Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Food, toys and the attention of their master are the pivotal issues that the dogs will be negotiating for at least the first few days. Your best bet is to remove yourself from the process of sorting out who will wind up on top—the dogs have to work it out in their own way. Think of yourself as a neutral “UN advisor.” Only step in between the dogs if it looks like it’s leading to war.
  It’s Quite Natural for One of the Dogs to Be Dominant.
The dog world (the whole animal kingdom, really) is not a democracy. Dogs do not have our human ideas about “fairness.” Yes, you can teach them to share—you can even teach them to take turns or wait their turn for your affection or treats. But at the end of the day, one dog will come out on top as Numero Uno: it’s the way dogs are wired. It is not helpful to your dogs if you project human ways of thinking onto them. Perhaps to you “dominant” means something good, like “best” or “the winner” (and, by inference, those who aren’t dominant are automatically “losers” or “inferior”). Or, for you, “dominant” may have a negative implication—it may mean pushy or bossy or greedy. But in the dog universe “dominant” has no value judgment, it just means that one of them has been elected “Top Dog.”
  What If Your Dog Is a Dominant Female?
A strong female may do best with a submissive type of either gender—a “whatever you say, boss” kind of personality. In this situation, the dogs should meet on neutral turf twice before the homecoming to give them ample opportunity to iron out any differences—and then they should return home together.
  The Resident Dog Will Probably Be in Charge.

It’s likely that your resident dog will be dominant over the new dog, but if it doesn’t turn out that way, leave the situation alone. If you try to keep your resident dog on top, imposing your idea of “fair play,” it will only increase any conflict that the dogs would otherwise have worked out naturally. Canines have their own way of holding elections; we cannot interfere and try to stuff the ballot box.
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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