Making progress on having two dogs

We’ve had Jujube for over three weeks now, and not a fight in a week and a half. Yay!

Jujube has learned Loki’s triggers, and Loki has learned to give fair warning. He mainly seems to be territorial -- he controls his space and doesn’t let her pass. For instance, Loki loves to sit at the top of the stairs and won’t let her pass. She sits pitifully in the middle of the staircase and whines. He also will claim doorway space, like the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room. Jujube has now learned that she can’t go pass him, she goes all the way around him. Sometimes they contest the front door mat. They don’t fight over it, but they will sort of verbally argue. I’m not sure how to describe it. It’s a combination of barks, whines, and shiba-talking. Lastly, he really hates it when she steps over him or on him. This will provoke a warning snap. I know, snapping isn’t a good thing, but at least it’s a warning and not a bite.

We originally thought that Jujube would end up being more dominant over Loki. She has plenty of alpha traits; she seems like more of a natural alpha to us. For instance, on all of our walks, she is up front 100% of the time. And not only does she like to be in front, but front and center. It took me awhile to teach her to not walk into me and to not charge on ahead of me. Loki, on the other hand, is always lagging behind both of us. Jujube is always curious, confident, and without fear. She demands attention. And she claims the bed. (Interestingly enough, Loki doesn’t claim the bed at all.) In fact, she’ll literally walk all over us on the bed. She doesn’t care. She does what she wants. She never follows Loki. She’ll follow us like she’s our shadow, but she never follows Loki.

Although Jujube may exhibit these sorts of alpha traits, she is not territorial; Loki is, and being territorial is also an alpha trait.

When they wrestle, they take turns humping each other. There’s no clear winner in that battle. So, that doesn’t give us a clue about who’s on top.

In the end, Loki’s aggressive and Jujube is not. So she just learns to avoid his triggers and in that sense, he gets to be more controlling, more of the alpha.

We decided that if there’s no fight or attack, there’s no need for us to step in and intervene. I think it kind of sucks for her that Loki’s her gatekeeper, but I’m not going to intervene. If this is how they keep the peace, this is how they keep the peace.

4 comments:

Joon said...

hey, I didn't know that you had TWO blogs. I found them out on your facebook page. Anyways, on the other blog of yours, Googld ad showed "utility warehouse". It was quite funny

Jen said...

In multiple shiba households (from my limited experience, anyway) the alpha-ness and pack orientation has little bearing on daily house-dog life. Their ranking is very fluid because resources are never scarce (resources being food, water, attention, toys, etc).
So basically, you have bickering because shibas are just quirky little dogs, not because there is a fight for resources - most of the time.

I'm glad you are learning about each dog individually and learning about them as a pack as well.
I agree - if there is no biting/fighting, letting them sort out their stuff is the best option - its worked in our pack dynamics.

Congrats! It sounds like they are keeping it interesting!

Leodjenkins said...

my Opinion of the dog Loki is he seemed like he was abused by humans before and he was not desensitized at a young age example feeding him out of a human hand and petting him so hes use to being touched that will also help with nails.
I mean signs are there he only gets mad when you physically touch him right???

but never the less i hope im wrong =D
but i wouldn't take them on walks together until they learn to walk beside you. them walking in front of you all you have to do is stop and wait when the dog looks at you in curiosity of why you stopped start to walk she should pick up the hint because Shiba's love to "think for themselves" lol...
and because he walks behind you isn't good either and is not a dominate behavior. he doesn't trust you so he walks behind you. =( if that is the case you need to build his trust which will take allot of time. but in ordinary cases you would simply walk a little faster so he will walk with you and if he stops to doily continue to walk but please don't drag him kinda tug nonchalantly k.
=D

Vi said...

Leodjenkins --

If you go back to the very beginning of this blog, you'll see that we've had Loki since he was a puppy. Other than the breeder, he's known no other owners. He was our first dog, so maybe we didn't always know what we were doing. But we have always loved him and tried to raise him as best we can. And also, you can see through this blog, we are constantly learning and committed to do whatever it takes to make our household work.

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