|Barked: Sun Feb 3, '13 9:51am PST |
|" It's when one of the parties doesn't listen to the other that problems occur."
Very true! Because if it is about communication, then equally it is a two way street. I think once you spend enough time with your dog....hopefully....you know them pretty well. Thereby, I think paying attention to the participating other dog, and ideally the conversation itself, is equally important.
Everything needs to be taken in context. I don't think looking for one piece of body language is a do all end all. I fostered a bluetick coonhound who came in with a tough past and a reputation for a lot of fear. She'd been chained a lot. When I let three Mastiff puppies loose with her, they themselves being rather human phobic at the time, her first response was panic. She was baying at them, backing away in a fright. But I noticed that as she bayed loudly and they trotted off from her in a startle, she would step forward, nose in the air sniffing; she was curious. So I just let it be. Kept out of their way and let them be dogs. And in twenty minutes, they were playing like nuts. In a rather spastic fashion....it was clear to me she had never played in her life and was figuring it out at the moment, but that only made it more touching. It helped all of them a ton. The scene initially was four dogs weirding each other out as all of them were pretty socially impaired, but in amidst their panic they were all very interested in each other equally. They kept trying to restart, having it fall apart, and then coming in for the reattempt.
Now during this, I sadly knew this female was puppy tolerant as she had been a mom at the shelter, where she whelped a litter of eleven, all of which were euthanized, but she was a very good mom. And puppies are puppies....they are not going to attack an adult. Between that and the curiosity, as their initial dysfunction kept restarting of their own volition....they were rather overwhelmed but at the same time pretty determined to work it out some way....I figured to just let them, and in the end they were all ridiculously adorable together.
That's just an example of not segmenting things to much....this sort of body language or that sort of extreme reaction....and thinking of the body of the interplay. And also the benefit, as these were four rather scared dogs who in the end were just itching every day to get back together. They really enjoyed their time together, got crazy rowdy but to be blasting around the house in rowdy play was very unwinding to them all and a huge part of their progress.
Edited by author Sun Feb 3, '13 9:52am PST
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