Monday, February 14, 2011

The job of boss is in dispute

Maggie has now trained 3 male Cardi puppies, and has remained at the top of the pack for 8+ years.  In her info on the blog, I say that she's "the undisputed boss."  She was young with Denzil, so they had fun playing together - but Denz was always clear about his place.  She had Ziggy trained so well that all she had to do was start to raise her lip at him and he fell in line.

Rip is different.  For the most part, he has not bothered Maggie at all.  That is starting to change.  Rip is starting to push back at Maggie a bit.  Especially when food, or just-empty food bowls, are involved.

We've had a few "corgfuffles" (that's a kerfuffle involving corgis) that have sounded and looked quite bad.  Fortunately nobody has been injured, nor have either of them tried to injure the other.  I am now managing around this by feeding with doors closed,  picking up food bowls immediately when the meal is done, and keeping Rip's crate door closed after meals.

In the event that they do get into a spat, I've been breaking it up (Rip drags a shortened leash around the house to make getting him out of trouble easier), and putting them both in a down stay - facing each other with me in between them - until Rip calms down.  Maggie doesn't want to be involved in the nonsense anyway, so she calms down quickly.  I picked up this tip from Patricia McConnell's book, "Feeling Outnumbered." This seems to be working well so far, but it seems that this will be a long process.

When food isn't involved, Maggie and Rip seem to have a good relationship.  He's normally contrite with her, backs off when she gritches at him, and even snuggles up for a bit of "mothering."


You can't come near my food bowl, but you can clean my ears


I sense more of a change coming, though.  Rip is asserting himself more each day.  The other night, he was sleeping on the prime bed in the family room (aka Maggie's bed).  He wouldn't let Maggie join him, and she backed off quickly.

The Husband and I are a bit worried.  The pack has been very stable with Maggie as a leader.  As The Husband says, "I do not want this house ruled by an adolescent male."  If things keep going in the same direction, it doesn't look like we'll have much of a choice.

4 comments:

  1. I'll be interested to follow this little corgi saga, since we just added a new member to the pack who will be coming home in 3 weeks. Rufus is Maggie's age and has always been top dog/only dog in the house. I think the king is going to be dethroned....

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  2. I have a similar situation with Jimmy and Wilson. Originally they could share a bowl/plate (not their dinner bowls of course!), both licking it clean. Then it got to where Jimmy would snark at Wilson as they finished up. Now, just handing out a dog biscuit can result in Jimmy going after Wilson. Poor Wilson is becoming afraid of Jimmy and is deciding food isn't worth being lunged at. So now I have to make a conscious effort to manage feeding time and treats in order to avoid conflicts before they happen. I feel bad for Wilson as he is a sweet respectful guy who would never ever be so rude!

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  3. not usual for a male/female...and not what I expected for a Wally/Hannah pup as they are both super solid. I'd continue to sit on him. Part of it may be her age as well.

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  4. Mandy -
    Don't worry - he's still a Wally/Hannah kid - Rip has a lovely temperament with other dogs. Happy, friendly, tail-wagging. It's just Maggie + food that doesn't work right now. Ziggy + food is ok (Ziggy is a calm non-dominant dog). I'll keep at it and hopefully we'll sort things out.

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