Unless you're a small child (or your dog is a 300-lb Great Dane), you stand at least three feet above your dog.
Which means you and your dog see different things.
|Hey, human. How's it going up there?|
I learned a lot from Brenda Aloff's Canine Body Language--more, probably, than I'll remember with any degree of effectiveness. But one thing that felt like a bucket of ice water on my head was this:
What happens at the dog's level often goes unnoticed at the human level.
Up here in Human Land it might look like two dogs are ignoring each other. But are they ignoring each other too hard? Maybe, down there in Dog World and out of (our) sight, the gauntlet is being thrown, tension is brewing, emotions are escalating. And when the growl or snap comes, human's all like, that came from nowhere!
No, it didn't. We just weren't looking.
Maybe there was a treat or a toy lying nearby, and one of the dogs wanted to claim it. Maybe one felt threatened by the other's size or demeanor. Maybe someone's space is being invaded. Maybe there's another dog approaching. Maybe the human is paying too much attention--or not enough--to one dog. Maybe--
Well. You get the idea.
Dog handlers need to train themselves to see these things. To step outside the human view and see the world from the dog's perspective. The things we consider important may not be important to them, and vice versa. Until we're able to see their world and the mechanics that rule it, we'll never understand them. We'll never be able to communicate properly.
And doesn't that apply to every relationship we have, canine or not?
~ * ~
Thanks for the visit, and happy A-to-Z-ing!