One of the amazing shots from my surf shoot.
I'm a watcher. Being a dog trainer who specializes in behavior modification, watching comes with the territory. But when I watch, I am watching the whole package; that means I'm watching the dog, the human and the interaction of the two. I see things that others do not. Watching and seeing are two different things; just like listening and actually hearing are different.
The other day I watched a man who was walking up ahead of me. I was out on a surf shoot; taking the long walk down to the beach, there were many dog and humans out and about. I was not in my training mode, but my watcher never turns off. The man ahead of me walking his dog caught my eye. His dog was slightly behind him and kept moving further and further back. I very quickly popped into my behavior dissecting mode. What was going on here?
It only took a moment to see that the dog was being hit in the face with his very large buckle and leash. The dog had on a chain leash which I do not understand at all. They are heavy and cumbersome for both human and dog which I explain in my new Feedback book. The dog was dealing with it, but not enjoying his walk like he could have been. I see this on a regular basis.
Our dogs are responsive to life and experience around them. As such they will respond to things that we may be oblivious to. I am often called to a behavior appointment to unravel a mysterious behavior. When I arrive it is watch time and typically it doesn't take long to uncover the mystery.
Many humans go through their day to day with a dog by their side. But we don't always pay attention. It is amazing what you will see if you pay attention.