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Discussion Starter #1
Naima (now 6 months old) LOVES pretty much everyone. With everyone she meets, male or female, young or old, it's as if she's being reunited with a long-lost best friend.

Only once in the past, about a month ago, as we were out walking at dusk, did she bark at anyone--a young man who suddenly jumped over a wall near us and went jogging past. I thought it was a very good reaction, and told her so.

This morning I was having breakfast on my balcony, and a neighbor about whom I'm not crazy (I don't think she's a threat; I'm just not particularly comfortable around her for a couple of reasons) came by and stood below the balcony to say hello. Naima barked quite a bit. I don't think that she was responding to any reaction on my part; I'd been eating and she'd been playing with her bone. But I thought it was interesting that she barked at this particular woman (people walk by the balcony all the time, although not necessarily right up under it).

I wasn't sure what to do, though. Again, the woman isn't (as far as I know!) a threat of any kind, but I admired what seemed to be Naima's instincts (?) on it. I was torn being telling her to be quiet and praising her (which certainly would have seemed odd to the woman!).

What would you all do?
 

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I like an "Okay, thank you" to indicate a sort of "Okay, I am aware of this thing you wanted to alert me to, I've got it."

We had a similar situation recently. At night someone was walking in front of our house (our house is at a dead end of a private road, very unusual to see someone walking). Luna growled at the window and then barked once to me like "Hey, there's a thing happening I think you should be aware of." I just told her thank you and that it was okay and she settled down.
 

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if dogs can smell cancer cells, and alert to an on coming seizures, they can surely sense and pick up different and changing vibes from you and/or another person. it's hard to say if it is your something about your neighbor or if it is from you with that neighbor. I don't quiet my dogs they not normal barkers or reactive. And if they sensing something to cause a reaction I let them work it out. What ever weirdness that is causing a reaction, it will always end the same in this situation.. (nothing will happen and you will tolerate your neighbor be cheerful and your neighbor will go on their way) feel the dogs will get it, that nothing happens even in this situation.. to let it go after a few times.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like an "Okay, thank you" to indicate a sort of "Okay, I am aware of this thing you wanted to alert me to, I've got it."

We had a similar situation recently. At night someone was walking in front of our house (our house is at a dead end of a private road, very unusual to see someone walking). Luna growled at the window and then barked once to me like "Hey, there's a thing happening I think you should be aware of." I just told her thank you and that it was okay and she settled down.
Yes, I've been doing that when she barks at something she hears outside at night (where we live is also at the end of a very quiet road). It's funny how she gets that. She usually looks kind of pleased with herself (and with me for understanding the grave danger :) ), and then goes back to sleep. Very cool. It just seems a little different when there's actually someone standing there, trying to talk to me (when I don't particularly feel like talking!).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
if dogs can smell cancer cells, and alert to an on coming seizures, they can surely sense and pick up different and changing vibes from you and/or another person. it's hard to say if it is your something about your neighbor or if it is from you with that neighbor. I don't quiet my dogs they not normal barkers or reactive. And if they sensing something to cause a reaction I let them work it out. What ever weirdness that is causing a reaction, it will always end the same in this situation.. (nothing will happen and you will tolerate your neighbor be cheerful and your neighbor will go on their way) feel the dogs will get it, that nothing happens even in this situation.. to let it go after a few times.
Good way to think about it (although it will be different if it becomes a habit with EVERYONE). I am really interested, though, in the possibilities of canine sensitivity to "vibes" from people. I'm curious to see how she develops in those ways as she gets older.
 

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Susie, my Bernese cross, has always been friendly with everyone. She barks if someone comes but then just picks up a toy and runs around. She loves everybody. One day a couple of years ago, a man walked up my driveway, I was out in the yard and as he got closer I realized it was a Jehovah Witness fellow that I had told numerous times to not come around. I was mad as I walked towards our yard gate and Susie went with me and leaped at the gate, growling and snarling like she would like to eat him. Have never before or since seen that reaction from her and I have had her for over 12 years. I think she must have picked up on the fact I was mad about him being there.

On the other hand a while later he arrived at my sister's. As he started to walk down their driveway, my brother-in-law told him to go away. He had just been about to get into his truck and their Redbone hound was in the truck. He is also friendly but he leaped out of the truck window, something he had never done before, and was going to go after the man if he had not been caught by his collar so he couldn't.
 

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Susie, my Bernese cross, has always been friendly with everyone. She barks if someone comes but then just picks up a toy and runs around. She loves everybody. One day a couple of years ago, a man walked up my driveway, I was out in the yard and as he got closer I realized it was a Jehovah Witness fellow that I had told numerous times to not come around. I was mad as I walked towards our yard gate and Susie went with me and leaped at the gate, growling and snarling like she would like to eat him. Have never before or since seen that reaction from her and I have had her for over 12 years. I think she must have picked up on the fact I was mad about him being there.

On the other hand a while later he arrived at my sister's. As he started to walk down their driveway, my brother-in-law told him to go away. He had just been about to get into his truck and their Redbone hound was in the truck. He is also friendly but he leaped out of the truck window, something he had never done before, and was going to go after the man if he had not been caught by his collar so he couldn't.
Wow! I'd be perfectly content if Naima picked up an anti-evangelist instinct. :)
 

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Good way to think about it (although it will be different if it becomes a habit with EVERYONE). I am really interested, though, in the possibilities of canine sensitivity to "vibes" from people. I'm curious to see how she develops in those ways as she gets older.
again your linked to your dog... if your mindset is to worry that it will become habit, then your body without you realizing your doing it, may tighten and change in that anticipation when people are coming towards you and set your dog off.. We do need to find our balance that the dogs do follow our lead. at least consider checking yourself .
 

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again your linked to your dog... if your mindset is to worry that it will become habit, then your body without you realizing your doing it, may tighten and change in that anticipation when people are coming towards you and set your dog off.. We do need to find our balance that the dogs do follow our lead. at least consider checking yourself .
I'm not particularly worried that it will become a habit--she shows no signs of that. All I meant was that I'm interested in her responses to various people. If she has an accurate protective instinct (barking at those who might actually be a threat of some sort, while remaining friendly to others), I'll be glad. I'm not a fearful person, but I will be living alone so it will make me feel better that she has that kind of sense.

My original post was, to a large degree, an inquiry into people's experiences with their dogs' abilities to make distinctions like that. And this morning when the woman approached I wasn't worried--never even considered that Naima might bark, and just surprised and curious as to why she did in that particular instance.

If she DOES start barking at everyone she sees, I'll deal with it then. I just also wanted to know if it was a good idea to "thank" her for barking at someone whose presence I didn't particularly relish, even if that person isn't a threat.
 

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if dogs can smell cancer cells, and alert to an on coming seizures, they can surely sense and pick up different and changing vibes from you and/or another person. it's hard to say if it is your something about your neighbor or if it is from you with that neighbor. I don't quiet my dogs they not normal barkers or reactive. And if they sensing something to cause a reaction I let them work it out. What ever weirdness that is causing a reaction, it will always end the same in this situation.. (nothing will happen and you will tolerate your neighbor be cheerful and your neighbor will go on their way) feel the dogs will get it, that nothing happens even in this situation.. to let it go after a few times.
Yes, this! Read up on how dogs pick up on our pheromones, etc. The science isn't all nailed down yet (some people claim telepathy, which does sound a bit off). But Naima knew something was bothering you and picked up on it.

Dogs indeed can smell fear. When we humans are experiencing stress or fear, we give off a distinct odor that dogs can smell. When you're nervous, adrenaline pumps through your veins and dogs can smell this hormone. Although these smells are undetectable to human noses, dogs' ultra-sensitive snouts can pick them up.
http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/does-my-dog-know-when-im-scared/

...and if they can smell fear, can they also smell stress when a person that causes discomfort approaches?

A couple of other interesting articles:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201106/can-your-dog-read-your-mind
http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/understanding-your-dog/our-stress-depression-joycan-dogs-tell

I had a similar experience just two days ago, when I needed to have an uncomfortable conversation with a friend. Tessa was by me, and as the three of us sat down, she let out a single bark at my friend--even though seconds earlier they had been playing together, and even though she never barks at people. But she picked up my "OK, here we go; let's talk this out" vibe and she took my side. Amazing, really, and a little voodoish, if I must confess. But they know.
 

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Yes, this! Read up on how dogs pick up on our pheromones, etc. The science isn't all nailed down yet (some people claim telepathy, which does sound a bit off). But Naima knew something was bothering you and picked up on it.


http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/does-my-dog-know-when-im-scared/

...and if they can smell fear, can they also smell stress when a person that causes discomfort approaches?

A couple of other interesting articles:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201106/can-your-dog-read-your-mind
http://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/behavior-training/understanding-your-dog/our-stress-depression-joycan-dogs-tell

I had a similar experience just two days ago, when I needed to have an uncomfortable conversation with a friend. Tessa was by me, and as the three of us sat down, she let out a single bark at my friend--even though seconds earlier they had been playing together, and even though she never barks at people. But she picked up my "OK, here we go; let's talk this out" vibe and she took my side. Amazing, really, and a little voodoish, if I must confess. But they know.
It's really fascinating to me. My previous dog, Pearl, was so fearful and had apparently been traumatized so badly as a puppy that I don't think that she was able to tune into those kinds of things. Naima seems to lack any "issues" and is basically a blank slate, so her instincts, I would think, can develop more or less organically and I want to pay attention to what makes her do things.

This morning I really didn't think I was showing any kind of stress; I was eating and looking at the computer (although inwardly, when I saw my neighbor approaching, I kind of went, "Oh...Great. Not"). Naima was busy with her bone and not too close to me just then. And yet...

Again--cool.
 

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This morning I really didn't think I was showing any kind of stress; I was eating and looking at the computer (although inwardly, when I saw my neighbor approaching, I kind of went, "Oh...Great. Not"). Naima was busy with her bone and not too close to me just then. And yet...

Again--cool.
That "Oh...Great. Not" was all she needed. And I wouldn't be surprised if your neighbor suspects your discomfort, tensed up a bit internally as she approached you, and Naima picked up on that, too. Yeah, even greater distance, but not so far a dog's senses can't overcome. Yeah, very cool.
 

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lol.. I have learned to suck it up because my dogs are so in-tuned to me.. Like when your standing in line at Petsmart and some one does something so stupid,, towards your dog, that you want to say it in their face,and mean it so the people get it.. nope can't.. lol lol ..it's better to be reserved and constructive in front of my dogs on how we deal with idiots with tolerance and calmly that we are ok... because the future is more important of what they learn how to handle themselves with random idiots that don't know they are idiots,, then just that one moment..

There is a difference.. when you have informed individuals that you don't want anything to do with them and they accidentally have access to you and try to approach.because of the accidental opportunity.. You bet my dogs know when I go into the silent mode and that these people are not good intention people.. They don't hold back towards them... especially when the people keep trying to approach like it'a game being jerks. I let the dogs have full authority towards them. I don't have to say a word.. "screw this politically correct stance" there are just people in this world that are not right and not right towards you or your dog... I am not going to save them or tell my dogs they should tolerate them...

even a long time well liked neighbor more then 10 years,, he came to the shut locked main gate at the road and the dogs were going to have him.. He was on something, he was really messed up on some sort of drug or having serious withdrawls from it and he was not acting right at all.. I didn't say a word for the dogs to stop . I asked my neighbor if he was ok, that he didn't look well... but he was so put off from the dogs and the noise, that he showed a bit of rage and left.. find the dogs make good evaluations not to hen peck them, and I do thank them...
 

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I don't trust a puppy's take on a situation. My dog had a complete meltdown at a friend my husband and I know and trust. He's had a complete meltdown at a trash bag blowing in the wind. He is a year old. He's still getting through fear periods. As a young dog, it's my job to teach him what is not normal, and what he should ignore so that when he is an adult and able to distinguish weird from normal, he can. If he barks at someone, I'm not going to turn around and run!

I have had dogs previously that were able to tell when someone was "off." They were all past adolescence and not likely to decide someone was not good out of the blue.
 

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lol.. I have learned to suck it up because my dogs are so in-tuned to me.. Like when your standing in line at Petsmart and some one does something so stupid,, towards your dog, that you want to say it in their face,and mean it so the people get it.. nope can't.. lol lol ..it's better to be reserved and constructive in front of my dogs on how we deal with idiots with tolerance and calmly that we are ok... because the future is more important of what they learn how to handle themselves with random idiots that don't know they are idiots,, then just that one moment..

There is a difference.. when you have informed individuals that you don't want anything to do with them and they accidentally have access to you and try to approach.because of the accidental opportunity.. You bet my dogs know when I go into the silent mode and that these people are not good intention people.. They don't hold back towards them... especially when the people keep trying to approach like it'a game being jerks. I let the dogs have full authority towards them. I don't have to say a word.. "screw this politically correct stance" there are just people in this world that are not right and not right towards you or your dog... I am not going to save them or tell my dogs they should tolerate them...

even a long time well liked neighbor more then 10 years,, he came to the shut locked main gate at the road and the dogs were going to have him.. He was on something, he was really messed up on some sort of drug or having serious withdrawls from it and he was not acting right at all.. I didn't say a word for the dogs to stop . I asked my neighbor if he was ok, that he didn't look well... but he was so put off from the dogs and the noise, that he showed a bit of rage and left.. find the dogs make good evaluations not to hen peck them, and I do thank them...
Maybe your dogs' reaction to your neighbor will act as a kind of wake-up for him if he's having trouble with drugs. Lectures from people don't usually help, but perhaps dogs can say it better. :)

I do like that a lot of people here seem to have kind of a laid-back, natural way of relating to and training their dogs. Aside from the obvious stuff like being housebroken and not destroying my stuff, I just want the basics from Naima--I want to be able to take her pretty much anywhere without worrying about how she'll act, and to walk with me without dragging me or trying to go after people or other dogs, and to be able to leave her at home sometimes without any problems (Pearl had such intense SA that it was nearly impossible). And some protective instincts would be nice too--just in case. (I'm wondering how she would act toward the other neighbor whose dog bit her and who just walked away without any apology or a "Is she OK?" if I ever let him get anywhere near us again. Speaking of people who "are not right and not right towards you or your dog"--prime example there!)

And I do believe that the puppy classes right now are good, but I think that just spending a lot of time with a dog (at least for a dog who doesn't have a lot of pre-existing baggage), talking to her a lot, etc., teaches really well, once the basic commands are down. As I mentioned earlier, when I was younger I had dogs who I'd gotten as puppies, and who never had any formal training, but just seemed to naturally become well-socialized good citizens/housemates on their own. So I'm trying to find that balance again.
 
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