Friday, October 26, 2007

Thoughts from Mom -- Pack Dynamics

I was thinking tonight, as I was watching the two Sibes and the two Springers in my room that I think the four are finally becoming a pack. It has been a very interesting six weeks since Shelby first came!

Maddox was only 3.5 months then, so was just a happy baby who saw her as a playmate right away. Shelby on the other hand saw him as a total brat who didn't respect her boundaries. She didn't feel well, everything was new to her, she was an orphan and had spent who knew how many weeks on the streets before someone found her and turned her into the shelter where she was.

Now, Maddox has learned to respect her (is definitely submissive to her) and they are true buddies. They run, they play, they play HARD, they wrestle all the time, and get into mischief together. While he doesn't get upset when she is not around (is in her crate) he definitely loves to be with her. At five months, he is getting bigger and stronger and will be both over Shelby eventually.

Scotty and Claire were not amused when Shelby came. While Claire pretty much just ignored her, there were a couple big time snarly fights between the two that had me thinking OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE??? Now, Claire will watch over the Sibes as they play. She does the lip curl thing to Shelby, who now that she is all better, is a pretty amazingly even-tempered girl. Shelby either ignores Claire, or acknowledges her then moves on. Tonight, I witnessed her licking Claire's face. Huzzah! What does that mean though? Like I said, Shelby is even-tempered, so it doesn't mean she is suddenly totally sub to Claire.

Claire is still the alpha, but I think that if Shelby wanted to, she would become the alpha of the pack. But, she doesn't seem to want to. She is definitely over the boys, and seems to more or less respect Claire. She also realizes I am the boss.

Scotty is the omega of the pack. Enough said there.

Tonight, I decided to just let them do whatever, and video it. Just to show anyone interested and who might have thoughts on my pack's behavior. The two Sibes are always central--Shelby is up on the bed on the blanket alot (that is NOT my room decor--lol). Everything evolves around them. Claire is a watcher--you'll see her just staying close, observing. She doesn't get involved, but doesn't ignore either. Scotty desperately wants to get involved and eventually can't stand that the Sibes ignore him--he hurls himself into they fray. He doesn't have teeth to speak of, is not a biter. He is noisy though, and strong. They will acknowledge him for a second, but then ignore him again. Poor Scotty!

I am the boss of all. I have learned how important that is. I and I alone allow them to play, make them stop when I don't think they are being nice, etc. I have actually had to dump ice water on them once or two. That was interesting. Now I just have to flick water at them with my straw to get their attention. LOL.

So anyway--it is just fascinating to me, watching them, trying to decipher their behavior, seeing how each deals with the other. Going from two sedate Springers to two Springers and a Puppy and now the two and two... They are making an interesting foursome! I count this as a success, weaving Shelby into this group. I credit her with alot of that success, too, for her nature. I am also happy to report that she is getting really pretty fur and adding some good weight. I absolutely love her fur. :) I think it shows on this video how much she has improved. Scotty's coat has also improved from the Canidae. Fantastic food!

I think also Shelby Welby Woo is ready for the dog park. I am confident in my ability to handle her now, and am happy with her temperament, so think she will enjoy it there. Not sure when--man, every minute of every day is so packed--but soon. Probably next weekend. :)

Gosh watching this--I need to start using my camera. This quality is icky!


Tucker said...

You go, Shel! Red dogs rule!

Kapp pack said...

Cool video! We play a lot like you do.

Canyon and Sky

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

If only my hu-mom would let ME have a packmate ;-(

BUT I am going to visit with my StepSibeSisters - one of them will be 12 on Sunday -

woos to all!

-- The Mullin Clan's Mommy -- said...

I think you are doing great with Shelby. She looks really good! Is she still on Canidae? One thing when I video Juni & Cosi, I have to talk less. I hate to hear my voice on playback, Yuck! Your little movie turned out good - a lot of smiling doggie faces!

Lacy said...

woofies!!! lookies likes u all had fun there...shelby luvs to play...heehee bitey face, bitey leg and bitey tail...funsssss....

b safe,