Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Classic Body Language

This is classic canine body language.

Sleek is warning Whitey away from the toy (small blue/white and yellow blob near Whitey's upraised paw in the picture). Sleek is all about straight, hard angular lines. She's standing very straight, stiff, and tall with her head up. Her eyes are hard and her stare is very direct. Even her ears are laid back stiffly. She's showing darn near all her pearly whites in her rigid jaws. You can't see in the picture, but her hackles are probably raised and her tail is probably stiff and held almost level with her back.

Whitey, on the other hand, is all about curves and softness. He has realized he made a bad mistake in trying to take Sleek's toy. He doesn't have the social position or self-confidence needed to convince Sleek that he really should own it. His posture is soft and somewhat crouched -- he wants to look as small and harmless as possible to Sleek. His left paw is up in a submissive move as he tries to move slowly away from She-Who-Owns-The-Toy. You'll notice he's curving away from her -- look at his right shoulder and ribcage -- although he's afraid to take his eyes off her. His ears are soft and submissively lowered, and his head is going down as he bows to the Toy Queen. His eyes are probably soft and not looking straight at her, and he's probably licking his lips alot.

This was the end of it. Whitey backed off, and Sleek picked up the toy to carry it to a human. Whitey, being fairly short and lacking opposable thumbs, is absolutely useless in the toy-throwing department, and Sleek wanted the toy to fly again. Whitey probably never has tried to steal Sleek's toy again. If you are a dog, you just don't try to take Sleek's toy.

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