“Mirroring” or “behavior matching” is an affiliation behavior in primates, where one monkey or human imitates another to get closer to the target, socially. People will often do it when being flirtatious — just little gestures like taking a drink at the same time as the other person (anything bigger and more blatant just gets creepy).
What I’ve noticed around the Manor is that the dogs only mirror by breed. Tink and Beowulf mirror each other, sometimes, and Zille and Sid will mirror each other. But no Dobes ever mirror Shedders, or vice versa.
It’s interesting to think about because dogs supposedly don’t have a sense of “self”. Show a dog its own image in an actual mirror, and theoretically the dog will not think “Damn, I am one handsome beast.” But anecdotal evidence from my house suggests something is going on, or there would be cross-breed behavior matching happening.
It’s interesting to think about, anyway. Have any of my multi-dog-owning readers noticed a similar tendency? Do you think it makes a difference that Tink and Beowulf were raised with each other, while Zille and Sid spent their early days with other Shedders?