Today's blog is about human behavior but with regards to dogs. Most people have an idea of what you do and do not do with other people's dogs. When a dog does not belong to you, you cannot take the liberty's you can with your own dog. Makes sense right? Most people know this but there is always one, or more who just simply don't seem to get it.
It takes but one act for me to be alerted and keeping a close eye on a human in my home. One attempted hug, an extended eye contact or a push will send me into my own "guard mode". I know what each of my dogs can tolerate and I know what they will not tolerate. More so I don't want my dogs upset by a stranger doing strange things to them.
When you go into someone's home; you are a stranger to their dog, perhaps a complete stranger. You should act appropriately. So what is appropriate? The best thing to do is to go in and ignore the dog/dogs in the house, this gives you a much better idea of how a dog is perceiving you.
If you come into my house and lavish attention on my dogs right away you are immediately lower your status. For many dogs this is fine; for my Luke it is a sign of weekness and he uses it. He is by no means aggressive but he likes to "one up" you if he can. He will allow someone to pet him and then the second they attempt to walk into the house he barks menacingly. What just happened at the door? You were petting him and now he won't give you the time of day? What occured was the person came in and worshipped him; lowering their status and raising his.
We had a full house again on Saturday night, UFC night at our house. So this typically means we have a house full of 18-25 year olds but mostly 18-19 as is the age of my son. All seats are taken and the floor is backup seating.
The dogs were out; there was not the usual wall to wall amount of people so there was room for them and their beds. The girls were pretty much in a coma from their run but Luke was in a very good mood and greeting everyone with his very open huffing mouth. One guy on the floor decided to get Luke to lay down by physically pushing him, not good. There was a little struggle, and I called to Luke. He came running as if to tell me what had just happened.
In moments the same guy attempted to put Luke into a headlock as he passed by him. Again a struggle and my husband yelled out to stop. Luke, my husband and myself then kept a very close eye on this one person. No one else had this problem of acting inapropriately. Luke was obviously shaken by the event; he is a very friendly guy and would never want to growl at someone.
Keeping your dogs from feeling like they would ever have to defend or protect themselves from humans is our job. So when my dogs are out with a large amount of people I am constantly watching. Because inevitably there is always at least one................in the group.