Lot's being said in this photo.
Pulling into a parking spot yesterday, someone blared on their horn at me. Apparently the people who came after me thought that I'd taken their spot, really? This parking spot aggression always surprises me; it's a parking spot people. I said some choice words in the privacy of my own vehicle and got out, heading into the store. A man came up as I was almost past my car and stopped to stare me down; ahhh, this had to be the guy. Really? I did my best to ignore the guy and continued to walk. He was posturing at me so I postured back "I dare ya." He shadowed me which was really very uncool of him and I continued my "I don't give a s*$t" if you walk beside me. He stopped short before I went in; honestly what an idiot. A large man over 6' tall trying to intimidate a 5' woman; ha!!! he obviously didn't know me.
But I had diffused the situation by remaining very confident with an air of "I don't care." This is exactly how dogs speak most of the time. Sure they use their voices but typically only when actions don't seem to be working; or if they just like to hear themselves. Just like in humans, there are degrees of communication. Some are great, others are really very bad at communicating. Communications can be misunderstood leading to all sorts of problems. Often you, as a guardian must help to clear up or redirect an incorrect communication.
When dogs do communicate, it can be done extremely fast. So fast that we mere humans can miss some of it, if not all of it. If you want to watch communications between dogs you must watch, and I really mean watch. As you know I'm always watching, I have a difficult time having a conversation with my dogs around because I am watching them so intently. Of course if it is just my dogs or friend dogs I don't watch quite as extremely. But if there are strange dogs around, I'm on it. One missed message can make the difference between knowing what happened and not having a clue.
Many people say that dogs act out of nowhere, giving no message no cue as to what was coming next. This is actually rare, most dogs give tons of heads up clues; we just happen to miss them. Again as mere humans we lack in the body language department. Although you can perfect your own by using it more often. I like to use body language because it really helps me to communicate with my dogs. Because they are such extreme champions of body language I think that we should communicate with them in their language if we can.
Funny if I happen to accidentally bump into one of my dogs because they are shadowing me so closely they get very upset. Their ears go back and down, their whole body lowers as they look me directly in the eye trying to figure out if I am mad or not. Of course I'm not mad; who could be mad at these two? So I get down and we have an "I'm sorry" moment and all is forgotten.
I love body language, it is truly a lost communication form for most humans. Although the neanderthal who tried to intimidate me with puffing up his chest at me did use body language for his communication. Most of us miss clear messages sent by our dogs. We expect our dogs to live in our human world, we should learn how they best communicate to better communicate and read them ourselves. Canine body language communications are amazing to watch. I look forward to each and every new interaction as it unfolds.
As far as the guy in the parking lot? Had he taken one step closer in his intimidation attempts he would have made a serious tactical error in judgement. Just saying. Have a great day, and communicate with that body.