Thursday, March 4, 2010

Come out, come out!

My dogs have a language of their own that they all understand. I am mystified as to how they communicate complicated ideas to each other, but they do.


This is Norma Jean. She's a real people dog. She hangs around me all the time and is always the first one to come when I call. I don't usually even have to call her, she's just there.


Bailey and Norma Jean check to see if Dad's home to play with them.

When the pups were little and living in the kitchen, they invented games. There were rules and somehow they all knew the rules and played by them. Even then at five and six weeks old, they picked a 'safe spot' where the one being chased or anyone who needed a rest or to regroup could go and the others couldn't touch them. One of the earliest safe spots was under the desk in the kitchen. If a pup ran under the desk, everyone else had to wait for him or her to come out. It was against the rules to go in and bother them. They chose the spot and they made the rule.


When they got a little older the favorite safe spot was under the trampoline. The other dogs could run around it or even get on top, but they could not go under the trampoline if someone else was there. When they grew too big to fit under the trampoline, they chose the swing. The swing is open on all sides, it would be easy to attack the dog under it, but that's against the rules. Remember they made up the rules.

Here Bailey is 'safe' under the swing. Norma Jean wants her to come out and is going thru lots of tricks to entice her out.


Maybe a play bow will work to make Bailey come out and continue the game.


Bailey's not budging. Norma Jean can dance all she wants, but Bailey has the upper hand. As long as she stays under the swing, Norma Jean can't touch her.


Reasoning doesn't work either. Norma Jean can bark or whimper, but Bailey knows she's safe under there.


Now Tess has come over to see what's holding up the game.


Maybe the two of them can convince Bailey to come out and play.


Tess has taken over the negotiations.


Norma Jean thinks an approach from the other direction might work. It doesn't.


Bailey, who has obviously been digging from the dirt on her nose, is starting to move.


Yea, she's out. Now the game can continue.


Oh no, Norma Jean wanted Bailey to come out of the safe spot so she could go in. She's going to roll in the straw under the swing. Now the negotiations have to start all over again.

So how do they communicate the rules to each other? They all know them and they all abide by them, so they obviously communicate. But how?

13 comments:

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

Our dogs are the same way - especially Piper and Lilly. They play a chase game and the safe spot is under my rocker.

Scrabblequeen said...

LOL...dogs' games have rules, no doubt about it! Nice photo essay on the subject.

Nichole said...

Isn't it amazing just how much they do communicate to each other?

I esp love that first shot of Norma Jean and the one after it of them looking in the window for Dad... too cute!

Dianne said...

They are so smart! We all could use a safe spot!

Marjie said...

They just do. It's pretty remarkable, isn't it?

The OP Pack said...

What a great post - those pups sure know how to have fun. TD and Phantom need to figure out a safe spot from their pesky little sister:)

Woos, Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

LizzieJane said...

It really is amazing at how they speak to each other. I guess you have lived with them long enough now that even you know their body language and how they "talk" to each other. They are a lot smarter than some humans I know!
x

Vivian said...

It's so fun to "watch" your dogs play through your eyes. When Bucky was little he used to hide under the rocker and the older dogs couldn't get him out. It was his safe spot.

Thank you for keeping up with my blog. I really should post more often.

Stella said...

Since they were all puppies together, maybe its something their Mom taught them?

Whatever it is, I love it. The idea of it all.

Cheers and hugs,
Jo and Stella

Sam said...

They must communicate through subtle calming signals to tell the other that they need a break. But, I agree with you, it really is impressive - they have their own silent language.

Tobi said...

I think my dogs have their own language too. I love to just watch them interact, it's usually pretty hilarious and they are rarely on the same page.

Channon said...

That's delightful. My girls definitely have their own rules, and we can't figure them out. Sis is definitely the alpha dog, yet in play, she clearly allows Gretchen to dominate her - once in a while.

Julies knitting corner said...

Yes I like the post you have put together, interesting. My Bonnie is a challange where rules are concerned, she works on a strict routine if that makes sence. Julie.C