What is this behaviour?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Catsi, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    Preface - I'm used to my girls getting on like a house on fire, so this is slightly foreign to me. I'm just keeping my eye on it.

    The situation - I'm on the couch, Abby is sitting by my right leg receiving a scratch (Abby is the chi x in avatar), Grace comes up beside my left leg for cuddles. She is standing and tail is wagging - she is very relaxed (typical Grace). I notice that Abby has tensed up considerably and her ears are pinned back. I decided to ignore this and pat Grace. Grace is seemingly oblivious to Abby. Abby is staring directly at Grace and is slowly leaning forward, ears still pinned. She growls. Grace is still oblivious. I am trying to just not react as I don't want to increase the tension. In the end, I just told Abby, 'don't' in a pretty neutral tone... I didn't want to get excited.

    There was a pause and Abby relaxed and moved forward, jumped up at Gracie's face and licked and carried on (her typical greeting) and was seemingly pretty happy. Grace has remain happy throughout this exchange, I didn't see a lot of tension, even when Abby growled.

    They both sat by me happily for about half a minute and then Abby initiated play and they have been playing non-stop for the last five minutes - running from their mat in the kitchen and wrestling and coming back to play underneath my legs again. I'm keeping an eye on it, but they seem fine now.

    What was this behaviour? I can't bring myself to say I'm concerned because it seemed like just a minor spat that didn't even eventuate. But of course I'm interested in knowing what it may be. Low level resource guarding? Any thoughts would be appreciated. :D

    Lol - they are still playing and my legs have dog slobber on them. :rolleyes:

    Edit - did I react correctly? What would you have done?
     
  2. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Appeasement, I think.

    Abby was threatened by Grace, so her first reaction was to become defensive, but then it changed into a "don't hurt me" sort of thing. I wouldn't worry about it too much, and I think you reacted well....maybe just keep an eye on how they act when they're both on the couch, and you might want to limit Abby's time on the couch when Grace isn't present, so that she associates Grace with the enjoyment of being on the couch.
     
  3. Catsi

    Catsi New Member

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    Thanks mm. So Abby felt threatened by Grace's presence in that situation. It's interesting how much I noticed in this incident that when no longer than a about 15 seconds initially. I had to really work on not getting tense because my personality naturally leans to anxious reactions to things like this. I'll keep an eye on it and maybe do some mat work when Abby is just with me in the lounge. Which is something that I've been meaning to do anyway!
     

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