Sunday, 23 December 2007

helping your dog to cope with a visiting dog

Penny had a visitor today. A strange dog, probably a red kelpie cross, stayed for about five hours. I had come across the dog, who I now know is called Rocky, strolling along the busy street amongst the shoppers. My friend Sue always carries a spare dog lead so we were able to make sure he came with us. After traipsing up and down the street for ages, calling into each shop, "Has anyone lost a dog", we rang the Ranger, who said to take him home and she would come to look at him.

Thank goodness for microchipping. The Ranger checked him and we discovered he lived a couple of streets away. The owner didn't answer her phone, so we decided he could stay at my place, overnight if necessary.

Last time a lost dog stayed overnight, it was rather nightmarish, as Penny spent hours snarling at him - if I hadn't witnessed it I wouldn't have believed she could hold a snarl for most of a night. She must have had a tired face the next day!

I've had some advice from more experienced dog owners since then, so I decided to make sure this time that Penny did not feel her home had been invaded. We allowed Penny to meet the new dog on the front porch , the nearest we could manage to neutral territory. He was led in by my friend, rather than coming in with me. Then we took him out the back and, since he was too big for the doggy door, Penny could come in an out but he couldn't.

In October I posted some info on dog body language, including an article on calming signals by Turid Rugaas. This evening, it was fascinating to see the two dogs using yawning, licking and turning away of the head to calm each other. There are many other signals mentioned in the article and I believe I saw them too, in the interaction between Penny and Rocky.


Noah the Airedale said...

Lucky you were able to take Rocky home for the night. Poor thing. Hopefully Rocky's owner has since come to fetch him.

Have a great Christmas and all the best for New Year.

Hugs and tail wags
Noah, Willow, Tess & Lucy

parlance said...

When you find a lost dog, without any identification, you always wonder about letting him go back home. Do they love him? Well, I knew his 'mum' loved him because I had to stand around on my front porch while she showed me how clever he is! He did drop, roll over, play dead and sit. I'm sure she would have been happy to talk about him for hours, but he was anxious to go home and continue romping with her little girl! It was lovely. The Ranger said she's met this dog before, more than once, so I will know him if I see him around. But hopefully not, as it is very busy on the roads in our suburb.

Amber-Mae said...

Oh, I'm sure he's loved. I hope the owner has finally came to bring him back home. He's a well behaved dog. Penny doesn't seem to like him sniffing her bum bum.

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

Rusty said...

Hi! It's me Rusty! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think Penny is lucky to have a person who tries to understand her and takes so much time to train her. It was nice of you to take care of Rocky overnight.

Rusty's mom says: Your blog is interesting, informative and fun to read. Thanks!

parlance said...

Amber-Mae, the owner did come, that same evening, so he was safely home for Christmas!
Penny doesn't like anyone sniffing her bum these days. She used to not mind at all, but lately she doesn't put up with it from anyone.

parlance said...

Thanks, Rusty! I enjoy your blog, too.

Johann The Dog said...

The subtle communication among canines is just amazing to my Mum. You captured some, fur sure!

Woofs, Johann

parlance said...

Johann, I'm sure I didn't understand half of the communication that was going on, but I learned a lot from the part I did understand.