As many of you know I’m the proud owner of 2 dogs, neither of which speak english. Skrappy, my 10 year old Australian shepherd/dachshund mix has always been the more dominant dog where Duke, my 8 year old cocker spaniel is the little retarded child that fallows him around. For YEARS Skrappy would play twisted little mind games with him like gathering all the toys, treats, or what have you in front of him while Duke watched and waited for him to let him have one of whatever he was hoarding. I tried to break that for YEARS, little did I know I threw a wrench in an otherwise perfect machine.
Duke is retarded. There’s really no other way to explain him. He’s always been a bit stubborn yet obedient until lately. In the past he would always jump up and run whenever I called him, now he looks at me from his comfortable chair and says “why?”. He’s had problems getting into the trash or eating people’s food when they aren’t looking but I had him broken of it until lately.
The thing that changed is I have switched them to a raw food diet. Don’t get me wrong the raw food isn’t the problem, they’re both much healthier now than they were The problem is before Scrapie had control of the feeding, he would sit at the bowl and growl while Duke watched and waited for his turn. I used to get so pissed about that because Duke’s tummy would be growling yet he wouldn’t eat because he was so obedient to the other dog that he couldn’t force himself to break the rules. Now that they’re raw fed they both eat at the same time, and more often than not Duke eats first because he’s always right at my feet waiting.
See we as people don’t think of eating as that big of a deal. We’re evolved. We’re civilized. We have thumbs. Even though we dress them up in gay little shirts or give them silly little haircuts they are STILL savage animals. You leave a domesticated dog to itself long enough eventually it’s instincts kick in and it figures out how to survive. Their language is totally different than ours, where ours is based on verbal communication theirs is based on body language and direct actions.
For YEARS Scrappye maintained control by doing little dominance exercises like eating first, hoarding, and sitting under my feet. Now that one little log has been removed from the cabin the whole building has been reduced to a pile of logs, so to speak. It’s like he finally said “ok, you won’t let me control him, YOU try.” And he’s really stepped back from that role.
Now Duke has made the transition into bad dog mode. He’s NOT an alpha dog but since one element has changed he feels like he’s been bumped up to Alpha status. The problem there is when non-dominant dogs are put into a dominant role they start doing things that, although to a dog seem completely rational, come across as bad behavior to us. So, he got shoved to the bottom of the pack.
Now he has to watch Scrappy finish his meal before he gets fed. He’s not allowed on the furniture. He’s not allowed to sleep on my bed. He has to be treated like the bottom dog again, but since I took that power away from Skrappy I have to step up and keep him in line. Even though things like that may seem silly or just plain ridiculous to us they think it’s normal and common place. So my conclusion, stop messing with dog politics and watch a few more episodes of Lost. If I give Skrappy back his power hopefully I won’t have to worry about it anymore.