Deciphering body language...

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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 5:04 pm

I am realizing that I'm still a total novice... especially when it comes to my own, so never mind someone elses. :rolleyes2: lol

I learned to *read* Mick very well once I joined here, but that was born out of necessity, and knowing that I had to manage him in the safest way possible... or else.

The boys that I live with now are still an enigma to me half the time. Thank God they are willing and patient teachers. :)
Faust taught me that being DA and being a snotty, confident brat are two different animals... he's the latter.
Sepp taught me, just today, that I worry too much when it comes to him and other dogs... and our upcoming vet visit. He might just NOT attack every other dog in his line of vision...
We were in the yard today, playing "watch that"... Sepp was on a long lead. Down the street comes a dog about Sepps size, by himself, very un-neutered at that. :rolleyes2:
Sepp immediately got excited and very vocal, pulled on the lead, etc. I *usually* remove him from situations like that immediately because I don't want to chance any fence fighting, or fighting period.
Of course that won't let me observe how he might interact, and it doesn't give us a chance to learn anything either... it's basic avoidance.

So, today I decided to stay out there with him. I made him sit and watch while the other dog ambled along, sniffed a lot, even lifted a leg on our fence a few times... Sepp was very excited and did a front paw tap-dance while whining - but he sat.
We walked a little closer and I watched both dogs. Ears were up, tails at half-mast and wagging, no hackles, lots of sniffing the air. I made Sepp sit every couple of steps and while he was a little reluctant because he was excited... he listened. YAY for a pocket-full of treats.
I threw some treats over the fence also, and the other dog was just as delighted... :lol3:
Anyway - we ended up right at the fence and lots of butt-sniffing and play-bowing ensued. No aggression what-so-ever.
I kept giving treats for a few minutes and then let Sepp off-leash. The two of them ended up having the best time chasing each other (w/the fence between them) up and down for about 20 minutes... barking at each other, but not aggressively. Sepp got his jolly ball and tried to offer it through the fence... even brought it to me so I would throw it. Which showed to me that he wasn't *fixated* on the other dog, and didn't lose total focus on me. :D :D :D

Lessons learned... be vigilant and cautious, but don't assume the worst at all times.
Trust your dogs body language to show you how he/she feels about a situation.
Apologize for having been a ass w/your *assumptions* in the past. :oops:

I know - it's nothing "special", really, and most of the dogs on the forum act exactly like that... but it was kinda huge for me. :dance:

I really :heartbeat: my big goofy brown teacher. :mrgreen:
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Postby pitsnok » January 6th, 2010, 5:20 pm

This made me so happy for you!!
:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Postby plebayo » January 6th, 2010, 5:55 pm

That is totally awesome Christine! I am so glad Sepp had a blast AND that you were able to take the step into observing, rather than avoiding. That is wonderful!
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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 5:59 pm

Between some good books, and this forum, AND the dogs... I'm hoping we're gonna "get me there" eventually. :wink: :)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2010, 6:15 pm

Well done! As Michelle taught me during my last trip to NY, sometimes you just have to have a little faith in your dog and their skills. :wink:
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 6:36 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote: As Michelle taught me during my last trip to NY, sometimes you just have to have a little faith in your dog and their skills. :wink:



You DOUBTED sweet Inara??? :o :shock: >(


:wink: lol
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2010, 6:39 pm

I did, as Michelle likes to remind me! lol
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby ArtGypsy » January 6th, 2010, 8:07 pm

amazincc wrote:Between some good books, and this forum, AND the dogs... I'm hoping we're gonna "get me there" eventually. :wink: :)




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Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby Malli » January 7th, 2010, 4:23 am

:clap:
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Postby LMM » January 7th, 2010, 8:44 am

:D


Awesome!
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Postby furever_pit » January 8th, 2010, 1:51 pm

Very cool!
Kudos to Sepp for being such a good boy.
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