Humans communicate, dogs do, all animals do in some way or another. Yesterday I was in communication heaven; canine communication is one of my favorite topics. I love to watch it and never tire of the almost unseen nuances of the canine communication repertoire. Dogs say it like it is; there is no beating around the bush, it is as a very good friend of mine says "it is what it is." And I love that about dogs.
Having been an observer of canine communication for so many years; I try to communicate to the best of my ability as well. I try to clearly say what I mean with my dogs and with humans. But unlike dogs; sometimes you have to soften the blow with humans and sort of tiptoe around issues. Dogs don't do tiptoeing unless of course it is to create a bigger image of themselves.
Our OC standard poodle group got together again yesterday; Luke and six girls. He was pretty much in heaven, especially because he is a dominant guy. It is really amazing to watch the communication between all of the dogs; they get along so well for a pack that do not live together. Some of the dogs are obviously happy to meet up with their friends, others like Tilley are just there. Tilley is a very neutral type dog, she is the most non threatening type dog there is. So for this fact alone she does extremely well with both aggressive and fearful dogs.
Luke is very non neutral, he is a dominant male. And although he is a nervous ninny about some issues like the wind and things that move on their own, he is very confident in his status among other dogs. Luke has confident, top dog written all over him and because of this he is regularly singled out of a group by other dominant dogs. But Luke is not a fighter, he has never been in a fight and prefers to walk away instead of stay and fight.
Communication is so imperative to dog society; teeth flashes, growls, frozen posture and hard stares are all very important. Dogs must be allowed to communicate so that they can clearly understand each other. Not all dogs communicate as well as others but they pretty much come with built in communication skills. For humans it is a learning curve and one that some learn better than others. I know that I can communicate much better now then when I was a teenager, oh the games we play when we are teens.
I was cutting nails yesterday before we met up with the group. Jessie has taken to fighting me with every nail. In our house Jessie has maintained her top dog status with my assistance but Luke is waiting in the wings. When Jessie is on her back and struggling with me; Luke sees this as his in. (Butthead that he is) And he keeps lunging at her while she is down. This pisses me off so he gets a poke to let him know that I am not okay with it. The whole Jessie down thing gets him very excited and when Luke gets excited he forgets himself.
With a third and final strong poke and very firm "STOP" his ears went back and his whole body posture changed. I continued to hard stare him until he came and quietly sat beside me. There was no confusion at this point; I communicated to him that I was very displeased with his behavior. And he got it.