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Dealing with Doggy Sibling Rivalry


I have two dogs. One is a 4 year old miniature poodle and the other is a 2 year old toy poodle. They are both very intelligent and well-behaved dogs. While they don't fight with one another, they are sort of competitive with one another. For instance, if one is on someone's lap, the other one wants to be there too. If one is getting petted, the other one wants to be petted as well. When they play, they both want the same toy and if I give them both a rawhide bone, they chew on one until it's gone and then start on the other one. They don't fight over the bone they're working on but I'm constantly amazed at their ability to think of ways to distract the other ones attention so they can snatch it. Is there anything I can do to cure this "sibling" rivalry?

It sounds very normal and doesn't sound as if it's causing problems, so that's good. If it bothers you for some reason, I'd just teach them to be patient for a reward. For instance, if one if being petted, then you could cue the other to sit and stay. If he sits there patiently, you'd then lavish attention or treats on him for being patient. Right now, it may be that their pushy behavior works to get the toy or your attention. If you made patient behavior work for them, they would do that instead.

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