CAN DOGS SHARE?

By Wednesday, May 27, 2015 40 Permalink

Jax is almost five months old and coming into his own. As I watch him find favorite things to play with, I also watch the interaction between he and Harley over certain objects.

Which leads me to a question that comes to mind often: Can dogs share their toys and favorite things?

Look at this photo. What do you see?

 

IMG_6859

What sort of caption comes to mind?

Animal Behavioralists – Daniel Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D. wrote an interesting article Why Dogs Don’t Share. They believe most dogs do not know how to share and are not interested in equality.

We all know when dogs live together, “they organize themselves into a dominance hierarchy and rank determines who gets first access to the goodies in life as defined by the dogs.”

This would hold true then for the first interpretation that came to mind when I studied that photo….

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On the few occasions when Harley wants to establish the rules and laws here in Doodleville, I try really hard to –

  • stay out of the way
  • allow them to work things out
  • interfere as little as possible

While I do agree with this statement – “Dogs aren’t people and they shouldn’t be expected to live by human values.”

A part of me believes some dogs, however, don’t mind sharing. They actually do it willingly and freely. Food, toys, treats – it doesn’t matter.

While this caption might be considered a little too much of a reach…

SHARING

I’d like to believe that it’s possible to find a happy doodle place between the two extremes.

So far the boys have their own understanding when it comes to playing with toys. If Harley takes it, Jax finds something else 🙂 #doodlerules

No fighting, no growling, just playing!

What goes on in your house?

This is our contribution in the BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. Get comfy and check out the other Blog Hop posts below!

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

40 Comments
  • Barkocity- Cara
    May 27, 2015

    What a great photo to analyze. Don’t you wish you could just get into their heads a little and hear what they’re really thinking. My Mila is a very good sharer. When her friend Mukki comes to visit she lets him eat her food, play with her toys, and go wherever he wants. She likes to think she’s the dominant one, but I have my doubts! LOL What a great post that really gets you thinking! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Thanks Cara – I love to sit and observe them together. It’s amazing to me, and I too wish I could get inside their heads. Now that Jax is a little older (5 months) he and Harley are communicating much better and they’re becoming more and more like brothers. I love it!

  • Earl Lover
    May 27, 2015

    Interesting! Mine share, but I’m sure oldest Earl would prefer everything to himself hehe.

    sumskersandearlskers13.blogspot.com

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Oldest Earl sounds a lot like Oldest Harley LOL

  • Jackie Bouchard
    May 27, 2015

    LOL at the “This is scary” from the frog. Rita doesn’t have to share with anyone until Reg comes over. They seem fine sharing her toys, although we do pick up the chew bones when Reg comes. She is NOT interested in sharing her bones. She growled at him once for taking a bone so we don’t take any chances. Luckily they are fine with everything else, including treats, etc.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Jackie, my heart ached for the frog. He was the one who drew the short stick LOL To me, sharing bones isn’t cool. It’s too personal – like someone wanting to use my toothbrush – Ugh! #notcool

  • Taryn
    May 27, 2015

    Jimmy does not share at all! He also takes whatever Wilson has whether Jimmy really wants it or not. Basically, he is a jerk. Wilson was way too lenient on Jimmy when he was a newly arrived puppy. It set the stage for Jimmy’s bad attitude. There are a couple of toys Wilson won’t let go of and it turns into an ugly tug-of-war with lots of growling. I usually break it up because it can escalate too far.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Taryn, I think we see it one way but in the canine world they see it totally different. I think that’s why I love to watch them interact so much. It fascinates me.

  • Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats
    May 27, 2015

    First of all, I so agree that dogs aren’t people and we shouldn’t expect them to act like people. As for my three dogs, they get along quite well. Tucker believes all toys are his, and sometimes the other two agree and sometimes a great game of Tug breaks out. Tucker also knows that if his toy is too near Lilah, it’s not a good idea to try and take it from her. She’ll give him some words! But it’s words only. And Tucker listens.
    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Susan, that’s amazing with three that they all share. As Jax gets older (5 months now) I’m noticing more playing together. He (Jax) also has learned from Harley how to read the body language (hence the frog standoff) even though my heart aches when I think Harley is being unreasonable, I remain neutral (because it’s never a dangerous situation) and remind myself that they are not people and I have no right expecting them to act like people. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Sharon Seltzer
    May 27, 2015

    I love this question especially because I also have a new puppy who is growing up with an older dog in the household. My older dog has been generous with our puppy because all of her toys once belonged to him, but I think it’s more of a case that he’s lost interest in them rather than sharing. Thanks for making me think about this.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Sharon, I find Harley is more likely to share his toys, yet if something comes in the house brand new, he automatically believes it’s his – first.

  • slimdoggy
    May 27, 2015

    My two don’t play much, so sharing toys isn’t an issue. They do have their own beds and stick pretty much to them, but if Maggie climbs in, Jack gets out. Our Sally & Tino were the best at sharing…well actually Sally was the Princess and Tino her “dog-in-waiting” but she didn’t care if he played with the toys.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Isn’t it interesting the similarities they have with us? #justsaying

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    May 27, 2015

    As the sole dog, Mr. N gets all the treats and toys and attention. He’s usually pretty happy to share treats and toys and attention when his friends come to visit although he doesn’t like sharing his chews.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Can’t blame Mr. N. one bit. Sharing chews is taking it too far, that’s like sharing a toothbrush – Eewww. LOL

  • The Daily Pip
    May 27, 2015

    Oh my gosh, the frog’s commentary is SO FUNNY! So, I have a dog and a cat and both seem to have certain lines that they other must not cross – sleeping spots belong to Rosie (cat) and food belongs to Ruby (dog). Rosie isn’t to isn’t too interested in toys so we don’t have these kind of stand offs.

    Still laughing about that frog! Just signed up to follow you on bloglovin’ as I always enjoy your posts.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      When I looked at that frog, I felt his future pain LOL He could have easily been spread all over my bedroom floor! Thanks for the follow – I just added you to my bloglovin feed too! #mutualfans

  • DZ Dogs
    May 27, 2015

    It’s amazing how different dogs can change the dynamic of a group. Dante and Ziva are perfectly matched, they share and play and steal toys but have never quarreled, fought, or had any guarding issues.
    When we introduced our foster boy Jack though things changed…Dante and Ziva share with eachother but not him. If he goes to steal or take a toy he is met with growling and then Dz Dog dad or I step in to keep the peace.
    Everyone is getting better, but we try to teach them not to steal toys. Our one big rule though is that the crate is a sacred place, if a dog goes into a crate to chew a toy in peace no other dog is allowed to bother that dog. I think it’s important to make sure they aren’t harassed all day.
    As it is, we can’t trust Jack to be out with Dante or Ziva if we aren’t home, he’s too much of a pest and doesn’t respect when they ask for space or want a break from playing. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      That is so interesting! I wonder why Jack never really got accepted into the pack? I like the crate concept. I will start to implement that immediately. That is a great way to orchestrate separate yet equal space. Thanks so much for sharing – I love comments 🙂

  • Chewy the Golden
    May 27, 2015

    Chewy will drop whatever he’s got if a dog comes by and wants it, but I think it’s more a submissive thing than sharing. He loves to play keep away with the humans, but when playing with other dogs he’s never the one with the toy!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Sounds like Chewy has great manners! The perfect host when “furrends” come over.

  • Barbara Rivers
    May 27, 2015

    Our pups share their toys occasionally, but Missy really isn’t that much into them. Buzz is our toy master, while Missy will do anything for a belly rub (Buzz couldn’t care less about those!) & loves to splash in water.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      It’s great when you have more than one dog and they each have different interests.

  • Lauren Miller (ZoePhee)
    May 27, 2015

    My girls can share and they tolerate each other really well. That being said, I am pretty sure that I got lucky when I found Phoenix. She listens to Zoe very, very well. If Zoe tells her “that’s MINE” she says.. “Oops, sorry! Sure, take it!!” They have a really good relationship and they communicate really well. We’ve never had a fight.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Phoenix sounds a lot like Leo. And as long as it’s working for them…

  • Elaine
    May 27, 2015

    That’s an interesting question. I just have Haley here but we do have a lot of visiting dogs and Haley visits other people’s houses with dogs. She’s always very reluctant to play with another dog’s toys even though I can tell she wants to grab them. Most dogs that visit our house head straight for her toy basket and she lets them play without incident but I get the feeling that she would prefer they bring their own toys. After the visiting dog leaves, she sniffs the toy as if she thinking it’s covered with their germs, lol!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Elaine, I believe some dogs might not be that interested in “things” such as toys. Leo was like that with the one exception to his “Wilson” ball. Never really concerned with “hoarding” stuff – if Harley or any dog that came to visit wanted to play with something, he’d just walk away. Harley on the other hand is the total opposite. LOL

  • Emma
    May 27, 2015

    We don’t share too many things. Most stuff is first come first serve. I love to defend my stuff even when I don’t really want it. As a pup, Katie did share some of her stuff with me.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Emma, I can’t believe that you don’t share – shame on you 🙁 Be nice to Katie because she’s your elder and be extra nice to Bailey because one day you will be older!

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    May 27, 2015

    What cute photos. Glory starts playing with something and Gambler takes it away from her. Bully

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      I can’t get mad at Gambler – he’s too darn cute!

  • 2 Punk Dogs
    May 27, 2015

    Love the picture & captions! Maggie & Duke steal each others toys all the time. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      Stealing can be fun – just no growling and snapping are my rules.

  • Travel Animal Doctor
    May 28, 2015

    Lol. The second of the two analyses would be very nice 🙂 I enjoy the commentary from the frog.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 28, 2015

      I agree, the frog makes me laugh too!

  • DashLilly
    May 28, 2015

    So funny!!! Great post. I don’t know if I would call what the doodles do at my house “sharing.” It’s more like — “she has it and now I want it MOOOOOMM” or “grrr..give it to me, big brother..MOOOOM!” They do have a good sense of space and mostly let each other be but there are those moments…

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 29, 2015

      The stare-off took too long, they both fell asleep and when they woke up, no one touched the frog. In fact, he laid there for the rest of the day! LOL

  • Kaitlin- SheSpeaksBark
    May 29, 2015

    Adorable photos! At our house, the boys aren’t usually interested in the same toys and so it hasn’t been a problem. Sometimes when doggie friends come over they all want the same toy and spend time chasing each other around for it 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 30, 2015

      Then you’ve got it good Kaitlin! So far – there hasn’t been any “real” issues. Because of Jax’s age – I haven’t introduced any bones yet. I’m waiting for him to get a little older, mature a bit more and understand that bones are not for sharing! Thanks for stopping by!

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