When Doodle Dad was in the military, I loved to attend those change of command ceremonies.

A rich military tradition representing a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a until from one commanding officer to another.

I’m a sucker for pomp and circumstance. #loveit

Recently I’ve noticed a change of command taking place here at Fort Doodleville – minus the ceremony and the reception afterwards.

All of a sudden Jax wants to be “Mr. Big Stuff.” #alphadoodle

There’s never any aggression displayed, all his moves are subtle but the message he sends is loud and clear.

Him wants to be in charge. #slickdoodle

Over the weekend he started racing Harley to the top of the stairs. Then he lays there and waits – as if he’s “double Doodle daring” him to come up with the rest of us…


This other little maneuver has me truly baffled but I think in the pack world it must mean something.

In the middle of a good romp Jax will stop abruptly and stand over Harley…


Much to my surprise – Harley allows it. #Imconfused

Couldn’t really find much online to help me understand these new behavioral antics. The majority of the articles dealt with aggression, fighting and conflicts. That’s not us.

Everything around here is mostly play, play and more play! #thankthedoodle

However, I can’t help but notice Harley quietly allowing Jaxson liberties he hadn’t had in the past.

I did read rankings can change sometimes when a young subordinate dog reaches social maturity (usually between ten months and two years).

Pawhaps that’s what we’re experiencing. Jaxson is 10 months old now.

But just to make sure you’ve got the “total” picture here – Harley hasn’t lost all control. Like Muhammad Ali, he will come out of retirement on occasion and set the record straight. #thechamp

I’ve always treated Harley as the Alpha. He’s the first to –

  • go through the door
  • get his food
  • get a treat
  • get attention
  • get in and out of the car

And I will continue to do so. #myfirst

Not quite sure what’s happening, but if you’re holding any pieces to this puzzle I’ll buy them from you 🙂 #pleaseshare


Thrilled to announce the winners of the Poop Bag Wristlets giveaway, compliments of A Pet With Paws…



I don’t know about you, but Halloween in our new neighborhood was too pawcious for words.

The Boys did a fashion no-no this year.


I was too cheap and too lazy to get creative from scratch, so we did a repeat #theydontknowushere

Harley was still able to wear his costume from three years ago #kepthisfigure


And Jaxson fit into Leo’s just fine #pawmedowns


I loved the unwritten neighborhood rules. You simply sit outside in your driveway with your candy and watch all the fun go by…


There were hundreds of trick or treaters #nolie

But my all time favorite were two sisters…


…who dressed as “shadows#loveit

That was our weekend – how was yours?

I am joining the Monday Mischief blog hop brought to you by My Brown Newfies. The Hop that wraps up the weekend.


  • Ann Staub
    November 2, 2015

    Well, I can’t say what’s going on between those two but I think you’re on to something with your research. Halloween looks like it was a blast over there!

  • Earl Lover
    November 2, 2015

    You sure had a creepy good Halloween!

  • Pamela
    November 2, 2015

    Some dogs end up being “in charge” but don’t really feel the need. Perhaps Harley doesn’t want the responsibility and he’s okay with letting Jax take on the heavy reins of command.

    I’d sit back and watch. Jax and Harley know a lot more about this stuff than any of us do.

    BTW, love your halloween pics. Looks like fun.

    Funny, we didn’t see a single trick or treater in the industrial boatyard where we’re squatting now. 🙂

  • Lauren Miller (ZoePhee)
    November 2, 2015

    So with dogs, the alpha thing has been disproven by science. There isn’t one top dog, it’s more fluid. They don’t form packs like wolves do and they usually just pal around with a buddy or two. What you are seeing IMO is bullying. Jax is being a bully. I think you’re lucky that Harley is putting up with that so nicely. One of my dogs wouldn’t take kindly to being stood over or pushed around. It is considered rude in the doggy world. As long as they seem fine and there’s no aggression you could let it go but if it were me, I would remove Jax and make it clear to him that bullying isn’t going to get you anywhere. They could continue to be fine with that or it could escalate with him becoming aggressive to Harley or maybe one day Harley will decide he’s had enough. It’s a very fine line that can one day not be fine anymore. I would just keep an eye on it and be ready to step in if needed.

  • LeeAnna Paylor
    November 2, 2015

    that standing over thing is dominance. I often stand over Cole to pet or hug him and he acts all nervous. Probably because he feels he’s in charge, but it’s made for a nice change around here since I started that. He is more obedient now that I lean over him to hug him. LeeAnna

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    November 2, 2015

    Their recycled costumes are super cute. How do those little girls see???

  • Dolly the Doxie
    November 2, 2015

    We totally understand the changing of the guard thing. It’s been happening here since I’ve started giving Taffy some attitude and now she’s afraid of me, and I chase the cat all the time. Love Dolly

  • Jackie Bouchard
    November 3, 2015

    I’ve never had two dogs before, other than while dog-sitting, so I don’t really know nuthin’ ’bout what’s going on there. As for Halloween, that looks like fun! I’ve never heard of just hanging out on the street with your candy. That makes a lot more sense actually! Those 2 little “shadows” are too cute and clever!

  • Jessica Shipman | Beagles & Bargains
    November 3, 2015

    Woofs!! Thank you! So excited to try out the Wristlet on our future walks

  • Jan K
    November 4, 2015

    I don’t have any insight into the whys, but I can tell you that Luke does the same thing with his sisters. He especially likes to do it with Cricket, and she also just ignores him.
    I sometimes think he is trying to gain dominance, but the girls will have none of that. 🙂

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