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Author Topic: How aware are our Pets?
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 03, 2008 05:31      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
___________________ Hi All __ Yesterday, while the Mrs and myself were on the road we pulled into a Rest Area. This stop was necessary for me and to let the Siberian relieve herself. The Mrs opened the sliding door on the Van and Cocoa the Siberian got out. I had started towards the restrooms, and a man that was wearing a trench coat unshaven for about two days started towards me, (this guy even caused me to watch him with caution, well Cocoa did not like him, her hackles went up and her teeth became bared as she moved between the Mrs and the stranger.
I was startled by her reaction, the stranger got into his car and left, the dog relieved herself and then got back into the van like nothing had happened.

Did the dog sense my wariness or was it all on her own?

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
tweety
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Icon 1 posted December 03, 2008 10:17      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
MoMan – Having grown up with animals (dogs, cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, frogs, and I'm sure other things) and currently being the proud, though tired, parent of two cats, it is my conclusion that, yes, our pets (and I would say non-human animals in general) are very well aware of their surroundings. This includes others' moods and intentions.

Our oldest does not like when Mrs Tweety and I argue, or even have a simple heated conversation. On the extremely rare occasions that we may have an actual fight (maybe a half dozen times in 12 years) he gets very, very upset. Usually, regardless of intensity, he will get between us and start meowing as loud as he can so that we stop. The youngest is a lover and will sit with you all day when given the chance. He becomes extra loving when we are down.

I think there are simple scientific explanations for this, some having to do with smell (do we humans give off a different smell depending on fear, anger, intent to harm?), abilities to detect harm/hurt/etc boosted by evolutionary mechanisms that we humans may never have developed due to the aspects that kept us alive without giant teeth, claws or fur coats of our own.

I've also heard many a story about the cat or dog who didn't like the new friend/boyfriend/whatever and later it turns out the newbie wasn't necessarily the greatest person around. I think what we call the sixth sense is an evolutionary trait, a real sense or ability to tune into the unseen/unquantifiable that is more evolved in other species due to need.

I don't know if any of this actually answers your question, but I hope it helps.

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 03, 2008 10:47      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Probably both. You're her pack. If she sensed a threat, she'd get protective. And if she sensed you and yours felt threatened, she'd get protective. Sounds like a very good dog.

Animals just pick stuff up. It's not just smells, it's sounds and behavior. Dogs in particular were bred to be the perfect companion. The dog I had growing up, a very energetic black lab, would take an automatic chill pill whenever I was feeling sick. Even if I wasn't necessarily coughing or sneezing. He just knew from the way I carried myself I wasn't feeling too good. Once when we were out in the woods together he refused to go down a path I thought I'd found. I never found out why. He was always so game to follow me wherever I went; when he put his tail down and whined I listened and found some other way. Maybe there was a mountain lion or coyote (not that a coyote is worth being afraid of but my dog was also a bit of a chicken) up there. Who knows. And I had some friends that maybe weren't such great friends in the end. The dog never took to them. Probably a sign.

My 8 month old kitten is a lover. All affection, all the time, but he takes it up a notch when my boyfriend or I are moody.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted December 03, 2008 16:28      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mo-Man,

You make a good point. Trench coat, unshaven, smelly -- G.W. sure has let himself go now that his party has been booted, eh?

Maybe it was an auto exec.

X is right. Dogs are pack animals. They are very socially aware.

I have a pair of dogs raised from the same litter. It's not advised, because they can get "doggy", but this pair is OK. I do notice that when they go out they "hunt" as a pair. They look like the team of velociraptors in "Jurassic Park". They are very aware of me, each other and their "prey". I watch them signal each other and watch for my signals when we go to the dog park.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 04, 2008 02:44      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
______________________ Hi All __ Some more back fill

This is a pound hound she was about 20 weeks old when we got her and there was evidence of abuse. Around other dogs she is total alpha. An old Mich. Indian once told me never beat a dog they don't know what that is about, but right at the time they misbehave grab them and turn them on their back hold them down and make growing noises. Because that is what the adults do to pups, and to reward good behavior.

We have had this dog going on five years now and about eighteen months ago it was like a light switch turned on that her job was to watch out for us. She puts on a very serious display and growls very convincingly but has never carried through. She is even starting to get close to the grandson, until now see avoided the kids, she would get in a hiddy hole.

Also while at the rest area, one man of the cleaning crew group asked me if that guy gave me the creeps?

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
deathweaver
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Icon 1 posted December 04, 2008 13:36      Profile for deathweaver     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Been around dogs all my life as well. One of the things I've always noticed is that I prefer the company of dogs to people, usually, LOL. Current pets are 6-7 yr old German Shepherd (female), and 1 yr old Shepherd/Lab/Boxer mutt (male). Female barks at anyone in front of the house. I've also had a couple of occasions where I needed to hold her on the front porch because of someone approaching on the drive way.

I'm inclined towards a combination of the sixth sense and general awareness. Dogs have been trained over the millenia towards being protectors, and have had plenty of experience as to what type of ppl are good and bad. In all honesty, I trust the general instincts of my dogs over people, somehow they just know better.

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Metasquares
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted December 04, 2008 21:58      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My cat seems to see me as another cat. Which means every so often she'll do something strange that would probably make sense if I were another cat, like herding me away from the sink or licking my hand.

I don't know if that's extra awareness, though. The only preternatural ability my cat has displayed is the ability to figure out when she's getting fed.

Posts: 664 | From: Morganville, NJ | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
neotatsu
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted December 08, 2008 17:01      Profile for neotatsu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actually, I had an interesting time with my cat yesterday. I have difficulties remembering to eat at times, because I don't feel the "hunger pains" or whatever ya wanna call them.

I was doing my schoolwork, and my cat was asleep on the ottoman. My stomach started growling at me, and as usually I was absorbed in my schoolwork and ignored it. My cat however, stood up walked over and rubbed against my stomach - she's definitely not a lover, she hates to be touched normally - and meowed at me all pitiful.

I ended up goin and making myself some macaroni, then came back and sat down, took a single bite and put the food down to keep writing my schoolwork. Less than a minute later, my stomach growled again and my cat sat up again from her pillow and stared at me, meowing until I picked up my bowl again and started eating - then she laid back down.

I put the bowl back down, and about two minutes later, she stood up again and just sat staring at me until I picked the bowl back up, then she curled back up and went to sleep...

I got the feeling she was making sure I ate like I should have [Razz]

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I'm curious... About what, you ask? EVERYTHING!

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2008 16:12      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's something that might help shed light on how aware our pets are:

Dogs show envy/feelings of unfairness

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If I were a good man I'd talk to you more often than I do.
American Fairy Tales
IT, A Philosophy

Posts: 454 | From: IL | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged


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