Month: August 2014
We just got back from our holiday in Italy where we were participating in Communication Classes at Gentle Team. I was extremely excited to spend 7 days filled with observing dog behaviour and it was great to meet old friends and see how my dogs have changed within the last year.
Since we got back I’m continuously thinking about the things I’ve learned and how much more there is to know about dog communication. I will slowly try to write as much as possible about our holiday but it will take some time, I have over 500 pictures of interactions and loads of films to go through. And of course everyday life to take care of.
A little sneak peak:
I like mutts, village dogs, mongrels whatever you call all those dogs that don’t have clear heritage. And I don’t like when people ask me what are my dogs mixed withy their parents (mothers I know for sure) were not breed dogs and my dogs are not mixed breed dogs. They are…well just dogs and that’s what I love about them. Just to be clear before I go further: I don’t have any problem with breed dogs (as long as they are not deformed).
I’m not alone in my appreciation of mutts as Dutch people are getting more and more dogs from Spain, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and so forth. I meet those dogs all over Amsterdam and they all have a lot in common. They all have kind of a similar look and you can immediately recognize them. They also act a bit more skittish, especially in the beginning. On the other hand it keeps on amazing me how fast those dogs (often picked up straight from a street) adjust to their new lives.
Last Friday I took care of a small 6 months old female dog from Ibiza. She was adopted 2,5 months ago and she is just a little firecracker. We traveled by tram, went to a park, walked through a city center, went to a cafe and she was fine with all of that. She goes with her owner to work and travels in a little bike basket and she is crazy about other dogs. She just is so adjusted to a life of a city dog.
Another dog I recently met (this week) is a 8 month old female from Romania. She was a dog picked up from a street and adopted when she was on a death row (she had two weeks left). I couldn’t believe that she is here for only 8 weeks. She has a good bond with her owner, she does great with dogs and the city. She occasionally barks at men but I wouldn’t be surprised if that goes away by itself and she is ignored then and she just stops and continues with her activities. According to her owner in the beginning she was too scared to even walk into the park and then one day it just changed.
I’m fascinated by the adaptivity of those dogs (and dogs in general as a species). I think that another factor that plays a very important role are the owners. It is very common in Amsterdam to spend a lot of time with your dog. You can take him with you almost everywhere including pharmacy, bank or some grocery stores. And in most cafe’s I don’t even ask if dogs are allowed because it they are not they would be a sign. So dogs are just a natural part of life in this city, and it makes it really easy to socialize them with pretty much everything.
On the first picture Salma with Laika from Spain and on the second Chili with India from Romania