A blog about my life with dogs.......

Monday, May 9, 2011

You say tomato, revisiting the post

Lets talk about what happened here. Did anything go right in the interaction between the dogs (and people) in my blog post "You say tomato, I say keep your dog away from mine, please." ?

Sure. Harry had some great loose leash manners, not pulling or lunging like the approaching dog. Also, I pulled Harry just out of reach of the dog he was having a stand off with just in time to keep anybody from getting injured. (Arguably I could have done better, but) That was good. Harry did a good job of giving off a few calming signals to the approaching Lab, example: sniffing the ground. In a previous post I shared a link with an article on calming signals by Turid Rugaas noting ground sniffing as one of many calming signals dogs give to each other. I was polite and neighborly, and that's about where the good stuff ends.

Lots of things about this guy were setting off alarms, so lets not blame it all on the pooches. His slurred speech, bedraggled appearance and missing teeth gave a lot of information to go on about this man. But before you go on saying I'm judging a book by it's cover, if you read the blog post I'm not out to get this guy. And in my defense I am often bedraggled and I have 1 friend and 1 family member with missing front teeth, so there! This persons claim to currently own 20 labs was suspicious at best. If you say you have 20 dogs you are one of three things, A breeder, A hoarder, or a liar. (comment please if there are other possibilities) As the owner of three dogs I can personally guarantee you that no one that does not have plenty of money and time is able to adequately care for 20 dogs of any sort, breed or size. Even then it is debatable that could be good quality of life due to lack of individualized attention to each domestic dog. Also I personally have a very strict standard set for breeders, and all too many folks claiming to be breeders do not meet the standard. I prefer to adopt my pets from shelters and rescue groups. More on breeding later,...........

Another alarming comment is the reference to breaking up numerous dog fights. Had I been wearing my big girl strong arm bragging pants I might have joined the tough guy club and mentioned that I myself have been the guts and muscle to break up several dog fights. In reality, that is nothing to brag about. Any dog fights I may have broken up were due to working in large groups of free playing dogs at dog day cares, or in the public or other scenarios. And I am proud to say I have very rarely had to intervene with my own dogs when they meet other dogs. WHY? Because the right thing to do, for the 'owners' and the dogs is to stop it before it starts. (oh, and that's also the best thing for the vet bills. Unless you ARE the vet. Ha Ha).

What other items did I highlight in that post? And Why?
Balls-There's one that caught your attention right!? Why is she highlighting his balls?
Unaltered males, can be more of a handful than altered males. They may be more likely to be territorial, and they do have more hormones pumping through there bodies. Does this mean unaltered dogs are bad dogs? Mean dogs? Vicious dogs? NO!

Personally, I advocate for spaying and neutering all dogs and cats due to the massive population of homeless domestic animals.

Starring, wide eyed- Why shouldn't these boys stare into each others eyes? Because they are dogs. Humans have the habit of greeting each other with an outstretched hand and eye contact. This is a very human interaction. Often people are incredibly anthropomorphic when it comes to greetings with there dog. This is a perfect example. This man thought the dogs should come "face to face" when in fact a proper greeting is more of a face to bum kind of thing. :) Another way two dogs may interact is by looking away, this tells a dog I am no threat to you, see, I am looking away from you, I am no threat.

Walking straight on towards a dog is rude dog behavior. Eye contact is downright challenging. And this feeling was expressed by the dogs when they rose there tails high and stiff, that in combination with body stillness and stiffness was a red flag saying this is not okay! We are going to fight! The barring teeth and lunging that came next from the Lab was of no surprise to me.

Check out the posted suggested reading for more info on how to interpret dog body language. It may help you avoid a nasty situation with your neighbors dog.
Let me know if you have any advice for me about handling my neighbor!

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