Dog trainer Colleen Safford posted some great dog greeting video and commentary over at Dogtime. My previous dogs were pretty reactive so I tried to develop my dog watching signs so that I wasn’t surprised by sudden bad manners or doggy corrections. But I always found it tough to read the dog language of a greeting because everything happened so much faster than I could process it. I’ve relied on the pictures in Turid Rugaas’s On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals (an excellent book). But it’s just not the same as moving pictures.
The dogs involved in the video are Great Danes and move at a much slower pace than the shepherds and labs I’ve been used to. That, added to the commentary, made for a really helpful video if you’re interested in learning about how dogs greet each other and determine what is acceptable behavior.
I find in many gatherings that people intercede too quickly between dogs–not giving them enough time to sort things out. I personally might have jumped in to the situation in the video since the merle dog was so slow to get the message. But the dogs came to terms and worked things out appropriately. And of course, that can only happen when dogs have been properly socialized from the beginning to behave appropriately around other dogs.
Now, if only someone would shoot video that helps people become better at making friends.