Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pooches: Dog Chemistry

A lot of people are always amazed how our dogs get along so well. When we were looking to adopt our second dog, we knew that we needed a dog that could put up with Miss M's dominant and overbearing personality. First we were looking at younger dogs because we thought Miss M could mentor them. Being the diva that she is, Miss M wasn't interested in these younger dogs. Rather than mentoring, she would talk smack to them--I think secretly think she just didn't want anyone cuter than her in the house.
Then we decided to go for an older male, and we found Mr. B:
We thought that as a 5 year old gentleman, he would teach Miss M some manners and put her in her place. Which didn't quite work as we envisioned. Instead, Mr. B became totally submissive to Miss M's prima donna ways. Besides using him as furniture, Miss M is always pushing Mr B out of his tepee:
 But then again, he lets her do it:
When we were fostering Wilma during the summer, the two girls would take over the bed with their slumber parties:
And Mr. B would just sleep to the side:
 We know Miss M is most compatible with male dogs. Because when she tries these same things with other female dogs:
She's not so happy to be the recipient:
I think our dogs fall on the extremes of the scale: Miss M likes being bossy, and Mr B is just happy being Mr. B. I think even if Mr. B were our first dog, he would have still stepped aside for Miss M. Do most other dogs sort by time lived in the house? Or is personality a bigger determinant?

26 comments:

waldobungie said...

We got our pit almost 3 years after we got our chihuahua mix (both males) and they still get into spats about who is going to be the one in charge. Most of the time Turk (our pit) just humors Rufus and lets him be dominant, but if I were to do it again, I would do like you guys did and have a girl and a boy. From what I've read, it seems to make things easier!

Two Crazy Coaches said...

We had Flash first, but Ollie is definitely the more dominant one. He shoves her out of the way a lot and she usually lets him go first with anything. I always try to do things for Flash first so she knows she's still #1, but he's just bossy sometimes. In our house, it's definitely a personality thing.

Maggie said...

I think it has a lot to do with personality. I'm seeing this come out in my guys now that we've added a third dog. They're working hard to figure out who's who and where they fall in the pecking order. Emmett is still KING of our castle. Lucas and Cooper are trying to figure out where they fit in. And, even though Lucas was there first and is older and much, much bigger, he's so timid, I think he'll be on the bottom still!

Ettel, Charlie Poodle, and Emma Pitty said...

My dogs are so incredibly similar in personality and temperament, that it really doesn't matter. They both like being near each other, maybe touching, but never on top a la Ms. M. They're both super respectful of each other, and totally laid back. We've got good chemistry here!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

I think in the end it comes down to personality. In the beginning it might be about who's been there the longest, but that only lasts so long once the dogs learn about each other. All of our guys are so easy going it's hard to make out a real pecking order. None of them really push the others around except for the times Melanie wants to sit where Nemo is laying (and then she just sits on Nemo!).

Pauley James Foster Baby said...

In our house it is who has been there the longest with the exception of the fosters; they do not pay much attention to pecking order, they just seem to jump right in.By the way we could look at pictures of your dogs all day long!

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

We think it has to do with personality Koda is always allowing himself to be pushed around by Sophie or Jack. Of course my siblings climb all over him too and dress him up or do his hair. Sophie is the opposite she bosses everyone and if they don't listen she bites.

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

Petey and Roxy were living here before I moved in so I can't comment on how they adjusted to each other. I do know Petey was here first and doesn't generally get on well with other male dogs (found that out the hard way when trying to adopt my nursing home buddy, Murray). When Jordie joined us last January, there was quite a bit of scuffling between him and Petey. Eventually, they both settled down - Petey just ignores Jordie most of the time and Jordie is quite content to play with Roxy. Roxy will sometimes protect Petey from Jordie when he gets too rambunctious.

Fiona, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

We got Fi when our two other dogs (and one cat) at the time were old and sick or just old, and she was generally mellow to begin with, so the few times she went crazy, she was smacked down, and learned to be mellow quickly. We lost the dogs and cat over time, and we wanted a new puppy, so Fi's biological sister was brought in. Couldn't be More Different if we had brought home an elephant. Fi remains mellow, however, and lets her sister walk all over her (literally, sometimes). It seems to work for them, so we just stay out of it! ;-)

-Dr. Liz (the girls are currently playing tug-of-war...)

rescuedinsanity.com said...

That is awesome! I love the photos of Ms. M and Wilma sleeping next to each other like that. It's so sweet. Is this a common thing for dogs to do? I've never lived in a multi-dog household so I seriously have never witnessed behaviour like this before. But I'm in love.

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

Mollie is the smallest in our house yet she will throw her way around and push bobo off any bed or stool if she wants it. She came after Bobo but she is the dominant one.


Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

houndstooth said...

I think it's a combination of both. Most of the time, when we add a younger dog to the mix, that dog rises in pack order pretty quickly. When we added Lilac, though, she's already been mama to two litters of puppies and she didn't cowtow to Treat and Hawk at all! She let every young whippersnapper that she met that she was the Queen. She wasn't viscious, but one deep bark cowed almost every puppy she met. She'd do it when Blueberry got rowdy as a youngster and Blue would immediately drop her toy and go to the crate and lay down.

I've been watching Bunny and Morgan sort things out, and honestly, I'm not sure which of the two of them is in charge there! lol It's still evolving, and I think the pack dynamics do change over time. Lilac is not the boss of anybody but us anymore, but I don't think she knows it. The younger dogs all seem to just treat her with a certain amount of respect and humor her.

Levi Mac said...

Miss M's face is soo funny with Wilma on top of her, BOL!!
Mr B is just too much of a gentlemen- which is lucky for her :)
I wish I could tell you about me with other dogs but I am still working on mom and dad for a brudder or sister of the 4 legged kind!

HoundDogMom said...

I have found that puppies (young ones) have helped us with Cleo and her domination. She really seemed to tolerate them a lot better, I guess she felt she had the upper hand with them. Then when we lost Tabby in June they went through a whole new pecking order. Winston has become the dominate one over the girls and Cleo is the most submissive one know. Total opposite as to when she came into our house, with severe aggression. She know tolerates Amiee being in her face all the time, like Tabby. She would not have done that the first year we had her. We do know that Winston is very fond of his "Girls" and we don't think another male in the house would work.

brooke said...

I want to get Darwin a sibling eventually, I think she'd do better with a boy, but Jason's not into boy dogs. I dont know how she'd do with a sibling either male or female though because she's pretty dominant and gets jealous. Though, when we've had our friend's female dog stay with us (older and a lot more mellow) they're totally fine together.
I love seeing Mr B and Miss M's dynamics. They seem like the perfect fit!

Tucker said...

I think personality is a bigger determinant than seniority. Tucker is not the least bit dominant in nature, but he IS an attention hog. And when Dakotah, my dearly departed Mal-mix, was with us, Tucker was not averse to shoving him out of the way when he wanted attention that Kody was getting. And Kody, though he COULD be somewhat dominant, would without fail step aside. Now that Phoebe is here (there is a lot of personality and a fierce will of iron inside that little nine pound body), he is on the other side of this equation. Because Phoebe makes Tucker's former attention hogging ways look like puppy play. It is ALL Phoebe ALL the time ... and while she is not the least bit aggressive (I describe her, instead, as effusively affectionate), she definitely gets her way more often than not.

mayziegal said...

In our house, Brudder Ranger is most definitely in charge. He made that pawfectly clear right from the very beginning. And that's super fine with me. It's lots more impawtant to him than it is to me so it works out pretty good. (Between you and me, he's kind of a control freak but he'll never admit that.) I just want everybuddy to get along and be happy. So I guess I would say that it mainly comes down to pawsonality.

Wiggles & Wags,
mayzie

Jess said...

The chemistry in our house seems to vary day to day. But I'd say the typical pecking order has Rat in the lead, then Zorro, then Airlie. Rat's a bit of a bossy-cow diva, Zorro's about 50% wimp/50% maniac, and Airlie is just Airlie! She does whatever the two crazy terriers want to do. Whether it's wrestle or snuggle, she just follows along!

Kitty+Coco said...

I think it is personality. Kitty is older, but while she is ok with other dogs, she must always be the leader. Coco is like Mr. B and lets her do whatever she wants. The only thing Coco won't budge on is her place in my lap.

Mr. Pip said...

Well, I am single dog so I can't really speak to this. However, with my feline siblings, personality definitely trumps seniority. We have three cats and Rosie, the newest member of the household, is the definite boss!

Your pal, Pip

Benny and Lily said...

Ditto..same in our house. Instead of a puppy, mom got me since all my muscles wouldn't allow me in the show ring any more. Lily wears the pants in this house
Snuggles,
Benny & Lily

Wyatt said...

Some doggy has to be the boss. In our house, Miss Stanzie has always taken the back seat.

Wyatt

Miss M, cracks us up. She has the cutest expressions!

ForPetsSake said...

Great post - and one that brings alot of memories of past imbalanced matches to mind...
I think it's all about personality rather than time spent. poor Nyxie's out on both counts with Arwen, but if Nyxie kisses her fuzzy butt enough, Arwen tends to give in. There's much submissive lip-licking here - Nyxie's smart enough to work the system ;)

Roo said...

Those are great photos of the pooches! :) I feel for Mr. B always sleepin on the floor BOL! Silly guy.

Waggin at ya,
Roo

road-dog-tales said...

It heartwarming to see how well Mr. B and Ms. M get along! Around here, time and personality figure into the barking order, but mainly it's a territory kind of thing. Each of us has a certain "thing" we're dominant about and the others just deal with it. For example, Kayla is totally dominant about food and everybody else just lets her (she has to be fed by herself). Gracie and Aspen get into challenges - we might show pics of Gracie's recent "tussle" with Aspen some day. It wasn't pretty. But, then they will kiss and make up and lay next to each other? Females - whattaya gonna do?

The Road Dogs

Kari in WeHo said...

Baily and Mesa were not a love match at first but we had the time to put in the effort and it worked.

Big Carl was a foster to adopt to make sure he worked out in the house

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

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