Author Topic: Changes in 'pack dynamics'  (Read 557 times)

boxer pal

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Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« on: October 05, 2007, 10:45:50 AM »
With three dogs in the family, it's always a study in dog psychology isn't it?  Things seem to be changing in ours, whether it's good or bad, I'm still trying to figure out.
Rudy and Abe seem to be 'bonding' a bit more lately.  For the first year of Rudy's life, he was very closely connected to Romy.  She is our alpha girl, his rough and tumble playmate.  However, in the last couple of months, we've seen Rudy attempt to initiate play with Abe and Abe reciprocates. (in his feeble way) When they do, Romy gets REALLY hostile towards them both.  She will step between them and growl and re-direct Rudy's attention towards herself.  Last night, Dave was holding on to her and petting her, while Abe and Rudy were goofing with each other, she broke free and started a real snarl-fest that got everyone riled up.  I separated everyone and sternly re-directed Romy to a sit, then took them outside to run around and blow off steam.  Within moments, it was if nothing had happened and the rest of the evening was perfectly normal between all the dogs.  What am I seeing here?  Is it simply a jealously issue, that Romy can't stand the thought of Rudy playing with Abe?  Is his infirmaty coming into play?  I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.  And some advise on how to keep the peace!
Sue Q.
Hogan b. 6/1/10 our brindle baby boy
Onyx b.5/1/07 my dark beauty
my heart, my love, my joy. Rudy b. 9/06 d.5/10 
my mahogany girl Romy b.11/03 d.2/10
Abe, our first & best. b.3/97 d.5/08

Bugsys Mom

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 10:56:17 AM »
My first thought was protectivenss.  Maybe Romy is trying to protect Abe and keep him quiet since he is the old man.
Or, maybe it is just a girl dog thing.  When Zeus and Bugsy are playing Belle (neighbor's Samoyed) will get ticked off and get in the middle and start snapping at them.  Maybe she wants the attention herself, I don't know.
I think we need a behaviorist for this one.
Vicky

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 11:21:08 AM »
I'm still trying to sort through all this, there seems to be many factors at play here.  I thought of the notion that Romy is trying to 'protect' Abe, but when she goes off, she seems to be going at him as much as Rudy.  If not more.  Her arousal level is MUCH higher than either of the boys so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.  I also know the most feeble of the pack is likely to get 'ganged up on'.  It's not a huge issue as it doesn't happen often.  But it is a bit troubling to see Abe get knocked down and him feel he's being attacked by his pack mates.  And it's soooo darned cute to see Rudy and Abe interacting in play.  They've had some hysterical face fights on the living room floor and since it's been cooler in the evenings, Abe's been a bit more lively outside too.  He and Rudy have made attempts at play out there too.  As long as Romy isn't in the picture, they seem to be figuring out a play routine that they both enjoy. 
Sue Q.
Hogan b. 6/1/10 our brindle baby boy
Onyx b.5/1/07 my dark beauty
my heart, my love, my joy. Rudy b. 9/06 d.5/10 
my mahogany girl Romy b.11/03 d.2/10
Abe, our first & best. b.3/97 d.5/08

vroom

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 11:35:20 AM »
It sounds like jealousy to me.  I don't think she likes Rudy playing w/Abe.
Us girls are very possessive, you know!    ;)

I just like to hear about Abe playing!  :thumbsup:
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Missy/Precious mom

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 11:40:02 AM »
It sounds like jealousy to me too.  Romy is not used to Abe playing with Rudy.  I am glad to hear Abe is playing and feeling better.  Maybe you can take Romy for a walk and let Abe and Rudy play together.
Joyce

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 12:11:37 PM »
It's funny and very interesting to watch the way a 'family' group of dogs interact.  When Rudy was little, Abe paid very little attention to him.  Would occassionally 'play' but seldom tolerated Rudy's silliness, especially when it came to him nipping and jumping right on top of Abe.  But now that Rudy is older, I can see their relationship evolving.  They seem to have a mutual respect and admiration (if that's possible) for one another.  Rudy knows Abe's boundaries and is very respectful.  He seems to understand when Abe is most receptive to a play initiative and seems to want to engage the old fellow.  Romy, on the other hand, has focused all her attention on Rudy from the day he set foot here!  It's like she decided, okay, they got me someone to play with, nice knowin' ya, Abe.  She's not the least bit hostile towards Abe and they still nap together and share space quite well, but her attitude towards him has changed.  And lately, Abe and Rudy share the dog bed by my bed and Romy sleeps in my office on the other dog bed. 
Sue Q.
Hogan b. 6/1/10 our brindle baby boy
Onyx b.5/1/07 my dark beauty
my heart, my love, my joy. Rudy b. 9/06 d.5/10 
my mahogany girl Romy b.11/03 d.2/10
Abe, our first & best. b.3/97 d.5/08

luvmyboxerz

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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 02:43:59 PM »
OMG, that sounds exactly like my three.  Tyson automatically hooked up with Myah and totally forgot about Jake.  Now that Myah is 10 months old, she's starting to initiate play with Jake and Tyson will not have it.  He always has to get in the middle of them.  He doesn't get aggressive towards Jake but you can tell he doesn't want him having too much fun with Myah.
The cutest thing is when Jake and Ty both start mouthing Myah (very playfully of course) and she's just on her back loving all of the attention.  :)
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Re: Changes in 'pack dynamics'
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 08:28:55 PM »
Exactly hoe Ollie behave if Phoebe & Goofy play.  He want Phoebe to have NO part of it...she is his girl and he does not like sharing with Goofy.  Now that Goofy is feeling beeter he wants to play and Phoebe will ablige any pup that wants that!  But Ollie gets angry and attacks Goofster!
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