Woof-woof! Remember the story from "Eralash"? A quiet boy with glasses complains to the vet that his dog inadequately responds to the commands – it pees, cocoas and even "walks over the ceiling". The doctor, demonstrating his interest, asks the young man to show how this happens. The guy takes his poodle, puts it on the table and shouts hysterically: "lezhaaaaaaaat!" [lay!]
Commands can be taught to perform even by a rat or a pigeon, but that does not necessarily mean that one should scream, says one of the pioneers of the national animal psychology Sergei Klochko. Currently Mr. Klochko is the – Senior Researcher at the Ministry of Education of Ukraine. The belief that by raising the voice to a pet, one could achieve a result is one of the most common mistakes.
"I always tell to my friends: treat the dog like a dog – then it would treat you as a human being, - says Sergei Klochko. We should talk to a dog in its language. Unfortunately, most of the owners treat the dogs as if they are children. And it turns out that, on the one hand, we demand obedience (the dog is expected to obey and respond to the commands) and on the other hand by our unperceived behaviour we show to the dog that there is no need to obey".
Rules of behaviour
How to become friends with the dog? There are a few rules, like the expert on animals’ behaviour say. First of all, do not look directly into the dog's eyes – you are threatening the dog this way. [In case of a first contact with an adult dog you have never met before. – S.K.] Do not stroke dog’s head during the first contact. Such a gesture, as well as position when your body would overhang over the dog, means the treat on the canine language.
In this case, the animals would try to withdraw its head avoiding the contact. The more nervous animals could even bite. You should stretch your palm to the dog instead, talk to the animal. In case the dog is the first to approach you, just allow it to sniff at you without making any gestures but watching dog’s reaction. A dog would not avoid sniffing at humans – it is in the dog’s nature, and that way they get the information. Offering a tasty treat could also help. Although in this case, one should be careful because some dogs are trained to go at the hand to catch a piece of food in the air. [Actually in my recommendations I have been saying that most of the dogs are more or less trained not to take the tasty treats from the stranger’s hand. Some dogs could respond with aggression when offered the treat. One should be also careful because the dog could greedily snatch the food offered and injure your fingers. - S.K.]
If you meet with a pack of aggressive strays who jumped out of, say, a gateway, you should not run away in no case otherwise they would bite you. Anyway, they (dogs) run faster than a human does. Moreover, if you try to escape, it provokes them to chase you. Another point: if, for instance, somebody is walking a dog in the park and at the same time, somebody is jogging at short distance, the dog would not pay attention to the runner. Nevertheless, the moment when the jogging athlete slows down, the dog will get alerted immediately. [For this, it is enough to change the pace of movement – S.K.] Dogs clearly catch man’s posture and gait style. They even are able to define the mood by facial expression – and they are easily detecting someone’s fear. "Therefore, if you are faced with a pack, pretend that you are going to grab a stone from the ground (even if there is no stone at all there). This gesture would be enough to signal to the dogs that your next move would be to throw the stone at them. They would immediately run back", – advises Sergei Klochko.
Everybody ought to do his own thing
To make it easier to achieve the contact creation between you and your dog, zoo psychologists have divided dogs into psych types. Dobermans, Afghan shepherds, Сocker-spaniels – are typical choleric types: they easily get excited, but extinguish the ardour very quickly.
Saint Bernards and Newfoundland dogs can be classified as phlegmatic one. At the same time, the dog is a creature ready to dissolve in its owner and to comply to his demands. Therefore, this classification is mostly conditional.
One should choose a dog based on his or her possibilities. And, it is not a matter of price. One should be clear with himself what he is able to bring to the dog in return. If you acquire a Greyhound, a Doberman or a Rottweiler, you should understand that those need regular walk. Such dogs could not spend the whole life sitting on the sofa. They need active engagement of their owner. "If there is a desire to have a hunting dog – for example, a good husky – you need to be aware that it would suffer without regular outings. Of course, it is not necessary to go hunting. Although, if you decided to get a pedigree-hunting dog, but you do not use it for hunting it is also bad as soon as breeding material is wasted for nothing. The dog that has not been trained to get the working skills, turns into the decorative one", - complains Sergei Klochko.
Fashion for the dogs changes every few years. Recently popular breeds were the Rottweiler, before - Doberman. There are also small dogs – Yorkshire terriers, Toy terrier and Chihuahua. They can be placed on your palm or you can take them along in a special bag. It is a companion for some people, and for others – just alive accessory like a key chain from their “Mercedes”, pen or an expensive phone. In some cases, the animal turns into the luxury thing that one could brag. Leave those trends to the fashion – the responsible owner is always aware that the dog is his true friend. Any biting comes only through harsh life. Communicate with your dog in it’s language – and then you would certainly feel yourself like a man. [And then the dog would understand you better and you would feel yourself comfortable. – S.K.]
Posted on Monday, 7th May, 2012.