Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Fix (7/28/2012) - Merle

By Christy Hess

The book that I am currently reading "Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog" by Ted Kerasote really got me thinking. The book shows the great interaction between man and dog. 

From Amazon: "While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog—a Labrador mix—who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.

A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally."

If you want to understand your dogs perspective on things and figure out how he/she learns in our world, get this book. It is amazing at how Ted reads his dog's reactions to the world and to his person. The next time you scold or praise your dog, after reading this book, I have become more sensitive to what my body language is saying. Dogs gather so much information just from our body language, so don't be surprised when the dog misinterprets what you are saying. Your body language may just be expressing the bad day at work, and the dog is not sure how the mood applies to him/her. The great thing about Ted is that he tries a training method, and when it doesn't work, he tries to think of why it doesn't work and what else he can try.

Puppies are great at expressing their moods with body language. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Loving the grass

Classic puppy play bow!

Watching and ready for some fun!

The interaction and love between dogs is amazing to me.

Awww come on play with me!

If you look at the ears one of these dogs is curious and one is reserved. 

Am I cute or what?

Puppy play bow with a ball - what a playful puppy.

Please be kind and patient with your puppy - they are trying their best to understand you the best way they know how.