Monday, April 4, 2011

Snippets of summer #3

After Tara and I stopped being Best Girl Friends, I was sad and lonely. I still had lots of other friends to play with, but A Best Girl Friend is Quite Different and A Very Important Thing To Have.

Then one day, I met Coco!
She was only 7 months old then. Just a baby. I was already A Young Lady. But it didn't matter what people thought.
I had found My New Best Girl Friend!
Coco and I try to meet up every morning now.
She usually gets to the park after me. I always worry that I might have to go home before she turns up.
Sometimes, a new dog comes along and wants to play too.
Coco doesn't always like that.
 
Like all good friends, we don't have to be running around doing things to have fun.
It's just as nice to lie down next to each other.
When The Old Grump gets bored and wants to go...
 ...Coco knows exactly what to do to make him feel special again.
Coco may be a labrador, but she's a terrible hunting dog. Despite my patient training, I fear she'll never be any good at it.
Coco often tries to sneak home with us.
So far, we've not had any success. It's always sad having to say goodbye in the morning.
Good thing there's breakfast to look forward to when I get home!

***

This is Delle [with an e]. She's been my friend forever or anyway, more than a year.
We go to the same school. She's a Class 4 dog. I'm just Class 3. I may never be able to better myself because my out-at-work human has stopped taking me to school. So it's a good thing Delle doesn't mind having a friend who's more stupid than her. I mean, not as clever as her.

Delle lives with Kody [with a K].
I'm not sure if Kody minds me being such good friends with Delle.
But I don't think so. Sometimes, he helps me pin her down.

I don't know how, but Delle has become My Other Best Girl Friend. Sometimes, you have to know someone a long time before you find out how special they are.
Delle and I try to meet up every evening.
I'm very lucky to have lots of good friends, but Coco and Delle are the best things that happened to me this summer.


                                               *****

I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this.

We notice that Georgia goes through friends rather like the proverbial underwear. She can be best mates with a dog, then after a few months, they'll totally ignore each other when they meet. I have to say, it's usually Georgia who first shows no more interest in playing. Is this common? Or do we just have a very rude gnat of a dog?

"Look! I have NO idea who you are, okay? Please leave me alone!"

Another doggie friendship question.

Although Georgia has both big and little friends, she particularly likes ridgebacks and labradors. She seems wary of boxers and pugs [though she knows a few]. I would say she prefers certain BREEDS over others.

Her friends Mana, Tora and Jack [all 3 ridgebacks] exhibit similar behaviour. They don't like having Coco [a labrador] play with them and will chase her away from the group.

Have you noticed this behaviour with YOUR dogs? Is it possible that dogs can and do differentiate and discriminate among breeds, playing out their own little version of BSL?

25 comments:

grrl + dog said...

Who knows what it is?
Maybe dogs, like people refer the energy of different types of dog..

Mine is notoriously aloof and indifferent to 99% f all dogs, but does like big dogs.

Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

You're not alone, Georgia. A lot of dogs don't like breeds of dogs with squashed in faces, Boxers, Pug, Bulldogs etc. The theory seems to be that it makes their body (face?) language hard to read. Frankie doesn't mind female boxers so much but doesn't like males and they are the 1 breed guaranteed to bring out the worst in him, lol! I'll have to get some photos and write a blog about his Boxer 'enemy', Buster:)

And Frankie is also very like Georgia, changes his friends quite often. He's very nosy, HAS to meet every new dog he sees at the park. Once he's done that he's off doing his rounds again. It's extremely important that he makes sure it's safe for us to continue our walk! I have to say that his love for his Greyhound gf, Lucy, has never wavered. Those 2 are soul mates:)

Beryl doesn't have a problem with Boxers. Neither of them have met a Pug or a Bulldog. She just doesn't like rude dogs who race up to her before they've been introduced and she tells them to mind their manners.

Dogs are so interesting, aren't they:) And mysterious, lol!!

I hope you stay friends with Coco and Delle for a long time, Georgia, they look lovely and so do you.

georgia little pea said...

@grrl - 99% What a snooty Hound! Lucky in a way though. Georgia isn't much into plain old walks. She has to play. I can always tell when she's not met her friends on a walk because she actually looks glum when she comes home!

@GreyhoundsCANsit - Frankie and Georgia sound like twins separated at birth. They're both pigdogs hmmm. Ms Pea has to meet every dog too, though she's a bit better now that she's maturing haha. However, like Beryl, she's not keen on unknown dogs that rush up to her. Of course, she doesn't seem to mind doing that herself. *sigh*

I didn't realise we weren't alone about squashed-faced dogs! My Other Half thinks it may have to do with their mouths being open to help them breathe - makes them look a bit like they're snarling. Also, the loud breathing. Who knows, but yes, very interesting.

Thanks for your thoughts! Much appreciated :)

Kristine said...

Interesting question. Shiva tends not to make very many friends because she would rather play by herself. It is frustrating to no end. She will run around and around and around and if other dogs join in the running, that's fine. But if she has to run alone, that's fine too. She apparently thinks other dogs are boring.

Unless, that is, they don't like her. Shiva loves dogs who want nothing to do with her at all and ignores the ones who actually want to play. I'll never understand it. For a long time I thought she had this weird border collie obsession because she could just never leave the border collies alone, even when they made it clear they would rather play with their humans. Now I realise it isn't necessarily the breed, but the fact that most border collies find her manners very coarse and unruly. *sigh*

I love the photos of Georgia and Coco just hanging out, sharing a stick. One day I'd love for Shiva to find a friend like that. Even just for one day...

georgia little pea said...

Now you got me all sad, thinking of poor Shivs not having a friend to share a stick with. Maybe she'll find one [or a few] at your new place :) It's funny that she only wants to play with dogs that ignore her. More inexplicable dog behaviour *gah*

Jen said...

It's so interesting, these dogs of ours! Sophie does not like boxers at all (but we had a bad experience with one at a class). Spike LOVES an intact male boxer in his agility class. No efforts to be macho, they just love to hang out and mooch for treats at class, LOL!

In all honesty, Sophie is the one here who is fickle with dogs- she'll like one, then not. She'll play then ignore.

But, I have no idea why she decides who is cool and why they are for the length of time that they remain so. Often it's other dogs who have an issue with Sophie- her energy is spazzy and over the top which I suspect turns other dogs off.

Jen and the BDC

Pamela said...

I love this post. It's true that dogs are just as choosy about their friends as people are. And people will "cool" on some of their friends but they usually express it verbally instead of physically so it's harder to observe from a distance (I'm sure no one has ever become distant to you, dear typist, since your wit must surely draw people to you like bees to flowers).

I think it's great that you pay attention to who Georgia likes and doesn't like and try to give her time with her special friends. So many people think all dogs like each other and should be happy to get thrown together.

My last dog Shadow was very reactive toward most dogs and had no good manners at all. But she loved Sally. Something about Sally made her feel happy and comfortable and I was very glad she had at least one doggie friend in her life.

georgia little pea said...

@Jen - Isn't it so true that it only takes ONE bad experience to turn dogs off! Georgia's been much more cautious with new dogs since being attacked by Roy. I'm quite nervous of intact dogs at the park. They can be awfully persistent :p

We know quite a few high energy dogs here. When younger, Georgia was one of them! But far from being turned off by her, other dogs would seek her out to play. Often, we'd go to a park where the dogs looked bored and were doing nothing. The minute Georgia turned up, the games would start. [I'm not making this up!]. We thought it funny because several of the dogowners weren't quite as keen [as their dogs] on her high energy and clumsy rough play!

@Pamela - Oh no, another sad story. Almost. At least Shadow had Sally. *sigh* I have to say, Shadow looks such a sweet natured dog in your banner picture, not at all like an ill-mannered dog!

Like children, we have doggie playgroups here that just evolved over random meetings at the park and our dogs gravitating towards each other. We have each other's mobile numbers, that's how serious we are! :)

Re: the bees and the flower. Are you kidding? I think I probably piss at least one person off a day. That's what comes from being a grumpy opinionated old fart.

houndstooth said...

Hello Miss Georgia!

I don't get to see my friends on an often enough basis to get tired of them. But, I guess we all have times when we just don't have much to say.

I don't mind most other dogs, but I do NOT like rude dogs and I will tell them so. That being said, I get REALLY happy and playful when I see another Greyhound! There's just nothing like having another of your tribe to play with. Morgan gets really happy when she sees other GSDs, too. I think we all have preferences, and that's okay!

Bunny

georgia little pea said...

Dear Bunny, I'm trying to read between the lines and understand what you mean by..."and I will tell them so." :p ...in a very ladylike manner, no doubt.

So dogs DO prefer to be with their own kind then? Maybe Georgia gets along with different breeds because she's a mutt!

Jan said...

Dogs probably have their reasons for choosing friends and leaving them. It's probably some kind of body language much too subtle for humans to ever understand.

My dogs like all dogs except smooshed faced dogs. I'm sure they have their reasons, but I can only guess why.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, we love how Coco throws her whole big body over Georgia to protect her from the scary pug. :) Actually, if my friend threw herself on me every time I talked to someone new, that would creep me out somewhat (read: I would run the heck away from the psycho). Maybe that's why Georgia goes through BFs so much; she's unable to commit to only one BFF at a time.

Dewi has only ever been stand-offish with a basset hound - have no idea why. Both boys have never really shown breed preference, but interestingly (other than each other), they seem to prefer larger working dogs (retrievers, neufies, dobies, etc.) as playmates. Maybe it's because there's reduced eye-contact (who knows). I do know for sure, however, that dogs (just like humans) have "chemistry," and when there is none, STAY AWAY!

Jean said...

Because my two girls are pretty much loners (well mannered towards other dogs, but not into playing much at all),and because we have a constant parade of foster dogs, I can't say that Charley and Sadie have ever been fickle in their friendships - they simply don't have best friends.
On the other hand, Charley is extremely breedist - the few times she has ever been interested in really playing with and getting to know another dog, it has always been another border collie or border collie cross.

Different breeds do have different styles of play, and I think that is part of the reason some dogs prefer their own kind. That said, the comments about the difficulty of reading a squashed-in-faced dog's body language is very thought provoking!

Friko said...

Labradors like other labradors best. Anyway, Boris and Benno do/did.
The older lab usually takes over the training of a new,young lab.

DogBlogger said...

All very interesting reading.
My Monty, a Jack Russell, is very aloof. He hardly ever plays, but walks around like a Mafia don, accepting greetings from every hound coming to pay respect. About the only dogs he would play with were Staffies.
But Daisy, probably an Australian Terrier, tells EVERYBODY off for playing, or for having any sort of fun what so ever ! She's the ultimate spoilsport.
Si.

georgia little pea said...

@Jan - et tu, poodle? Wow! Who's left to befriend the smooshed-faced dogs? Poor things. And they're usually such lovely dogs too, not known to have a mean streak. I used to have a boxer when I was a teenager. She was SWEET and motherly. Would love to hear from a pug/bulldog/boxer owner :)

@Elizabeth - Georgia inspires devotion in some dogs :p creepy yes.

Interesting that JF and Dewi prefer large dogs, like Hound (first comment). I understand from a lot of littledog owners that their dogs prefer large dogs too. Is this some sort of dog equivalent of looking for big strong genes? Hmmm. Also, isn't a corgi quite similar in shape to a bassett - they're both low-slung dogs? Double hmmm. In YOUR case, the dogs aren't looking for similarities.

@Jean - Charley and Sadie would be very well-mannered I'd sure. How else would you be able to foster? I really appreciate dogs that are that accepting of strange dogs in their house. I'm not sure mine would be.

You're probably right about the style of play. There are many littledogs that like to play with Georgia because, despite the size difference, they are rough tough doggies. It can give me a heart attack watching them though. So easy to break a neck accidentally!

@Friko - More evidence of discrimation? Maybe this is one thing we shouldn't be learning from our dogs! :p

Funny, The Other Half was just mentioning this morning that Georgia has taken to batting a new pup in the neighbourhood - as in teaching her some manners. I understand it's the newly mature dogs that take on this job of educating the next generation. The old ones like Rufus couldn't care less! Don't know what that pup's owner thinks of it though.

@Si - it's the littledog thing, Si, telling everyone off! As for poor Monty, at his age, it's good enough that he's willing and able to go for a walk. Notice how Rufus is usually still or sleeping on our walks?

Thanks everyone :)

Karen Friesecke said...

I've always wondered if dogs "know" what their breed looks like. For example, Vizslas *love* other Vizslas!! If one Vizsla sees another Vizsla, they will make great efforts to get to that dog.It makes me wonder if Jersey knows that she is a Vizsla and can thereby identify other Vizslas? How do they do it? Is it a scent specific to Vizslas? Does it trace back to when she was a puppy and only looked at her Mom and littermates? If Jersey could talk for one day, that is a question that I would ask her.

And play time? Jersey likes anything that is smaller than her, unless it's a Vizsla :D

Pup Fan said...

Great photos with friends!

Lavi said...

I'm so glad your tummy is better! No more cold butt washes, I guess?

I don't know what makes dogs sometimes be friends and sometimes not... We met the dog next door, Bobita, and it was love at first sight, but after that he ignored her. Now, they're best friends again.

I can't really give you a good answer, since Aschiuta would play with any dog (or any living creature) she meets.

Oh, and nice rolling in the grass you and your friend Delle had. Tummy rubs too, what a treat!

chandra said...

Oh, Coco looks so sweet! I love the photos of you two sharing a stick. Delle looks like a lot of fun too.

I see your tummy has been good now for 4 days ... that's a good excuse for a pawtay with your girl friends, GLP! Your stay-at-home-human can come is she brings the chicken wings, right?!

-c at ddy.

Jickjack said...

Ridgies definitely play better with other Ridgies.. they play so rough, they often frighten other breeds. Georgia is definitely part Ridgie, so sees Jack and The Villians (Mana and Tora's new name, due to their naughty nature.. Jack's too idle to be a villian!) as her own..
..and Coco ..think Coco wants to be a Ridgie when she grows up! :-)

georgia little pea said...

Hi Jickjack - so glad you dropped by :) Hoped you would. The Villains - love it! The Villainous Hussies strike again in the next story, poor things haha.

Yes, it looks like dogs do seem to recognise and prefer certain breeds, often their own. Weird eh?

I think Coco wants to be Georgia when she grows up! She seems to mirror her behaviour. Very interesting to see.

Have a great weekend xox

dogsmom said...

Hmmm, very interesting discussion. I am sure someone somewhere has received a grant to study this. Wish it had been me.
Since we have a pack of dogs here we don't often get to a dog park, but do take the Newfs to Newf club events where occassionally there are other breeds. I've never noticed outright snobbery. I do know that pushed in face breeds SOUND different. (breathing)
I often see dogs of all sizes that do not realize they are larger or smaller than playmates.
You have given me something to consider as I go about my day.

Oh- I have to add, I have one dog that all other dogs love and desire to be near. He is a giant breed (mix) and now very old,(and neutered) but he has been attractive to dogs his entire life. Dogs fight to be close to my Paddington. I do not know how he shows or shares this charisma, but no one is immune to his charm. If only I could bottle it.

georgia little pea said...

I love the sound of Paddington! When Georgia was younger, she was very attractive to a lot of other dogs too. She was always the preferred playmate. There are many dogs still that will only play with her and are nervous/aggressive with other dogs. I've often wondered why, since she can br rather reactive herself. She is very quick and decisive about ending challenges. She rolls and pins them down, blood is never drawn. Her nature and reaction makes me wonder if she's an alpha dog and if other dogs are reacting to that. A possibility? Or hogwash?

Whatever it is, it would be lovely indeed to bottle it! BTW, I don't believe I've ever read about your dogs despite you being a dogsmom! Newfies eh? I might have to go through your archives now and find some stories :)

Peggy Frezon said...

Kelly doesn't get along well with other dogs. We have a stressful time on walks if we encounter other dogs. But she loves a golden retriever named Beast and one time made friends with a Siberian Husky. I've tried to figure out if it's certain breeds, boy/girl, size or what but so far to no avail.