Saturday, February 11, 2017

Socializing and communication with a Bully

Gift created by Eve Hoffman
Communication is the key
Communication is the key

The Bully Breed does indeed have a nasty reputation of not getting along with other dogs. Just like humans, not all Bullies like or become friends with everyone they meet. No matter the breed, personality and how the dog is socialized do have influence on how well socialized the dog or puppy will become.

The important aspect to socializing and communication is to understand the dogs’ or Bullies’ personal personalities, as well as desires and dislikes.

One method to help a Bully or any dog to enjoy socializing with other dogs is to start young as possible. Yet, do not be surprised if your dog decides he or she rather not play with other dogs. Just like humans, being social depends on the dog's personality. Just the same as humans there are dogs that are introverted and extroverted.

Now when socializing comes to people, most Bullies love human interactions. Allowing the Bully or any dog to socialize with a variety of people allows the dog an opportunity to understand people dress and look different. Such as some people have long hair, short hair, and facial hair. Also, what people wear are different as well. For example, some people wear glasses, hats, or scarves. Socializing our dogs helps them understand that people smell and look different, but the majority are a friend, not an enemy.  

Now communication is the most important aspects for us to learn. As pet parent, we are responsible to understand the verbal, as well as the physical correspondent our furry loved ones are attempting to convey to us.

The mood of the animal can be seen mainly in the expression of the body. Most expressions can have double meaning or mean more then one thing depending on the situation and the dog’s personality.  For example, a wag of a tail can mean excitement and, enjoyment, anticipation, and  happiness. However, the wag of a tail can mean fear, anxiety and uncertainty. We must look at the whole dog to see what the wag of the tail means. Also, have you notice depending on the moment, even the tail will wag different from a dog that is happy someone he or she loves just came home to being nervous when meeting someone new. A wagging tail alone does not mean a dog is not aggressive. Some dogs out of fear and being nervous will wag his or her tail. Always approach a dog that you do not know with kindness, and respect to the dog's space. Also, never force a dog to be social.

There is so many misunderstanding that can occur if a person does not take the time to listen and observe the dog. One misunderstood communication with humans and dogs is the butt smelling. Most people believe smelling butts is how dogs say hello. Have you notice dogs will stiff at different times,as well with dogs and people they live with. Also, dogs will stop playing and smell each other butts from time to time. Perhaps, there is more to the smell that life omit from the rear end then we can ever know. I wonder why some dogs will  be playing happily all day, take a whiff of the butt and decide I do not like this dog or person. I wonder what they smelled. Did the smell change along with the mood or intentions of the dog or person.   

Another classic misunderstanding comes from a dog showing teeth. Dogs’ show teeth for a variety of reasons. Some dogs grin in happiness, as well as being nervous. All dogs show teeth when receiving treats, such as a bone. When looking at a dog that is showing teeth, we must take the time to observe the whole dog to avoid a misunderstanding and being bitten. When a person or child is bitten, the fault normally is the person not understanding, stereotyping the animal, or forcing the dog to say hello.

One of the most interesting body expression, as well as often times overlooked is the eyebrow movement. Research has found that most of the dogs’ eyebrow movements are similar to humans, such as a raised eyebrow can indicate curiosity, as a downward eyebrow can mean disappointment or even slight anger.   

One communication I find the most interesting is the howl. Howling can mean a few things. Dogs will howl to warn someone not to come near or  trespass. Also, a dog will howl to find a loved one he or she believe is lost. The saddest howl is when the dogs howl due to separation anxiety or looseness. Just the same as the rooster, the crows for a variety of purposes, so does the dog howl. When I was a kid I use to think someone died when I heard a dog howl. I was told dogs will howl as well when they are aware of a death, especially when the death is a family member. The howl is a cry of return to the pack, as well can be a moment to sing happily. My five dogs love to howl to the police and ambulance sirens. I love to watch my pack raise their heads similar to wolves and howl deeply to the skies.     

All people should understand the variety of communication among the domesticated animals. Even if a person does not personal have a dog, knowing how to greet and communicate is important. For example, when approaching any dog, especially ones we do not know, allowing the dog to come and greet us first is best. Some dogs will bite out of being afraid and nervous if a person forces a dog to say hello by placing hands in front of the dog or touching the dog without proper greeting in dog terms. Also, just as us humans, dogs do not always care to have a stranger face or hands within the dog's’ personal space, until he or she becomes accustomed to the person. Also not all dogs enjoy being picked up as well as being touched. We must not stereotype dogs in good or bad categories, because the level of socialization depends on the dogs’ individual personalities, as well as training. Also, even the most social dog is the same as a person that may have a bad day, don’t feel good, or is all social out for the moment. As a higher intelligent animal, us humans are responsible to be aware of the animals’ personal needs, communication, and personality, regardless if a person has a furry loved one or not.

Another obvious communication is friendship. Dogs will wag their tails, even in circles, give kisses, nibble and chew on a person in play, and will display playful barking, jumping and panting. When observed you can see a dog smile when they are among friends. Also, dog’s eyes will typically will glow with a happiness that shines as bright as a star.  Often times, the physical displays will include verbal expressions that are more than barking. The secret is to be aware and listen to the variety of tones of happiness and excitement.

For the best relationship we can have with our furry loved ones is to understand their personal body and vocal expressions. When we take the time to observe our furry loved ones without judgment, we soon see even what the smallest physical expressions truly means. Also, our bonds to our furry loved ones can be richer and more satisfying. I am always shocked how deep my bonds grow with all my furry loved ones whenever I learn how to understand them better as well as communication to them.

I have had a variety of dogs, Springier Spaniels,  Labrador, Retriever, Chow Chow, German Shepard, as well as the Bully for the past four decades. Each dog and breed has a special personality, as well as how they express themselves. Over the years I have notice the one thing that does set a Bully apart is being able to show the variety expressions from happiness to sadness. Perhaps, the heightened physical expression is due to the fine tone muscle and short hair of a typical Bully. Also, Bullies tend to be very verbal. Bullies do not bark as much as make sounds that sometimes can sound like words.

Caring is sharing. Please share Bully Bully Love and Devotion to spread animal awareness and education, while helping to find homes for dogs in need.Leave a comment. Tell me what is on your mind. Do you think mankind could learn how to communicate with the animals better?

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