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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tricks and the Tricky

Gordon and I are learning to speak eachothers' language. I am reading a couple of books and several articles on canine "language" - and I am training Gordon to understand a few of my words. I'm quite silly, naming everything off to him, but I really hope that through this we can both understand eachother in a satisfactory manner..

To date, Gordie knows these words, or at least I think he does: Sit, Lay Down (bit of trouble with that one), Shake a Paw (useful not only for cuteness but grooming purposes), Look (pay attention), banana (he has a squeek toy), Moogurt (his puppet), Cecil (his celery squeak toy!), Kong (another toy), Up, No, Yes, Good Boy, Bad Boy (we call him Carpet Shark.. he likes to bite due to his teething), Mom, Dad, Emilie, Hello (greeting for kisses!), Mouse (a toy he broke tonight, which broke his heart, poor dear), and treats for training purposes. I'm sure he knows more words than that, but those are the words he responds to. "No biting" is on the top of my list.

To date, I have learned a few things about dogs: Dominance and Submission are big in the canine world - looking into their eyes, petting them on the shoulders, giving them food, etc (many more but I am tired) - are all ways that say, "I'm Higher Up than You!". Dogs show signs of nervousness, frustration, fear, and anger (doggy emotions I think are different from human emotions, but I will put my inadequate lables on for the purpose of this post) when you do too many of these, although they appreciate knowing that you are there to protect and take care of them. Dogs have an innate ability to communicate through smells, body language, sounds, behaviors.. Did you know that dogs "Split" up fighting dogs to keep the peace? I didn't. I'm too tired to write everything down that I've learned, but point being - I'm doing my bit too, in order to understand my fluffy cloudlamb carpet shark better ;)

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