Wednesday, 18 January 2012

following paths is serious business

Penny usually follows trails and paths rather thean setting out across grassy areas or pushing her way through shrubbery. She will wait a a junction of the path to see which way I'm intending to go, and then head along that track. She seems to perceive paths and tracks as serious business - going places, in other words.

Grassy areas, on the other hand, are for play. (So are puddles, of course.)

I wonder how much of this trail-following behaviour is instinctual and how much is training. After all, when she is on lead, we are usually walking on a path.

And when she's out with groups of dogs and humans, we usually follow paths.

Trying to find out a bit about this behaviour, I came across an interesting site called Wolf Behavior 101 where you can send in dog behaviours and get some information about how they relate to wolf behaviours. I've put in a query and now I'll wait and see whether I get a reply.


Two Pitties in the City said...

Are the paths worn in from the dogs walking on them? It seems like that would make a good trail.

parlance said...

Two Pitties, what an interesting question! I'd say the paths are worn by dog-walkers and their dogs, not joggers and other walkers, so I guess in a way the trails are made by dogs. But I think humans usually lead the way.

Maggie and Mitch said...

We bet the best smells are on the path because many use it!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, that's a great comment. Penny does stop all the time to smell the markings all along the path.

Kari in Vegas said...

My pups are not path followers

Stop on by for a visit

parlance said...

Kari, I guess it depends on the dogs' different personalities, to some extent, just as we humans also are not entirely determined by our genes.

Lassiter Chase and Benjamin said...

Looks like Penny had fun rolling around in the grass in that 1 picture.