I was at an event the other day when an exuberant pup was greeting an older mature dog. The little one was bouncing around with unending joy while the adult stood frozen. The adult never flinched as the young pup bounded around. Slowly the pup started to deflate; ears went back and the motion slowed. The adult was still standing in the exact position that it started in. Then the pups body started to lower and she came around to the face of the adult where she stood and looked for a moment. She had finally realized that there it was not a shared joyous moment. Like an "ah ha" moment she lowered her body and moved away. There had been no harsh words; just a simple calm but well communicated message.
Funny that it can take a while with a very excited pup but they still get the message. They were at the event for some time but there only a few communications were shared from that point on.
Yesterday I was at the park and witnessed the identical situation once again. A young exuberant dog was meeting a mature one. These two were on leash; strangers but soon to be friends. The young dog jumped around whining and yapping with glee while the mature dog stood stone like. A nearby snake caught my attention and when I looked back at the two dogs; the young one was now shriveling to a fraction of the size. With her ears plastered back to her head, eyes squinting and doing nearly a commando crawl she was now begging to be friends.
She finally moved away which gave the mature dog time to give her a sniff. That was that and they were cautious friends. The young one was trying her hardest to behave without diving all over the adult. And the adult was playing the VERY mature one; using slow movement and little eye contact to communicate his wishes in this relationship. I love watching it; so much is said with only movement and the level of communication in dogs is exceptional. Again; amazing aren't they?