It’s big “A” time

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Have you ever seen dogs try to dominate other dogs by resting their heads across the shoulders of the dog they are greeting. Head position is important to dogs, it says alot to another dog. Personally, I am of the belief that dogs do not try to dominate people but rather try to get reinforcement from us anyway they can. If growling at us works for a dog once or twice, it is game on, growling rocks, look ma, I may even show teeth next time! Likewise, if looking at us with big drooping eyes and a low, quick, submissive wag of the tail works best, our dogs will quickly turn into the biggest balls of mush & wiggle possible.  This is a great contributor to the reason why so many dogs continue to “shut-down” in work as the posturing works so well to get them out of a job they really didn’t want to do in the first place!  Anyway, my point is that dogs really don’t do things “to us” or “against us” they are far too pleasure seeking to waste time on how to get us, rather they put their energies into how to get for themselves. I had to tell you all of that to preface what I am about to admit to next with that knowledge that yes, I do have a decent understanding of  canine etiology.  However, when I want to crack myself up, I play this little game with my dogs and let my anthropomorphic side go wild  by conjuring up thoughts that are springing forth from my dogs like the little caption-bubbles above a Charlie Brown – Snoopy interaction.

You want to make yourself laugh out-loud, give this a go this weekend.  It is particularly fun if you have more than one dog in which to compare your results. Put all of your dogs away and take just one out. Get down on all your hands and knees on the living room floor and while you are interacting with the dog, try to keep your head just slightly below the head level of your dog. It just cracks me up to see the response from my different dogs. Buzz would immediately try to lick my face and then sniff the floor ignoring me, imploring me to stop this nonsense. Stoni used to FREAK when I did this to her. She would become almost panic stricken trying to keep her head lower than mine. To the point of flipping herself up side down on her back as if to scream; “NO, NO DAMIT, YOU’RE THE BOSS OF ME, NOW CUT IT OUT!!!”  The terriers are the best. At first they would play bow and run around as if to sing “ding-dong the witch is dead.” But soon they would quieten down and just be.  Sometimes Twister would jump right up on my back as if viewing her newly inherited kingdom from a better vantage point. I remember the first time I did this to DeCaff the look was, “it’s about freaking time you figured this out sista, now move over and let me drive this bus!”  I told you this was big A time (thats Anthropomorph-mania). Go ahead and try it, your dogs will think you have finally lost it. Don’t forget to report back how your dog’s responded– but please don’t take your results too seriously. It is just another way I amuse myself with my dogs.

Dogs really do crack me up.

Today I am grateful for the differences between all of the dogs that I have owned.


  1. I tried this with my two dogs:

    Australian Kelpie ‘Tux’ did everything he could to get his head lower than mine and licked me furiously in my head. He seemed to get quite worried.

    Jack Russell ‘Ozzy’ gave me just one look and than he started to look for toys. When he couldn’t find or reach any he curled up and rolled over to get his belly rubbed…


  2. Both mine go crazy happy, face licking and play bowing
    Mia is v happy cos it means my nose is closer to her and she can try nipping it

    I totaly agree that we teach our dogs how to be without meaning it
    Too many people are hung up on worrying about if they are doming their dog or giving out the wrong signals
    We are people, dogs are dogs, reward what you like and train a different behavior to what you dont like

  3. i have always done this with my doggies! they love it. finn runs and gets a toy and is sure that i am going to play tug with him. as if i’d put that disgusting thing in my mouth! not on your life! pip thinks i’ve lost my mind, and barks and jumps on me, then runs and gets a toy. meanwhile, the dogs that are “put away” are going crazy, thinking they are missing out on momma losing her marbles! bing doesn’t know what to do….play boys, barks, brings toys, jumps on me, kisses…i think she is so happy that i am on her level. i’ve only done this inside…i wonder what they’d do outside? probably run away!

  4. I do this playing with my dog. She comes round to my side and goes under my chest from under my arm and pushes me up while licking under my chin. lol

  5. I have 3 shelties and a miniature poodle. The poodle is a bitch and the shelties are dogs. When I do this (get on the floor and get lower than the dogs), the poodle *immediately* boxes a sheltie. As if to say, “Take that! I’ve been meaning to put you in your place for weeks. Thank God I now have this opportunity!”

    It’s a hoot. =:O)

  6. Ahhh yes, Seamus loves this game. When I try to get my head low he places his muzzle under my chin and flings my head back up. The more I do this in a play session the harder he flings my head up each time. Keeps my chiropractor employed!

  7. We discovered this by accident trying to do yoga without putting the dogs away – downward dog makes them crazy! Each and every one of our dogs will dive under us doing downward dog – hysterical.

  8. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this.

    Wi tries get under me but when she can’t she jumps up and then starts to bring me toys (or anything she can bring) and she throws herself on the rug or the bed every time she passes it and starts scratching her back with her paws way up in the air, growling.
    And I’m dying of laughter next to her. 😉

    Gotta love ’em.

  9. Luna figured out a whole new way to play the childhood game “leap frog” with her antics. I get down low and she burrows under me and then she pounces on my back, jumps over my head and starts all over again. By that time, I am laughing so hard that it is more difficult for her to pause on my back for long! Who needs the Dynadisc when you have a mom like this!! Thanks for the laugh.

  10. I gave this game a try with Elle. The challenge for me is actually managing to get my head below her’s!Elle is a very small Papillon, just 8 inches at the withers and only 4 lbs. This is what always happens: much licking of my face, then pouncing on my hair, offering toys, and even nose touches as if to say “look, what’s going on?!” After all this, Elle jumps on my back and settles down for a nap in the curve of my shoulder and neck. Of course, I can’t stop laughing, wondering what Elle is thinking!

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