Nikolaas Tinbergen, an early ethologist said that ‘ethology is the study of animal behavior and we must interview the animals in their own language’, or something to that effect, sorry I couldn’t come up with the actual quote.
We have failed dogs miserably to this end. Dog behavior is horribly misunderstood. TV shows and movies anthropomorphise dog behavior while celebrity trainers make up their own translations of dog behavior that have no basis in fact. Despite thousands of years of coexistence we might as well have just stumbled upon dogs given how much the average pet owner understands about their behavior.
This following video is an example of an exuberant greeting ritual my fearful dog Sunny performs whenever I return from being away for several hours. We can learn a lot by watching our dogs. Stay loose when meeting dogs and you’ll convey your intention to avoid conflict with them.
This post is part of Blogathon2011. I am writing to help raise money for the Nebraska Humane Society. You can donate here. A few dollars here and a few dollars there will add up. You can put your credit card where your intent is.