Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fix - Sibling Rivalry (5/25/2012)

By Christy Hess

What a week!! Am writing this blog from a coffee shop because my husband severed the internet cable as he was trying to seed the yard.

So the topic of this week's blog is raising siblings.

I have border collie brothers (now 9 years old). Having siblings always seemed like a great idea. They stimulate each other and keep themselves company. They could also imitate the good characteristics of each other and will be able to do everything together. I never have to worry about another dog picking on them at the dog park, because they are a pack, watching out and protecting each other.

They are great, however recently I have found that they are "arguing" more and more often. I wanted to let other sibling adopters know my mistakes so they can avoid them.

I found that I was totally the problem. I was disturbing the hierarchical balance by rushing to protect the Brody from being “bullied” or “picked on”, granting him liberties, such as being petted first, which Cody (the alpha) considered his due. Brody now feels emboldened enough to challenge Cody. We need to understand that dogs have their own set of social rules, whereas we humans just want democracy and now that I am honoring the hierarchy the balance is back in order in our home.

Hope you enjoy some of my favorite sibling pics:

One of these pups is a bit camera shy,

These two even run the same,

Great family photo

True nature is then displayed

Really having siblings is a joy - but you do have to make sure that you follow dog rules.