Displacement behavior or calming signals?

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 17th, 2010, 12:07 pm

Inara's come a really long way on our walks - if she sees or hears another dog, she no longer flips out, barking and lunging. Now she may just pull slightly or focus on them. But I'm noticing that if we are passing a house, even across the street, and there is a dog barking at us, whether it's inside or not, Inara will often want to pee and sniff the ground, and if I don't permit her to do so she gets antsy. Is she giving calming signals to the other dog or showing displacement behaviors because she's anxious? And should I permit her to pee/sniff? Usually I cheerfully tell her to "leave it" and "c'mon" and then once we're a couple houses down I'll let her pee. Occasionally after she does her "post dog pee," she'll scratch the ground, acting all big and bad. Is she just being a bitch by wanting to pee in front of them, especially when she does a handstand to pee higher?

So yeah, displacement or calming? Or bitchiness? And how do you know the difference? Is there a difference?
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Postby maberi » August 17th, 2010, 2:34 pm

Hmm, good question

In my humble opinion Inara probably isn't giving calming signals and is probably marking (especially so if she is lifting her rear off the ground).

I read an interesting article a while back about how cortisol levels have a converse relationship with neuron signals to decrease water retention (thus more urinating). The theory was that when dogs saw other dogs or smelled the scent of other dogs, it created a low level of stress.

Whether or not that article was correct; I have no idea but if I was a betting man I would bet Inara isn't sending those dogs calming signals.


pitbullmamaliz wrote:Inara's come a really long way on our walks - if she sees or hears another dog, she no longer flips out, barking and lunging. Now she may just pull slightly or focus on them. But I'm noticing that if we are passing a house, even across the street, and there is a dog barking at us, whether it's inside or not, Inara will often want to pee and sniff the ground, and if I don't permit her to do so she gets antsy. Is she giving calming signals to the other dog or showing displacement behaviors because she's anxious? And should I permit her to pee/sniff? Usually I cheerfully tell her to "leave it" and "c'mon" and then once we're a couple houses down I'll let her pee. Occasionally after she does her "post dog pee," she'll scratch the ground, acting all big and bad. Is she just being a bitch by wanting to pee in front of them, especially when she does a handstand to pee higher?

So yeah, displacement or calming? Or bitchiness? And how do you know the difference? Is there a difference?
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 17th, 2010, 3:04 pm

I'm with Matt...I'm guessing she's not throwing out calming signals...

on a related note...does your Inara give much in the way of calming signals to other dogs? My Inara does not...she's too much of a bitch. ;) I don't think she gives a shit, honestly, how they're feeling.

My Inara will pee if she hears dogs barking and such...and of course she hikes it up as high as she can... :rolleyes2: She HAS to do so...it just can't wait. :bs:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » August 17th, 2010, 3:25 pm

lol I didn't really figure they were calming signals, but the sniffing was throwing me. I figured she was just being a bitch, though a part of me really wanted to believe that she was using calming signals appropriately! I've never really seen her give a lot of calming signals - the occasional lip lick or look away, but those are rare! I'm not sure she even realizes she's doing it. She's clueless.
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 17th, 2010, 9:23 pm

lol My Inara has great social skills with dogs...but honestly, I don't think she cares to calm them down...she's much more interested in winding them up and making them do stupid crap so she can correct them for it. Bitch :nono:
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Postby Malli » August 18th, 2010, 3:22 am

my vote is for marking too.
Oscar, in his old age and slightly more dog-correct-communicating ways as of late, has done this (or perhaps, I've just started noticing it?)

at any rate, along with a few other obnoxious yet better then-not-communicating-at-all-and-then-being-a-dink behaviors he has apparently started doing this.

other behaviors to add to his repetoire include accepting some other dogs more quickly and interacting in a more normal dog fashion, reacting strongly to strong reactions to him (other dog: aggressive "bark bark bark" Oscar : lunge "BARK BARK BARK"), snarking at dog friend Ernie and then stealing his toy.

Its bitchy, but it IS communicating, nonetheless, so I think you can take it as a positive ;)
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