The three-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback bitch and a Rottweiler-Doberman-Mix bitch of the same age are an involuntary couple: their owners have fallen in love with each other. They got to know each other while going for a walk with their bitches, who got along well after the first start-up difficulties. But this is no longer the case: They eye each other suspiciously, growl at each other, avoid each other. There are always tense situations. The owners ask themselves whether this is a ranking battle and whether a pack always has to have a ranking?
The answer: you don’t need to prioritize. You can also treat yourself as a stranger, overlook yourself. But then, even as strangers, they have to keep their distance and be able to avoid each other. But if a person wants to keep two dogs in a common pack, then a person has to adhere to the dog pack order – otherwise it will “pop” again and again …
A pack of dogs is a unit that has grown over time, in which there are three distinguishable ranks: 1. the “old animals”, mostly mother and father, who are responsible for the whole, 2. the adult “helpers” who stay with the pack and take on certain duties, but also rights, 3. the “young animals” that can be cared for. The old animals are responsible for the “pack peace”, they live it: They never argue, they just get through – as one and as a team. The young animals, on the other hand, squabble forever: They still have to clarify their relationships with one another, but the old animals are of little or no interest. And every now and then there is a crash between the adult helpers: Then the old animals have to intervene and redistribute rights and duties. And they must – whether they like it or not – accept the dominance structures in the pack of helpers that have grown over time and in mutual interaction.
Only people obviously don’t understand. They try to prevent any dominant posture, everyone takes sides for his dog. And real “pack peace”, in which everyone gives in a little, but everyone has their own rights and obligations, that only exists when one of the people is not present. “We are the chiefs, and the dogs should leave themselves alone or be indifferent.” You can of course demand something like that in theory – but you won’t get it in practice. Just do a thought experiment: Imagine that when you first met, not each of you had a one-year-old bitch, but each of you had a daughter next to you. At first one was a bit “precocious”, then the other gave in admiringly. But then the other one caught up, and now and then things start to get right. And what do the “parents” say? “As long as you put your feet under our table, you’ll have to make up.” But no sooner have they enforced this and once established a “truce” when they get each other “in the wool” and “everyone takes sides” for his daughter – in the presence of the two …
Old dogs do not quarrel. They prevail. Here and now and without any scruples. Such beautiful (human) words as “freedom, equality, justice”, dogs can do little with. However, they cannot do anything with “power, submission, conformity”. For dogs, “dominance” is not synonymous with “subjugation”, but with (sometimes annoying) “taking responsibility”. Which is why everyone in the pack of dogs has their place, their rights and duties, which is why it is absolutely not “degrading” for the sensitive to let the street clear of the trampling.
1. Accept that the bitches are who they are. This has advantages – among dogs: the greater the individual differences, the greater the chance that the affected dogs will grow peacefully into a pack and divide their roles without jealousy. The more similar dogs are, the more likely it is to “bang”.
2. Accept that a bitch is more dominant: let her take precedence always and everywhere, do not scold her when the other is around (scolding a dog that has returned from a hunting trip is contraindicated anyway: a dog who comes must ALWAYS be praised!). And if you take something away from the dominant, the underdog must of course not get it!
Be a reliable adult couple who speak with one voice for the two of them. And forget about this “my dog - your dog”. Each of you has the dog that suits him :. From the point of view of the dogs, your adult helpers, this is not an insoluble problem. But: The dogs will only come to an agreement if you agree.
(Text: Gudrun Beckmann)
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