Monday, June 27, 2011
The Mysterious Kilt
I read an article by a Dr. Sophis Yin DVM, MS on animal dominance and aggression. I will quote an interesting paragraph.
"Wolf hierarchies and those of other wild animals are so competitive that when an individual is removed from the group for as little as several hours to one day, he or she may have to re-establish rank upon reintroduction."
"Dogs are generally much more relaxed about rank. They can easily be away from their group for weeks to months and they re-enter seamlessly."
Not so with Kilt, our "wild" child. Even when she is away for one day, we have to re-introduce her to the group. We do this by putting the other 4 in the kitchen and allowing her to roam about for about 15 minutes. Or, she may go into the kitchen and watch the others through the dog gate. We do NOT allow her to or expect her to come home joyfully wagging her tail at her kennel mates. We learned early on that Kilt was "different."
Kilt has to re-establish her place in the pack. If allowed to come in through the door (after being gone for a day) with the others running about, she will bare teeth. We have NEVER had a dog fight because we are cognizant of her different personality. It is much more wolf-like than the others.
Kilt has a special problem with Trouble, our JRT. The JRT is quite likable, silly, but very dominant in Kilt's eyes. Kilt always keeps a peripheral eye on the Jack. If the Jack gets on the same couch, Kilt will move off the couch. Kilt will always growl and show teeth upon re-entering the house after being gone for a day or more and most of the time, the behavior is meant for Trouble. But, we have seen her do it to Xena and Yoko, too.
Jet is the only male and they don't come any more submissive than he is for an intact dog. Kilt always follows Jet and keeps an eye on him, too. But, it is more like Jet is a "possession" of hers. If he goes up the stairs, she will follow him up. She keeps an eye out for him all of the time. On occasion, she will stand over him and show teeth. He will do a low growl at her. Once when he had enough, he pinned her on the ground. I have only seen him do it once in a the last 6 years.
Kilt respects the eldest, the Labrador. She and her youngster, Yoko, will move to give Xena her place of rest plus, they wash her eyes with their tongues every day. Kilt, also, will give up ANY toy to her daughter if that is what her daughter wants to play with. She has a great love for her daughter.
It's important to KNOW your dogs and try to figure out what makes them tick, especially when you have an unusual one like Kilt in the pack. I think we have avoided any dog fights because we pay attention to how they relate to each other.