The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

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Entries Tagged as 'Photo Gallery'

Denali

November 21st, 2010 · No Comments · Photo Gallery

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Dog Play dog to dog communication

October 26th, 2010 · No Comments · Photo Gallery

I put together this gallery of photos from nearly 300 shots I made of these dogs playing last week. The three of them play together most week days. The basenji comes and goes on the scene. The others have refined their play to a very elegant, ritualistic and above all polite interaction. I must say that it gives me extraordinary pleasure to see so much dog spoken and understood. That is not to say that it lacks intensity; it does not. They are so comfortable with each other that they are able to know the precise moment to suspend the action. I have not needed to intervene in their play very often of late, except for the basenji who gets very aroused very fast and bears close monitoring. I’ve been watching this group very closely now for quite awhile and I find that I can make sense of good deal of the communication between them viagra canada. I find it fascinating that when dogs are playing they make all the same moves they use when they actually hunt and fight. But it is understood that this not the real thing. It is play. It is play because at the outset they have sent each other very clear signals, by means of their extremely complex and amazingly sophisticated body language. “Now we are playing.” So they self-handicap to fit each other’s capabilities. Among mammals, humans and dogs are the most playful species by far.

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2 June 2010 The State of the Pack

June 3rd, 2010 · No Comments · Journal, Photo Gallery

I made this gallery to illustrate how much more apparent the cohesiveness of our little pack becomes when we move off territory. Each of us is constantly aware of the whereabouts of each of the others. The dogs check in with me and almost always come when called. They tag after each other, often sniffing or peeing (only Cleo and Benny) on the same things. I’ve seen them all sniffing the same dog at once and usually they just go through the procedure and then take off all at once, having apparently satisfied themselves that the dog under scrutiny is no problem to them.  We had a couple of tense moments this spring with Cleo exercising her penchant for large intact males and leading the rest of the pack to the vicinity of a fine specimen; unfortunately intact males of any size are the kind of dogs that I need to keep Benny away from.  But we were lucky and got a leash on Cleo and “leave it” was uttered before things got out of hand with Benny.

Arlo is just about a year old now and is typically enamoured of playing with other dogs. He even plays by himself, tossing toys and catching it, or dropping objects in water and knocking them around with his paws. He is a natural retriever,  especially in water. He is low dog on the totem pole but cheerful nonetheless. He remains confident with new dogs but somewhat less so with new people.  He can be a bit of a toy hoarder, walking around with two raw hides in his mouth while Benny and Cleo ignore him. I take them away because I can see how much it stresses him to have to guard the objects. His submissive displays are high dramas often culminating in peeing. I try to stage manage them outside. He is physically daring and unafraid of strange objects. He jumps through a hoop easily. He is gentle with people but he can be clumsy. In general he exudes an air of happiness. He’s glad he’s a dog. He’s glad he’s alive.

The last three pictures are of the dogs eating the frozen marrow bones they got that after the walk that day. The way I see it is that the walk replaces the hunt for the domestic dog pack and as the hunt, if it is successful, culminates in sharing food so should the walk.

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November Gallery

November 30th, 2009 · 1 Comment · On Photography, Photo Gallery

Just the Light

At this time of year when we are very aware of our dwindling ration of natural light I thought it timely to post some of my photos that I call “Just the Light”. And that’s what they are…photographs of light.

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Back to the Blog 5 Benny the Hunter

November 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Back to the Blog, Photo Gallery

I had the opportunity this summer to see a side of Benny that only exists when he’s a country dog, Benny the hunter. Chipmunks were his prime targets with frogs and snakes a close second. Fortunately for them they most often escaped unscathed. Benny turned three this summer and he is in peak shape. His strength and his agility are as good as they’ll ever be. This summer he was more successful as a hunter than he’d ever been previously.

Watching Benny in this role was quite thought-provoking. It gave rise, in particular, to an interesting question. If I am the pack leader, why am I not leading the hunt? Why isn’t it my head in that chipmunk’s burrow? He was in hot pursuit of prey and I was the observer and occasional documenter of his prowess. Didn’t this in some way undermine my role as leader? We had our daily power walks out to Highway 7, just Benny and I. I thought of these walks as surrogate hunts with me in charge. We did, in his case sniff and in mine visually inspect the tracks and spoor of a variety of potential prey. However, and I say this perhaps a little wistfully, we did not go bounding through the bush, hot on the trail of deer or rabbit or anything at all.  We never shared a kill. Doesn’t this make the hunts I led a little lame?  How could our walks compare to the hunts he initiated himself? The question I kept asking myself  in regard to this point is, how did Benny interpret events? Dare I say, what did he make of it all? [Read more]

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