Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pack Politics

When Monty was alive, he was the unquestioned leader of the pack. He was big and strong and tolerated no nonsense and wasn't afraid to let the other dogs know when they were doing something wrong.

Dr B warned me when Samba was quite young, that she was a strong Alpha and that I needed to keep an eye on her. He said that as Monty aged, Samba would look for a chance to dethrone him and it could get messy. Monty didn't live to old age, he died quite young and Samba immediately moved into the position of  pack leader.

It wasn't a completely smooth transition, however. Fudge was eyeing the top spot and was pretty sure that he was getting the big promotion. There were some frightening battles between Samba and Fudge in the first few days after Monty's death.

Samba had a huge advantage. She had the voting public on her side. Her six pups supported their Mom. They were used to taking orders from her and looked up to her, so it was a given that they would support her as their leader.

Morgan is a born follower. She accepts whoever is leader and doesn't question it. She's the uninformed voter who just goes along with whatever anyone tells her. She adored Monty, but she happily accepted her friend Samba as leader. Had Fudge won, I'm sure she would have happily followed his lead.

Then there is Tsar. Rob and I both think Tsar would make a great Supreme Court justice. He's cautious and checks everything out carefully. He shows no favoritism to any of the other dogs except perhaps Morgan. He tolerates her, but is perfectly happy to be left alone to do his own thing. Once when he was quite young, he challenged Monty. Monty quickly put Tsar down on his back and stood over him till I rescued him. He never tried it again. Tsar seems to be above politics.
Right now the pack seems to be running pretty smoothly, but Fudge is still longing for that top job and with Samba suffering with MMM, I keep an eye on the situation to make sure Fudge doesn't stage a coup d'etat.

16 comments:

Tucker The Crestie said...

Pack politics can be dicey sometimes. Hope everything stays smooth!

Marjie said...

Fudge looks like he's just waiting for the peasants to align with him, and stage that coup. Watch him, Samba, watch him!

The Life of Riley said...

It is always interesting how the pack sorts thier order out.

Stella said...

This is amazing to me, I have never had more than two dogs at a time. So I have really never thought too deeply about pack leaders. I love how Tsar manages things, and Samba must want what she has very much. Why don't they see you or Rob as pack leaders?

Cheers and hugs,

Jo

scotsmad said...

We had a huge blue last year between Kendra & Daisy--so bad SHE had to step in and stop it. But both have eased off, Kendra seems happy to have abdicated most of her top dog duties, and Daisy picks up the slack. So there was an understanding of sorts.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

It's amazing how they sort it out.

Benny and Lily said...

It's funny how the role plays out and who winds up in charge. Lily is in charge over here.
Benny & Lily

Jan said...

It's strange how it isn't always the biggest and strongest that becomes the pack leader.

Anny said...

I think Fudge should be the top dog.. cos he's the only chocolate fella around.. and everyone loves chocolate. right? hehehehehehee

Jed and Abby in MerryLand said...

Our pack politics are so much more interesting than the bi-peds - and more efficiently resolved. In mama's decades of experience with Great Danes, the alpha 4-legger was ALWAYS a female. There was always a top male in the pack, but the TOP Dane was always a female and that held true as the identity of the dogs in the pack changed. As long as no blood was drawn, mama always let the dogs settle the pecking order amongst themselves because that's the only pecking order that will bring stability. Now that mama no longer has Danes, she's been surprised to find Jed & Abby split the alpha role: Abby is alpha for food and Jed is alpha for beds & insisting on attention from mama. Of course, Abby would argue that alpha status with the food is much more crucial to survival than alpha status over beds. So good luck, Fudge, but we suspect one of Samba's daughters may be the heiress apparent.

Jed & Abby

bichonpawz said...

Well...first there was Zippo...he was our BIG brother...the Newfy mix. Sadly...he went to the bridge last year and we thought that Chloe would take over...NOPE...the little rescue LadyBug decided SHE was going to be the leader! She is still a little skittish about some things...but for the most part...she barges her way in FIRST!!

Honestly, Your PWD's are soooooo cute, I WANT one!!

Wyatt said...

We had no idea of the challenges of a larger pack. We have always had one male, one female and the boys are always more dominant. Glad to see that your pack is working it out :)

Wyatt and Stanzie

gMarie said...

I love the 'spin' you put on your pack. But it's true, they all have their own quirks and desires. Beau has no desire at all to be top dog, but Lucy is working on getting Abby dethroned.

Fudge - well I'd keep an eye on him too - he's adorable and I love him, but I wouldn't put it past him to be wispering to the others staging something.....

g

SissySees said...

Interesting. You know Mugsy and Fred never did agree on who would lead, in part because the Knight didn't understand how easily he could upset the balance. I truly thank my lucky stars with these girls... Gretchen is only in charge during rough play, and only then because Sis-ma knows she could too easily hurt the wee one.

I can't say Gretchen is a born follower, but she trusts her Sis-ma and respects pack order. Every once in a while when she abuses her powers during play, she gets "back time" which is highly humbling to a JRT. Sis won't discipline her much - just a bat with a big ol' paw, and then a pleading look to the nearest human to remind the brat of who is queen.

Kippy Marrie said...

Olá...
Amei seu blog e achei voces LINDOS!
Sou a Kippy, uma York de São Paulo, Brasil. E amo fazer amizades pelo mundo.
Se puder, entre no meu blog e segue.
Não se preocupe quanto ser em Poturgues, minha mamãe está colocando um TRADUTOR para todos meus amigos de outras línguas poderem entender, ok?
Será um prazer receber sua visita.
Até breve e fica com o Papai do Céu.
Minha mamãe manda beijos 1000.
Aus 1000 com amor da amiguinha brasileira...

KIPPY

jodistone said...

I was afraid there would be fights when Delilah joined the pack, but there weren't. It's strange, I think she is the Alpha in some situations but Sampson is in others. Either that or they are both so confident they do their own thing. :-)

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

The dynamics of a pack are interesting to watch...Of course we are seeing the changes too, and while I thought I knew who would be the pack leader, it's interesting to see just who I'm pretty sure it's going to be.

I hope you're doing well! THANK YOU for your kind thoughts and friendship, you've really made a difference for me!!