Have you ever seen dogs try to dominate other dogs by resting their heads across the shoulders of the dog they are greeting. Head position is important to dogs, it says alot to another dog. Personally, I am of the belief that dogs do not try to dominate people but rather try to get reinforcement from us anyway they can. If growling at us works for a dog once or twice, it is game on, growling rocks, look ma, I may even show teeth next time! Likewise, if looking at us with big drooping eyes and a low, quick, submissive wag of the tail works best, our dogs will quickly turn into the biggest balls of mush & wiggle possible. This is a great contributor to the reason why so many dogs continue to “shut-down” in work as the posturing works so well to get them out of a job they really didn’t want to do in the first place! Anyway, my point is that dogs really don’t do things “to us” or “against us” they are far too pleasure seeking to waste time on how to get us, rather they put their energies into how to get for themselves. I had to tell you all of that to preface what I am about to admit to next with that knowledge that yes, I do have a decent understanding of canine etiology. However, when I want to crack myself up, I play this little game with my dogs and let my anthropomorphic side go wild by conjuring up thoughts that are springing forth from my dogs like the little caption-bubbles above a Charlie Brown – Snoopy interaction.
You want to make yourself laugh out-loud, give this a go this weekend. It is particularly fun if you have more than one dog in which to compare your results. Put all of your dogs away and take just one out. Get down on all your hands and knees on the living room floor and while you are interacting with the dog, try to keep your head just slightly below the head level of your dog. It just cracks me up to see the response from my different dogs. Buzz would immediately try to lick my face and then sniff the floor ignoring me, imploring me to stop this nonsense. Stoni used to FREAK when I did this to her. She would become almost panic stricken trying to keep her head lower than mine. To the point of flipping herself up side down on her back as if to scream; “NO, NO DAMIT, YOU’RE THE BOSS OF ME, NOW CUT IT OUT!!!” The terriers are the best. At first they would play bow and run around as if to sing “ding-dong the witch is dead.” But soon they would quieten down and just be. Sometimes Twister would jump right up on my back as if viewing her newly inherited kingdom from a better vantage point. I remember the first time I did this to DeCaff the look was, “it’s about freaking time you figured this out sista, now move over and let me drive this bus!” I told you this was big A time (thats Anthropomorph-mania). Go ahead and try it, your dogs will think you have finally lost it. Don’t forget to report back how your dog’s responded– but please don’t take your results too seriously. It is just another way I amuse myself with my dogs.
Dogs really do crack me up.
Today I am grateful for the differences between all of the dogs that I have owned.