Friday, October 3, 2008

Bringing Home Lucy the Weimaraner

My 3 year old weimaraner Lucy is completely nuts. So when I knew I had to keep Tony the German Shepherd Dog confined for 42 days straight because of heartworm treatment, I thought getting a vacation from Lucy was a good idea for all of us. So off Lucy went to my mom's house for a little vacation and an extended visit with my mom's German Shepherd, Smokey.

Well now that Tony is over his heartworm, Lucy has returned. Bringing Lucy home has drummed up some old issues. For one, I have 3 female dogs and 2 male dogs. Once, a long time before I had 5 dogs, I asked a vet which is better: multiple male dogs or multiple female dogs? The vet, perhaps speaking from a point of view best described as naive, insisted that having multiple female dogs was far better.

Whoa could anything be further from the truth. Just like a caddy of women at the office, having multiple female dogs is a serious problem. Here is my take on it. You get multiple male dogs, and yes they are going to fight. Once. That's it. One time, end of story. They sort out who's in charge, then after that everything runs smoothly.

Not so with the um...bitches! Female dogs are constantly jockying for position. Like I said, its just like having an office with nothing but women. Two female dogs, well that seems to work out OK. But three represents some kind of tipping point.

A funny observation: over the past 8 weeks while Tony was undergoing his treatment, my female Akita Naomi has been skimping on her food. Not eating at all sometimes. Hell this is a good thing because Naomi is a bit overweight despite walks in the mountains. But since Lucy came back-all of the suddent Naomi's got to eat every last crumb.

Unfortunately for my German Shepherd Dog Brandy, who is a real sweetee-she is at the bottom of the female heirarchy. Brandy is basically a real gentle dog, but for some reason she likes taking her stress out on the males. She used to bark like crazy and do lots of fake attacks on Sam the German Shepherd. Now she takes her anger out on Jake and Tony. But for some reason, when it comes to the girls Brandy is real passive. She won't fight back at all when Naomi and Lucy pick on her, and even seems afraid to get a drink of water (Naomi and Lucy growl and bark near the water bowl, despite my objections). Since Lucy has been back home Brandy's been spending lots of time hiding.

Well things will work themselves out, they always have. But that vet was seriously mistaken. My male dogs have always gotten along great but female dogs never seem to sort it out. It always seems to be contant battling and bickering amongst female dogs to see who is on top and who is in the middle. They don't seem to sort things out all in one go the way male dogs do.

Well what is your experience? If you've had large numbers of dogs I'd like to hear how they sorted out their heirarchy.

No comments: