We have a 12 year old lab/basenji cross, who has always been the top dog of the pack. When we had other dogs staying with us, Cleo would very quickly grab them by the neck, thump them onto the floor and then, having established that she's the big girl, leave them pretty much alone.
Since 5 month old Bassit has come home, it's a bit of a different story. As you can imagine, Bassit's full of energy, and constantly biting Cleo's tail, getting in her face, chasing her around, etc. We keep waiting for Cleo to 'lay the smack down', but she isn't. There's a lot of indignant barking and gurgling, but, for the most part, Cleo's letting Bassit rule the roost.
Do you think it's an age thing? That Cleo is realizing that there's new, younger blood in the pack, and is stepping aside? I realize that there's nothing I can do about it, and, for the most part, I leave them to sort it out, but it sure is sad to see my old girl passing the torch.