Thanks for the studies! I really geeked out on them, because I have observed these behaviors in real life!
Although I do not allow meets often, we do wind up meeting other dogs maybe 1 -3 times a week, so over time that has added up to a lot of brief meet & greets to observe.
I have observed:
- the muzzle/face lick (which I had interpreted as a friendly doggy kiss!)
- other dog lowers their body slightly (slight crouch) and his body comes around in an arc, Rumo keeps his more straight.
- Rumo has the first sniff, other dog submits to his sniff, and then mutual sniffing ensues
- when sniffing face to face, other dog first averts their head and eyes
All of this is quick, peaceful and quiet and they are done in a minute or two.
When the other dog remains face to face, not averting head, not averting eyes, body not lowered, body not curved -
that's when the growling starts up and we get alarmed and pull our dogs away from each other!
( This is rare, and has only happened with other large males.)
So I think that Dog X sounds like he wants to be a Top Dog, but isn't quite there yet.
He has to be very heavy-handed, because the others don't implicitly acknowledge his rank right away.
It's quite interesting - the social lives of dogs :-)
I like that view of the world (rising up against oppression)!