Possession is Nine-tenths of the Law

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“Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” This is a fairly well known expression meaning that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not.” ~Wikipedia
Do your dogs obey this “unwritten” law?
Jack is very law-abiding. I wrote just last week about our rule-breaker (Maggie) and rule-follower (Jack). But when it comes to this possession concept, the rules become a little fuzzy.
We have several dog beds for Jack & Maggie. They each have one in my office and then there are two beds in the living room, a rug in the dining room and Jack’s crate. Oh, and another bed by the front door. They each have their favorites. One of the beds in my office is over-sized and earmarked as “Jack’s”. Since he won’t share it with Maggie, I’ve had to work to keep her out of it. If by chance she climbs into it – he immediately gets out. But, he won’t just go climb in her bed, equally as comfy, just not his. He stands there and looks at me as if to say…”Mom, get her out of my bed!” Possession of his bed is not maintained when Maggie climbs in…Jack just gives it up.
Maggie ignoring the "possession" rule.

Maggie totally ignores the “possession” rule when it comes to beds. Maggie will sleep in any one of the available beds, except Jack’s crate. (She avoids the crate which I think is a result of her puppy mill upbringing.) Maggie’s rule is if she wants the bed, she just goes and gets into it…”possession” does not matter to her.
It’s interesting that Jack so easily gives up his possession when it comes to sleeping arrangements, because when it comes to food – all bets are off. When Jack finishes his meal, he will immediately go to Maggie’s bowl. If not prevented, he just sticks his nose in her bowl and she moves away. If she is sitting in her bed gnawing on a fish stick or some other treat, he will walk by and take it right out of her mouth. But, before you write him off as a bully…she will do the exact same thing to him. I usually give him bigger carrots to chew on, so she finishes first and she will walk over and just pick up the pieces he dropped. And again, he lets her.
I’m eternally grateful that neither of them have any possessiveness issues – and the Jack, the rule-follower pretty much let’s his little sister do whatever she wants.
How about your dogs? Does the “Possession” rule hold or is it ignored?

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  1. Love seeing you both in the same bed! LOL! As far as dog beds go, we have several around the house and we all know which ones are our own, and there are two that are for anyone that wants to sit on them too. The problem, no surprise is that cat bro Bert that takes over our beds and will not move out! It is a bad scene with him! Other things like bones and treats, the dog possession rule applies and works well when enforced with a small growl.
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  2. Probably male dogs are the perfect gentlemen :o) we had a dog bed or a mat in every room too… and Easy loved them all … to pieces :o)
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  3. My dogs sleep in any bed, anywhere. Though there are areas that are traditionally occupied by one canine or another. When a cat takes over a bed, though, all bets are off. It belongs to the cat.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.
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  4. Our dogs routinely switch beds. Sometimes if one wants to lay on a bed that the other is laying on, he or she will just stand and stare at it….lol.
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  5. Oh Jacks expression just tugs at my heart…. Leo always gave it to Harley’s demands. When it came to beds, there was usually no problem. Their “main beds” which are located in our bedroom were in specific locations. Harley knew his spot and so on. They rarely even laid in the other’s bed – weird. But I’m sure there were uneventful exceptions that just don’t come to mind anymore 🙁
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  6. Well, until Ducky came along, things went pretty smoothly around here. Except at meal time. Shadow would share everything except her food with Callie; Callie would share everything including food. As long as Callie doesn’t get too close to Shadow, all’s well. So when Callie’s done, I’d just get her out of the kitchen and let Shadow finish in peace. Enter Ducky, who thinks everything is hers and chaos takes over. Shadow will still share toys with Callie without any issues. But Ducky is such a brat that she starts a growl fest with Shadow almost every time. You’d think she would learn by now that we won’t stand for it — we get behind Ducky and grab her collar and Shadow backs off immediately. We also shout a stern “NO!” at Ducky, take the toy away and put it in the closet. I don’t blame Shadow for telling Ducky off — and I let her do it whenever Ducky gets bratty. Ducky is still a teenager — hopefully as she grows into adulthood she will grow out of the bratty stage.
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  7. Oh! As for the beds? They all share peacefully. They would play “musical beds” all day long without any issues. Sometimes Ducky will crawl under the end table next to the couch and curl up to sleep under there. Usually after a growl fest with Shadow. The only time she growls at them is when she’s in her crate and Shadow walks past it or sniff at it. Shadow ignores her or just avoids the crate. I usually just say “hey” or “enough”.
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  8. Around here we have the grass-is-greener syndrome. They both wanted to chew on the antler so I bought a second antler. They still get jealous of whichever the other happens to have.

  9. Oh, yes! When I go over to cousin Mitzie’s house, her bed is mine, her bone is mine, her water dish… mine, mine, MINE! She goes into my bed sometimes, too, but I’m pretty assertive in demonstrating my place as top dog and owner of all things! *wags*

    You can see how I took Mitzie’s bone and holiday outfit on today’s post at wagsahoy.com.
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  10. Jacks face is priceless! Kilo’s a luck boy to not have to share lol

  11. That’s such a funny picture! Haley’s good about not being possessive over beds or food, but sometimes when it’s late at night, she jumps up in my bed and will lay her head on my pillow as if because she got there first, she should be allowed to stay, lol! Jack is such a gentleman!
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  12. Love the pic! We have a similar one of Rita’s face when Reg climbed in bed with her! If he gets in bed with her, she’ll go in the other bed. She doesn’t like to share bones, but she’ll let him clean up her crumbs!
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  13. Bentley used to be very bad about stealing our Golden Retriever’s food. Of course, Tucker would always leave his little buddy a few kibbles. It’s just the way he was…24 carat Golden. ♥ Pierre is a toy terrorist. He steals everything from Bentley. Y’all be sure to enter my giveaway, I’d love you to read my books.
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  14. Our girls take the stance of which ever bed is available and looks comfy at the time they will sleep in. Though Riley and Chicky each prefer to sleep at my feet under the desk! In their own beds 🙂
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  15. lol the look on Jacks face, priceless. Gman is like Maggie doesn’t care where he lays but he needs to by laying on someone. Most of the time it is Glory and she gets up and leaves cuz she can’t stand him laying on her.
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  16. So I’m thinking Maggie is the Alpha dog, huh? With chew bones, their favorite thing in the world, my dogs largely obey the possession law. But if one of them turns their head away from a bone for a nanosecond, the other will snatch it right up!
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    • She really isn’t – she’s actually very fearful – a leftover from her days as a puppy mill breeder mom…but when it comes to the beds – Jack defers to her.
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  17. They all share their beds, and spots on the couch, and it’s pretty much “first come, first served”. They are known to just squish in there if they want to, and whoever was there first will usually hold their ground and just snuggle in! Food is a whole different story, however, we have to watch for squabbles over that. Sheba will give in to the other two over food every time, but Luke and Cricket are both equally pushy.
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  18. It depends. Katy will grab anything when it comes to food and Bailey pretty much lets her. However, he is possessive of everything non-food related and she seems cool with that.
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