In our pack I am the boss. This is not a Democracy. I make the rules. The dogs, however, have developed interesting ways to work with me.
My dogs are very aware of time. I don't know how they do it, but they know when it's dinner time. They start legislating about 10 minutes before I usually feed them. If I feed early, that's a signal to start a little earlier the next time. If I don't stand firm they will move the time up by 10 minute increments until they're eating an hour before schedule.
My favorite tactic of theirs is sending a representative, or speaker, to negotiate with me. The best example is in the morning. When I am starting to wake up, I'll hear the dogs moving around. Soon, I'll feel a nudge. When I look at the side of the bed, they will be lined up behind the chosen representative, looking very sweet and hopeful. I have to laugh and get up.
They used to choose Lucy quite often. I guess they thought since she was small and old I wouldn't get mad at her. If Morgan is the Rep, she sits beside the bed and moans to get my attention. Samba stands up at the side of the bed and puts her head on my shoulder. Fudge nips my hand and Monty is the most formal. He sits beside the bed and reaches up with his paw to tap my arm. Sky hasn't been elected to wake me yet.
They do the same sort of thing throughout the day, if they want an outing to play or an extra cookie. Yesterday while I was on the phone, I saw them in a group. A few minutes later Fudge came over and put his head in my lap, making woo-woo sounds. I looked up and there were all the others sitting in a line watching. I knew he had been elected to approach me. It's so funny that it usually works.