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Canine Behavior/two male buddies

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two of them playing
two of them playing  
Dear Madeline, I have read you biography and I promise to read and rate your response within three days.  I understand that your time is valuable, that you are most likely spending at least 45 minutes of your time in response to my question, and I understand too that when questioners read and rate your responses fairly that you make random donations to animal shelters to help homeless animals.  In the interest of being appreciative of your time AND helping shelter dogs and cats, I agree that I will rate your response and give you fair feedback.

My father has a four year old german sheperd-malamute mix,and me and boyfriend have an almost 2 year old rottweiler.We just moved in a house on the same courtyard with my father's,so the two dogs are staying together.Both of them are male,they get along pretty well,there were fights at the beginning but it is getting better and better.
My first question is if there is such thing in dog's world like jealousy? Because the one reason they start fighting is because they are really excited to get affection from us,when they haven't seen us for like few days.
The other thing is playing.They play a lot together,one of them is catch-me-if-you-can, and the other is mostly the rottweiler putting his leg on the neck of the malamute mix,and the malamute tries to catch his leg,they are kind of wrestling.Is this just simply playing or kind of "i want to dominate you" from the rottie?
And the last one is that the malamute,is licking the rottweiler's penis  more then 10 seconds and after that starts to set his teeth on edge and salivates.Can you tell me what these things could mean?
Thank you very much in advance,
Zsuzsi

Answer
Hello, Zsuzsi,

Thank you for your questions and for agreeing to read and rate within three days.

In answer to your first question, sibling rivalry absolutely does exist between dogs that live together!  Dogs can experience jealousy, or "sibling rivalry," over resources they highly value, including humans.

In order to keep fights from breaking out, when you arrive keep your arrivals low-key, ignoring the dogs by giving something else your attention such as watering the plants, until they're calm, which may take several minutes.  Fights between dogs over resources are most likely to break out when dogs are excited.  When the dogs are calm, greet each one by name, briefly, and then greeting the other.  Vary who you greet first.  You can even teach the dogs to "wait your turn" while you greet the other.  This works beautifully with dogs, inclusding with my own two males who become very excited to see me when I've returned from being out.  If your father is there when you arrive, greet him first, ignoring the dogs until they're calm.  If you consistently employ this routine, the dogs will become used to it as a habit and learn to calm more quickly over time.

As to your second question, I'd have to see the behavior in order to evaluate it as "play," which is characterized by different behavior than non-play behavior.  Play behavior has frequent starts-and-stops to it, lots of "look-aways" by the dogs, and play bows, where the dogs go down on their front paws in a brief "bow" position in order to communicate that they're playing. If your dogs' behavior during the times that your Rottie is putting his paw over your Mal-Shepherd mix looks like what I described, then it's most likely play.

As to your last question, I'm guessing that your Mal-Shepherd mix is "standing still for inspection" when your Rottie is licking his penis, meaning that, in that instance, he is submitting to and allowing your Rottie to do this.  The "teeth being set on edge" that you describe is called "chattering.". It's in part a flehmen response to the information the licking dog has gathered from urine traces on the other dog's penis, and also indicates excitement.  In that context, your Mal-Shepherd is "submitting" to your Rottie by allowing it.  However, submission and domination between dogs is fluid and contextual, with each dog being submissive or dominant in different contexts depending on the situation.

Yours were very interesting questions.  Thank you for submitting them to me!  I hope my responses have helped you understand your dogs' behavior better.

Best regards,
Madeline Friedman, dog trainer and Allexperts volunteer

Canine Behavior

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Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.

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I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.

Experience

Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Organizations
Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Publications
Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Everydayhealth.com Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Education/Credentials
Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at www.ny-njDogTrainer.com under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

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