Males, they are something aren't they? I have to admit and I know I've admitted this in past but I'll say it again; I love males. There is something about a male dog that just tweaks my heart. If it was not for the fact that my boy Luke would feel completely dethroned I would have a house full of them. All my boys have been very special.
And the girls definitely work the boys. We all know who the real bosses are but for some odd reason we let the boys feel like it is they who rules the roost; even when it is so far from the truth. It is important for Luke to feel like he is in charge; and because of this I am constantly letting him know that he is not. Luke would not make a good leader. The girls on the other hand let him puff up and strut around; I guess they feel it makes him easier to live with. But when I enter the scene and deflate the overly stuffed gray matter of my boy he seems to come back to reality. Oh ya, Mom's the boss!
When we are out on our walks; when the dogs are off leash that is, the importance of being the leader is much more obvious. When Tilley runs out in front and turns to wait for us; that is exactly what she is doing, waiting for us to catch up. She will often wait until we pass her by and then she will get moving again. Luke on the other hand is always out front. He will run up ahead, turn to see if we are still following him; big difference. If for some reason he should be left behind which might happen twice a year; when he is investigating something and doesn't realize that we have walked past him, he has a fit. He immediately whines and moves up ahead at full speed.
Once out front he is happy again; afterall this is his only chance to pretend he is the leader. And he takes full advantage of these few moments in his life. When I take the dogs out on my own I make a point of changing directions just to keep him on his toes. Letting him be out front and feel like he is being a temporary leader makes him happy; so we indulge him most of the time. I can't imagine making him walk behind us like some trainers suggest. His off-leash walks are his moments in his imaginary world.
As much as he likes to think he is the king; the girls know how to work this boy. Mealtime is a very supervised event at our house as I have explained in the past. Luke eats slowly; he is always finished well after Jessie and mostly after Tilley. If the dogs are eating something extremely delicious they will want to eat Luke's. They know that moving in on his food will result in a growl so they use their smarts. Jessie stands to one side and stares at Luke; this makes him uneasy. The Tilley comes up in the rear and touches him ever so slightly. She keeps touching him until he cannot stand the pressure and moves away from his food.
These girls are smart; they know he doesn't like being pressured and would rather move away than fight for his food. Ah, the power we weild.