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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bow to Your Partner!

While I was home in Virginia this weekend, I spent some time reading my mom's magazine, Scientific American Mind, and I came across a great article on canine ethics and how it relates to human morality. It's a quick, easy read, so do yourself a favor and learn a little!

This morning, as I stood in the swirling snow in a dog run in TriBeCa, I watched my airedale client frolicking with her golden retriever pal and was reminded why I love studying animal behavior. Dogs don't have language in the sense that we do, but they still communicate with one another constantly. The most recognizable and understood signal that dogs display is the "play bow", as illustrated by my client below. This tells another dog (or person) that the dog who is bowing is ready to play, and any action that follows the bow is meant in good fun. That way, if she bares her teeth and barks and growls, her playmates will know she isn't serious. It's an adorable stance, and if you're ever attempting to get your own dog to play with you, I suggest getting down on all fours and giving it a try. You'll be surprised at how quickly your pup will translate your action into dog language and start playing along.

"Get up, old man! It's go time!"

2 comments:

  1. Hi Big!

    I love it when our puppy does this. John gets Nugget all riled up with this move. So cute! And it's interesting that pups respond the same way when a human takes the same playful stance.

    Loving the blog!!! Keep it up!
    Julie

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  2. hiya Little :)
    Glad you're enjoying the blog.
    Dogs' ability to tolerate our feeble attempts at their language never ceases to amaze me!

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