For all of us who have brothers and sisters, we have experienced and taken part in “Sibling Rivalry”. The actions we undertook were normally childish and self-centered. We may have locked our sister out of the house or short-sheeted our brother’s bed. We may have tried to get our brother or sister in trouble with our parents by tattletaling or offering “little white lies” about things around the house.
In all of these instances, the actions are relatively the same that any person may employ at any time against another. The difference with “Sibling Rivalry” is that they are always among brothers and sisters with the specific engagement of the parents. For some reason, we are trying to improve our standing among our siblings through the acceptance of our parents.
The interesting thing is that our dogs can also display Sibling Rivalry. They can also act out by fighting, stealing, and performing other inappropriate behaviors. These actions are often against the canine brother or sister but are always performed to create our involvement. This is where the identifying characteristic comes into play.
Our dogs are performing things that they naturally understand will require our involvement. They are testing us to see how we react to the situation between them and their siblings. What we do in that situation has the ability to significantly determine the pecking order within “the siblings”. Robin and I have a great behavioral training process that helps remove the possible physical dangers caused by our dogs’ inappropriate actions and reestablishes us as the strong leaders of the group. Please take a moment to review our dog training article titled ” What Do I Do When My Dogs Experience Sibling Rivalry”.