I have a few questions on my "dog pack". I have a Shepherd mix - Mary. Have had her since she was 3 months old which puts her at 5 years old. Shes about 35 lbs I have a GSD -Rudy Have had her for a year and a half putting her at 2.5 years Shes about 55-60 lbs I have a GSD - Baal Have had him for about 3 weeks putting him at 9 weeks old My question is really about Rudi and Mary Mary is a very calm dog. Much doesnt get to her. She likes to sit in a corner and sleep. She and Rudi have gotten along very very well. We took Mary to meet Rudi before we adopted her. Never had a fight between them. Question 1: Rudi will come bounding up to a sleeping Mary. She will paw and paw and paw and "yap" at her. Mary will ignore it for awhile then shell stand up straight and start a growl type noise. Mary wont move and hold her ground and Rudi will circle her and yap more and throw her legs over Mary. Mary will eventually start playing but if she doesnt want to shell give Rudi a good growl and go lay down. Rudi leaves her alone at this point. If Im understanding this right Mary would be Beta dog and Rudi Omega (Im alpha..) Why does Mary sometimes give into Rudis annoying shenanagians? Is it Mary wants to play but shes telling Rudi she better not get too rough with her before play even starts?? Question 2: When we call Mary over for her petting time Rudi will come between Mary and the petter. Shell herd Mary away and constantly lick her face. Once Mary is away and laying down or standing off Rudi will come back and shove her way into our hands. I make Rudi lay down when she starts coming in between Mary and I. I make her stay there till I am done with Mary and have sent her to go lay down. If Mary is Beta why does she not tell Rudi off? Question 3: I have read that a dog freaks out when you leave home because it believes that it is Alpha and is worried about a pack memeber that has left without permission. That is why when you return your blinds are torn and the house is a wreck. The dog seems super happy when you leave is because you have returned safely. When we leave we dont have a problem with them tearing up the house or peeing anywhere but they often get "excited" and start barking and circling when we unlock the door. Once we get in they are "excited" to see us. They dont jump on us but they do sort of sit up and whine at us. Is this a dominate behavior? Question 4: We have introduced a new puppy to the house, Baal. He is a male. He left his mother at 6 weeks and I have read that a puppy should really stay with his mother till 10 weeks to help develop "manners". The puppy will nip, jump, and bark at Rudi and Mary to entice play. Sometimes Rudi will get up and play but Mary just does not seem that interested in playing with the puppy. She will ignore it at best, sometimes get up and move away till the puppy leaves her alone. I often times just seperate the puppy from her but I want Mary to stand up for herself. She usually wont until I tell her it is ok. For example: If the puppy wont leave her alone Ill tell Mary "Tell him how it is Mary. Tell him" She will then stand up firmly and growl at the puppy and hold her ground. The puppy will back off on the nipping but still bark bark bark. Mary will often times just move away and if the puppy follows shell hold her ground and let out a soft deep growl till it backs off again. But sometimes Mary will get down on her front paws and bark back at the puppy. She never plays with the puppy like she does Rudi (Pushing, play growling, taking turns on the ground..). Does Mary dislike this puppy or is she taking on a parenting role and teaching this puppy about proper behavior? Ive noticed when Rudi doesnt want to play shell show her teeth and push him away with her big nose while she makes sort of whine noise. The puppy usually finds something else to do. Should I ever interviene (by physically removing the puppy) or should I let Rudi and Mary have some responsiblity in showing the puppy what is right and wrong behavior?