Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dog to dog etiquette

I want to thank all of you for the fan mail. Some dogs are kept isolated by their owners and are never socialized properly which is the reason for this posting. I want to respond to the dog, or more likely a human disguising himself as a dog, that wrote me the nice e-mail. Dogs know that they don't use dog language to communicate where humans can read it, humans must never learn how to "talk dog". I don’t like to criticize, but there was a significant error in the message. You began by saying; “Bow-wow, bow grr, gr, bow.gr.” I have to assume that you are a small dog, and that your owner has not clipped your nails recently which makes it difficult to type, or you really were saying “Hello, how are you, can I sniff your pant leg?”

Only a very small dog will ask to sniff a pant leg, hence the use of “can” rather than “may”, larger dogs sniff another part of the anatomy, and they “can” so no permission is necessary. It is not polite to ask before sniffing. Humans don’t greet each other by saying “Hello, may I shake your hand?” They just walk right up and extend their arm and hand. So should dogs, they have their way of greeting and they should show their enthusiasm to see another dog by sniffing excitedly, just run right up, turn around, stick out your nose and get acquainted.

You went on to say “bowbowwow gr arf, garf, arff.” No, I don’t know how to persuade your owner not to dress you up in those ridiculous costumes at Christmas. But I suggest that you not complain too much, there are a lot of homeless dogs at the shelter and when you have a good home, take care to keep it. Go along with the silliness, as long as there are treats at the end of the day.

I will suggest that your owner take you to the dog park daily, you need to socialize more often with other dogs. You should know that you never put two “gr or grr” in the first sentence when addressing a new dog, only one gr or grr is allowed until the sniffing is complete. If you are friends and this is the second or third time that you have sniffed, then two gr or grr’s would be allowed, but not loud ones. You can only get loud with the gr or grr’s after three meetings.

I also recommend that you work on your human language when you are at the keyboard, but always speak in dog when in the presence of a human, we can’t let humans know how much we understand or they will be assigning us chores. Look what they do to their own children as soon as they learn to speak, they make them clean their rooms, wash their hands and go to the toilet in the white water bowl in that little room. Dogs need to be as good at inter-human communication as they can to understand humans and their many moods. But never let humans know how much you understand his language, or you may find yourself sweeping up the patio.


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