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May 06

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Much Needed Space

Dogs-Too-CloseEver meet a “close” talker?  The person who has to stand right on top of you, in front of your face and so close you begin to shake violently because he’s consuming all the air around you?  AHHHHH!  Seriously, you don’t have to stand so close to cause me to hyperventilate.  I can hear you just fine from 3 feet away.  I need my personal space like I need oxygen…..and so do dogs.  I’ve talked about the importance of knowing body language before as this is how our pups communicate with us.  A dog will either invite you into their personal area or ask you to stay away.  It’s that simple.

Each dog has its own individual space restrictions that you may gain access to, but if you surpass that area a dog can feel threatened.  Take different types of people as an example.  City dwellers often find themselves in close quarters such as a bus or subway and have no choice but to be on top of one another.  Or at a crowded ballpark or concert.  Country folk on the other hand can live miles away from their nearest neighbor hoping never to run out of sugar.  Our dogs are a lot like us when it comes to meeting and greeting people.  Maybe a little wary at first, hesitant in being too friendly, and scouring the person for any telltale sign of displeasure.  Of course, there are those dogs (and people) who just love everything and everybody, but for others social interactions may cause uneasiness with the unknown.

As my Daisy girl is getting older, I’ve noticed that she sometimes will warn others that they have entered her personal boundary.  It seems that her comfort zone is increasing in diameter with age.  She has warned the cats, Bailey, and humans that they have gotten too close and need to make a quick departure.  For species that don’t speak the English language, they certainly make it very clear what they will and will not tolerate.  You just have to pay attention……and listen closely.

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