Dog Rules


Good morning everyone!

Sunrise - Borrowed from "Five Acres with a View" on WordPress

 I found this sunset picture on the WordPress Blog “Five Acres with a View.”  Isn’t it beautiful?  I would have put in one of my own, but I usually am not up early enough to take one.  I am definitely NOT a morning person!

  • Thursday

Today, for some odd reason, feels like Thursday.  How disappointed I will be when Saturday comes and it is only Thursday! 

  • Dog Rules

Researchers tell us that dogs that live together create their own hierarchy.  The ideal hierarchy for human families with many dogs (like three!) is for the dogs to understand that the humans are primary and then they fall in line after that.  I know my dogs view Mark as the Alpha pack member, but I am curious as to how they view me.  If I put enough authority behind my voice (the command tone, which I am not very good at unless speaking to 9 year old girls who have ignored my last two requests), then they will listen to me, but most of the time I believe my title with the pack is She-Who-Feeds-Us-Every-Morning.  This title at least grants me instant popularity, if not authority. 

One area where their hierarchy demonstrates itself is feeding time.  Mandy and Tyra are fed together in the kitchen/breakfast area but in two separate bowls, while Darwin is fed separately in the bedroom.  (He has an unfortunate tendency to want to wander by other dog’s food bowls and say “Hi!” while they are eating.  After he says “Hi!”, he then wants to share their food, which is not a popular option with either of the other two dogs!)   

Tyra and Darwin eath both speedily and well, but Mandy simply refuses to eat until one of two things happens:  a) a human sits on the floor and hand feeds her every piece (not happening, at least not by me – Kayla has caved a time or two), or b) Tyra has completely finished her food.  However, Mandy is an exceptionally slow eater, so the designated human (me) ends up sitting at the kitchen table for at least 20 minutes, if not more, waiting for her to finish eating.  (And here some of you have been admiring me for finding time to write this blog – it is not diligence, simply an urge to keep from being bored out of my mind while Mandy dines!) 

 I have to stay by the two of them in any event because Tyra, whose behavior is normally impeccable, has been known to saunter over to Mandy’s food bowl occassionally and start to eat from it, even though Tyra still has food of her own to eat.  Mandy simply steps aside without so much as a whimper and lets Tyra eat.  However, heaven help Darwin if he even breathes as he walks by Mandy’s food bowl on the way to the water bowl.  She is quick to lets him know that her food is not his, and there will be no sharing!

The hierarchy between Tyra and Mandy is also demonstrated at night.  Because I go to sleep before Mark, Tyra and Mandy come into our bedroom with me at bed time, while Darwin stays with Mark in the den.  Tyra insists on jumping onto (or being picked up and put on, now that she is not quite as spry as she used to be) the bed and staying at its foot on Mark’s side until he comes to bed.  (It’s like having a hot water bottle for your feet, only better, Mark says.)  However, even if Mandy jumps onto the bed, she is off of it again before lights out.  Basically, as middle junior dog, she is allowed to visit, but not allowed to stay!   

Well it’s time to go – No-No (Darwin) has just sauntered out of the bedroom with a handkerchief, and Bad Dog (Mandy) is trying to get him to play tug of war with it, so duty calls! 

 Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

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9 responses to “Dog Rules

  1. My two dogs, with a combined weight of less than 20 pounds run this house like the Mafia. I’m pretty sure Peanut is ‘boss’ and Schatzi is his henchwoman.

  2. I love your posts I can always relate so well. (Jaerae1971 your comment cracks me up too!)

  3. I hear you on this one! I have two dogs and two cats. Our first dog is the alpha dog. But our older dog, Romeo, seems to have put himself on the bottom of the totem poll when it comes to meal time because he allows the cats to eat first out of his bowl. Or he’ll back away if the cats come up while he’s eating. I feel bad for him because he doesn’t have to do this. But he doesn’t seem to mind either. Aren’t animals interesting?

    • Yes, animals are interesting. I was amazed at how little had been written about dogs in terms of observing their behavior until just recently; when I first started looking for books about 7 to 10 years ago, I couldn’t find anything, but in the last 5 years or so there have been a couple of very good books written on the behavior of dogs. It sounds like Romeo has simply decided not to fuss about the cats; Tyra has done that about some things Mandy and Darwin do. Still, when push comes to shove, there is no doubt that she rules the roost!

  4. I am a cat person although we do have 2 dogs. For a long time my cat ruled the house, until my son came along and now the cat lies upon cupboards, wall units and any place not within reach of a toddler who thinks it is cute to love her until the claws come out. I can relate to the authoritive tone which is needed when you need to gain control from a sometimes unruly dog. However the male in the house always seems better equiped at this – odd? It would be interesting to see why the fairer sex struggle in this department.
    Love your blogs!

    • We visited a friend a few weeks ago with a cat that is somewhere between 16 and 18 years old, and between their daughter, who was almost 6 at the time, and my daughter, age 9, I think the poor cat was ready to have a nervous breakdown!

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