Things I never knew I never knew about dogs
Things I never knew I never knew
I've been raising and rescuing dogs for almost 40 years. Now while that may make you think that I am exceedingly old, let me qualify by saying that almost since I took my first steps, I have wanted, then loved dogs.
As a child, had a make believe dog, a stuffed toy that I diligently fed and waters and cuddled with at night. My mom still talks about that to my children.
As the youngest child in the family, I was taken frequently to the local library by older siblings who enjoyed reading. I took out every book in the slim reference section that included information about dogs.
Over the years, I've accessed books, websites, vets, trainers, more experienced folks in the rescue world and adoption coordinators. I thought I had a pretty good working knowledge of most things canine. But then I met Julie.
A professional trainer, Julie reads about pet care, animal behaviors and diet more thoroughly than even me. Although I must admit, she does have the advantage, getting paid to do what I can only do in my free time.
And she recently shared some facts with me, And I surprised at what I didn't know I didn't know.
According to this professional, dogs with curled over tails are more likely to be attached by other dogs, than straight tailed breeds. Most dogs who are aggressive raise their tails prior to acting. Thus dogs who have high carrying curled over tails appear to be more aggressive. To this end, appearance dogs matter and dogs will react.
Dogs with colored spot over their eyes are considered special by Native Americans. Their double eyes give the appearance of seeing more. The Native Americans thought those special dogs could see into the spirits of humans and were allowed privileges in the village even when other dogs were not.
Dogs are often now appropriate for dog parks. Dogs on leashes are much more likely to attack that those off leash. Leashed they feel limited in their ability to alter their surroundings or fight back. Feeling cornered they are much more likely to cower or lash out.
Dogs can have mental health issues. While most aggressive or hostile dogs are made that way through mistreatment, some animals, usually through reckless breeding, are born unable to appropriately function in our modern pack system.
Julie tells the story of a dog trainer who notices a puppy in a puppy training class. The pup does not interact with his peers, but does jump and chase shadows. When he is petted and praised, he snaps. The trainer calls the behavior to the owner's attention. The pup was originally a pet shop purchase. Insulted, the owners remove the dog from training.
Months later the owners call frantically. The dog bites regularly and unpredictably. Vets, trainers and behaviorists cannot define the problem. After one particularly violent bite, the dog must be put to sleep. Public safety mandated it.
So the next time you think you've read it all, take a moment, and read a bit more. There is always more out there.