmed by it all. I really hope she firmly emerges as the alpha. Having Dottie artificially place as Alpha above All was a huge mistake for a normal pack of dogs, and it was probably bad for Dottie as well.

With Dottie gone, that places Cody as the eldest by about a year. (Bitty is so much the Omega that she cannot impart dog wisdom).

I need to focus on keeping Greta and Cody in line and the pack will follow. The day to day care and movement of so many dogs requires a little structure or no one would be having any fun at all.


Forever Young said...

you are like a general with his troops.giggle
i have just read a delightful book, informative and interesting called 'dogs never lie about love' by jeffrey masson.
have you read it? if not i will send you a copy (second hand from amzon if that's okay?

Debra Kay said...

I love that book-yes I've read it. Dogs don't lie about love-the will tell the occaisonal story about food however.

studio lolo said...

Sounds like you're trying your best to keep some sort of order in the house. When my nieces 3 dogs started fighting, she went to see a behaviorist in Boston who said that she should always feed the alpha first, praise them first, go out the door with them first, etc. I guess it helps show the others who's top dog! I'm sure you know these things though. Now if only Oliver would catch on :)

Debra Kay said...

Ollie just hit puberty a week after Dottie died and the pack is a bit uneasy.

I usually feed/bed them in varying orders-as well as take them out because I want to reinforce that I am the decider....but, I also clearly favored Dottie in all things.

I'm still trying to work out if that was best. If I select my second, there is less fighting, but if they select a second, they may make a better choice.

Fighting is limited for the most part to posturing-I will break up any loud growling or biting because I can't allow that.

It feels very odd and sad to sort out life without Dottie and I'm sure the pack senses my ambivalence about it all as well.