Oh boy! I haven't had a chance to update this blog. It's not work that has been killing me, thankfully. I think I'm able to manage doing enough vs. slaving over work.
The truth is, taking care of 7 dogs is e-x-h-a-u-s-t-i-n-g!!!
They're all grown up. Whatever we haven't taught or trained them to do, it takes longer for them to absorb now. At almost year 1 and year 2 1/2, our dogs have minds of their own. Sometimes, they really refuse to listen.
And they've really been testing my patience.
For instance... we've had our rounds of quarrels between two pups (now grown dogs). Sibling rivalry and the fight for dominance has escalated between Frasier and Bob, that they've actually ended up getting injured. It's enough to have us so worried. If we're not vigilant and obsessive about this, one of them is bound to wear a muzzle.
On my last count, Frasier has been wounded on the face in three different instances, while Bob wasn't able to open his eyes for a day one time, coz Frasier had bitten it badly.
Frasier is very aggressive. I've seen him in action. One time, he held on to Bob's ear flap and tugged it so hard, in a fit of anger, that we couldn't pry them apart. He's pissed at his brother. Over what? I just don't know yet. Bob's very good at pissing Frasier off with something as simple as walking in front of him. Maybe it's the way Bob walks. (He walks funny, in fact.) Or the smell of him. Something rubs Frasier the wrong way.
As I'm writing this entry, Frasier is again pissed at Bob and is barking at him. Bob wouldn't be bullied and stands on guard, ready to attack. I don't know who started this. But I'm keeping a watchful eye.
Most days, these two don't see eye to eye. And literally, they shouldn't. Once their eyes meet, a brawl happens next. But some days? It's like nothing happened.
I read somewhere that with dogs, the master shouldn't treat sibling rivalry the way one would handle it with children.
In children, parents are supposed to not pick favorites; siblings are to be loved equally and treated equally. It's not the case with dogs, apparently. The parent is supposed to favor someone, so that the rest of the pack can look up to that favored dog and follow his lead.
So, what this reading suggested is that I have to find out between Frasier and Bob who the Alpha Dog is, and treat that one better. Meaning, I have to give to that dog food first or greet him first before the other one. I have to establish his dominance over the other dog. Once that is recognized, the rivalry will stop.
It doesn't sound easy.
First of all, I do not know who is more alpha between Frasier and Bob. Bob is bigger, so it would appear he's more dominant. Second, they're both aggressive. And they both fight back. So, I don't know who has more grit on him to say he's more Alpha.
But I experimented and tried to show the two I was favoring Frasier over Bob. My basis? Very simple, actually. Frasier was minutes older. He's basically "Kuya" by 20 or something minutes to Bob. Ha-ha! So, I give Frasier food, water and attention first over Bob.
Something did happen. Yes, the fighting did stop.
Bob didn't seem bothered that I was favoring Frasier. And it could be because Bob's kinda slow (more on that later), so he has no idea what is really going on.
But there was a noticeable change in Frasier's behavior.
During those days when I was putting Frasier first over Bob, he hardly got pissed at him. He would only stand or sit by my side when Bob would pass, sometimes with a smug look on his face, as if saying --- "I can rise above you, twit. I can show the lady, I'm more mature than you are."
But there were no fights.
And no one was injured.
Ahhh, peace at last?
A couple of days ago, Bob was able to catch a tiny, tiny mouse in our kitchen. By doing that, he received all praises from his human Dad. And all the other dogs saw how happy Dad was with Bob's "accomplishment".
And after that happened, whatever "experiment" I've been trying to do failed and now we're back to zero: Frasier and Bob are fighting again.
And what I really need at this point? Is my time out from all of these.
Think it's hard to curb sibling rivalry with children? It's so much harder with dogs. :P