A Conversation for Dogs
Salamander the Mugwump Started conversation Jul 23, 2000
Dogs can be very choosey about who they're friendly or hostile towards. I had a funny experience years ago. I lived in a flat that I shared with a bunch of other trainee nurses. I was working nights for a few months. Every morning when I got home, a lovely black Labrador that lived a few houses up from us, would come ambling over to greet me and get a fuss. One of the other girls in the flat told me one day that she was in the habit of coming home by a long circuitous route because a mad, angry dog was lurking in wait for her and would rush out and ambush her as she passed his house, snarling and bearing his teeth. I was surprised because I hadn't seen any such dog in our street. So you can imagine my astonishment when I discovered it was the same dog that I looked forward to meeting when I got home from work each day.
I think my friend must have smelled of fear and fear probably smells similar to aggression, to a dog. Also, the way you move may give a dog an idea of your attitude or intention. My friend's counter-argument to that, was that the first time the dog attacked her, she was unaware of it and wouldn't have been afraid until the dog charged at her. I think some people are just naturally nervous and probably smell slightly afraid all the time. Of course, I could be wrong. My sense of smell is puny compared to the average dog and a person would need to smell very strongly for me to be able to smell them.
Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit Posted Jul 29, 2000
Dogs are just choosy, period. They decide on a regular basis which humans they like and which they don't. They'll make snap judgements, usually, but a dog that is initially hostile can be won over gradually.
Because of this, it is common knowledge among breeders that humans rarely choose a puppy... the puppy chooses the owner. The perspective buyer joins the puppies, and they all come check him out, sniff him a bit, and then squirm away... except for one, who will climb into the buyer's lap. That puppy will then try to bite any of its siblings that come near, and otherwise settle in for some affection with its new owner. The buyer is taken by the affectionate one, and mistakenly thinks he has done the choosing. It's a case of the dog outsmarting the master.
Salamander the Mugwump Posted Jul 29, 2000
That's interesting and it wouldn't surprise me. I've had dogs all my life, but I've never actually purchased or, indeed, chosen a dog. All my dogs have been rescued or (as in the case of my current ones), dumped on me by people who had no further use for them. It's a sad old life for a lot of dogs really.
Outrider Posted Jan 24, 2004
Absolutely spot on, BM!
We were aware of this whe "choosing" our 2 "angels".
We went looking for brindle boxers. But each brindle who showed interest backed off when you touched thier ears, with a fear reaction.
One white watched everything, putting his siblings in order when things got too out of hand. When he finally came over and got picked up, he was the softest dog I've ever known (still is). The other whites with eyepatches were always playful, but one in particular was obviously closely bonded to "H" our first chosen. He just had to be ours (or is that "we just had to be his?).
That was the best 2 decisions we've ever made, despite warnings of not getting white, 2 brothers nor boxers.
They're 8 months now and thier characters shine through. "D" discovers mischief and leaves "H" to take the rap, as if we won't notice.
The warnings of health problems in white are grossly exaggerated (probably because the clubs won't accept whites and a little genetic knowledge being dangerous).
Even if they do have health problems later on, it will make no difference to us. They are family for life.
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