February 3, 2008

Piss Off - not a pretty greeting!

Lots of my friends come home and wonder why my dog (Yoda) is so interested in their genitals...

... in fact "Your dog is horny!" .... "he is going to bite me...." are regular comments.

But for all you visitors... let e tell you one thing... Yoda is actually doing you a favor... he is 'pre screening' you health and well being.

Remember the last time the doctor asked you to get a Urine test done so that he can clear up the presence of any bacteria or whatever you were 'deceased' with.... Dogs can actually smell disease... Diabetes to EColi infection and some can even smell Prostrate and Bladder cancer.

In simple dog language the sniffing of the genitals
means please reveal you true nature...more like "I want to see you naked" ... no secrets from me. Quite naturally, dogs don't have a problem with nudity or dress code, so this is not in any way offending... the care, protection and fascination with the genitals is a very 'cultured human' approach to life!

There are studies that will soon confirm that dogs can sniff out genetic code... I have seen that Yoda is pretty comfortable with people (new visitors) who share some kind of genetic code with either me or Prabha... he takes one sniff and knows that they are 'family'... amazing... all those research scholar wasting your time in laboratories trying to map the human genome... waste time no more.

I see so many of my friends trying to teach their dogs how to shake hands.... etc. etc.... have we even tried to understand their way of greeting????

Ideally when you meet a dog the next time you should sniff his butt... and he would be happy to show it to you.... not a pretty picture... but then let us remember that we are humans and they are dogs... lets keep our dignity.

According to
Mogens Eliasen, the famous dog trainer, a typical greeting ritual for dogs contains the following elements:
  • Eye contact - means acknowledging each other's presence. It means very much the same as for humans. Not making eye contact is ignorant - and too much eye contact is rude or provocative. The difference between people and dogs is that the time standard is shorter for dogs. A staring for, say 1 second, might be OK and non-provocative for a human, but for a dog it is too much to be perceived comfortable. Half a second would be better - just a glance is enough.
  • Indirect approach - means the opposite of an attack... A hunter aiming at a prey would go directly for it. Dogs are polite and signal to each other that they have no hunting intentions - and they do that by aiming, not directly at the other dog, but at a point somewhat a body length to the side. It is as if they are just about passing by each other as they come close...- you just aim at passing by the dog, right until you are the very closest you can come - then you turn your body around on the spot and meet face to face!
  • Nose-nose contact - is the key element of the greeting. Exchange of the most important information takes place via the nose. The nose is the most powerful sense the dog has, so it wants to use this instrument to gather as much information it possibly can about the other party dogs will get a lot of personal information out of this. They will know the mood of the other party, the rank, the stress level, and many other important things we can only guess about...You should bring your nose down to dog level.
  • Licking - is, in the greeting ritual, most often a sign of submission, which you should appreciate. As a confident pack leader, you respond to this submission with peacefulness - in this situation best shown by turning your head away and down (down, in order to avoid showing your throat, which a pack leader cannot do...)
  • Sniffing ears, side of neck, and shoulders - This area will contain a lot of information about the other party's history. Well, that's the canine way of making a photograph of something that was worth memorizing. Remember, we talk about animals for whom nose is many times more important than eyes...
  • Sniffing rectal area, genitals, and bum - Don't be offended when the dog turns the bum towards you - it is simply an invitation to confirm the greeting! The most peaceful way the dog can signal its acceptance of you. Give that bum a good rub and enjoy your pack membership! And: don't be offended if the dog wants to sniff those areas human society has taught you are private... From the dog's side, it is nothing more than an appreciation of your true personality.
So the next time you come home... be prepared.. be aware .. and don't get pissed off!

This is true of other animals too... not just dogs... it is only that dogs have been around (really closely around) man for along time that we have begun to understand some of their actions and gestures...

I recently read that elephants too use urine to understand, control and accept the hierarchy of the members of their herd.

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