Watching canine behavior - 101

I love dog behavior, I could truly watch dogs interact forever. I never grow tired of being the outsider given the opportunity of seeing inside the world of dogs. They truly are amazing and the more time I spend watching them the more I see. Often I have shared stories of dog behavior to people who have in turn said "how do you know that?" or "how did you know what your dog wanted?" Its simple if you just watch.

I decided to talk about this subject this morning because of what Tilley and Jessie communicated yesterday. Jessie as you know is my little alpha bitch and Tilley second bitch in command. I was barbequing and moving around the kitchen quite a bit, the dogs were just sort of hanging out. I had taken the papers which were between the frozen burgers I was cooking and thrown them in the garbage and I'm guessing they smelled pretty good. As I went back to the counter I noticed Tilley standing near the garbage with her head down and to the side when I realized Jessie was standing beneath her displaying her full set of teeth. There was no sound but there was definitely alot going on.

I watched for a moment and thought to myself, if this escalated into a fight it would have seemed like it came out of no where had I not noticed what was going on. But I did notice what was going on and typically Tilley will just walk away but for some reason she was pushing the garbage issue. She had turned her head which is a sign of submission but she was still standing her ground. Jessie was frozen in her " I dare you" stance. As the issue was not extinguishing itself I stepped in clapped my hands and said thats enough. No one is claiming the garbage today!

Later in the evening I watched Tilley attempting to take a Nylabone from beside Jessie. Jessie went on a big adventure yesterday and was very tired. She was laying on the large bed we have in the kitchen as the bone she had no interest in lay beside next to her. Tilley is mostly very respectful of Jessie and both her and Luke are very wary of those teeth of hers. We were having a family conversation when mid sentence I realized what was going on. Tilley was staring at Jessie laying on the bed, obviously she wanted the bone beside Jessie. But so concerned about taking the bone from beside Jessie she didn't realize that Jessie was almost asleep and didn't care at all. Trying to be as stealth as possible she used her paw to slowly and quietly slide the bone far enough away from Jessie where she felt safe enough to put her face down and take it. Completely intriguing to watch.

Who says dogs don't think!

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