Sunday, October 26, 2014

Who Is In The Wrong?

Because of the crazy weather, we were unable to move on with our building and are staying at a friend's house for the Winter. The dogs love him and he enjoys their affections.


The friend's cousin went hunting at the back of our properties.

He spent most of the day back there.

In the evening I was taking Cookie for our last walk of the day. We just went around at the front so I kept her on the leash for safety.

Through the bush, there was crashing and there the cousin comes through the woods.

Understandably, Cookie barked at the intruder in the distance.

He was coming to the house and so did we, so Cookie could see who it was, meet and greet.

As we were coming closer, she stopped barking, interested in meeting this new person (she hasn't met him before)

As we came up, Cookie was all excited. She rubbed around his legs, positioning herself sideways, all wiggly, expecting attention.

However, no attention was coming her way.

Her friendly attempts got ignored; instead the cousin pulled out a power bar and started eating it.

Now Cookie was jumping up. I'm not entirely sure whether it was because she figured she'd get better noticed that way, or thinking that he was teasing her with the food.

"Does she want to eat me or just my power bar?" he asks.

I told him she just wanted him to greet with her. Yes, jumping up is wrong but what is one to do when polite attempts are being ignored and instead stuff is being waved up high in front of them?

To Cookie, the friend's place is now her property. All would be well if the intruder was being social. But he was not. And he does own a dog himself, so it's not like he should be all weird around them.

When the cousin finally decided to comply with required etiquette, he chose to do so by taking two fast strides towards Cookie.

Already suspicious of his actions, when he did that, Cookie jumped a few steps back and started barking.

The opportunity to make friends was lost.

If somebody came to my property, ignored my completely, I would find that disagreeable too.

What do you think?

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11 comments

  1. I love Rotties, my first dog ever was a Rottie named Beko, but to be fair, part of this person's fear is not totally in their conscious control.

    Like someone who has a fear of snakes, it can be the nicest snake in the world, but you'll still be scared. Fear of big, loud animals is a bit hardwired and we have to train ourselves out of it a bit when we're dog lovers.

    I don't really blame that person or Cookie for the way they responded, they both responded in completely common sense ways for a person and for a dog. They just weren't speaking each other's language.

    For instance, while it makes sense to a dog to jump up on someone in greeting, it also might make sense to them to pee in the house. We train them so they can learn what is "polite" in human company too.

    Generally speaking, dogs shouldn't jump up on people even if it is a "normal" greeting to them. They could accidentally hurt or scare someone. That being said, I don't know Cookie personally and given your devotion to her, I bet she's well trained, even the best trained dog has an off day.

    It can definitely also help for that person to educate themselves in dog body language so they can learn why dogs do what they do and how to approach them properly. It's not something people come with naturally, just as dogs don't come to us pre-trained.

    Education of our dogs and our friends helps us all get along. ^ ^

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    1. Cookie was very polite and well behaved until he started waving the food up high along with ignoring her. There is only so much a little girl can take :-)

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  2. poor manners by the human. poor. Cookie was perfect. I can tell you my standard poodle might not have been quite so patient with him! LeeAnna at not afraid of color

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    1. Thank you, LeeAnna. Cookie is very friendly and outgoing but there is only so much she can take.

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  3. I'd say that cousin was the mischief maker in this case--he was extremely rude!

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    1. I don't tho he meant to be rued but he was certainly clueless and thoughtless. Fortunately, the next day Cookie was at the vets where she got to meet some nice dogs and a bunch of people with proper appreciation for her charm.

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  4. That's really rude. It's like he was ignoring her on purpose AND pulling out the power bar to see if he could get a reaction out of her - which he did. Gotta say - kinda jerky behavior on the part of the human.

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    1. Jerky or at least really thoughtless.

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  5. I love Rotties, we had two when I was growing up.

    It's ok for a human to ignore a dog, ignoring a dog is saying "I don't want your attention." Cookie should respect that.

    If anything I would say he mishandled the situation by approaching Cookie too fast (which she responded appropriately). If you haven't properly greeted and then you change your body language and come on fast you can trigger a bite especially in a guardian breed like Cookie. On a good note she was nice to not bite him. :-) She would have been justified but people don't always see it that way.

    As for her....well Cookie jumping is naughty and not a good way to greet a human. You're a big and strong dog. Sitting nicely at his feet giving him eyes would have been a more polite way to ask for attention.

    A good training technique for meeting new humans is to ask Cookie for a "sit" when she exhibits excitement, and then rewarding her for calm behavior. Too much excitement can knock someone down, and not all people are comfortable with big dogs. A slow warm up with her being super polite would be a great icebreaker! :-)

    Hope this helps! I love big dogs. <3

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    Replies
    1. She was initially walking around him and rubbing on his legs, which is how she normally initiates interaction. The response threw her off.

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