Yesterday we returned to the scene of Ray's experience with cliff-walking. This time, I kept more of a close eye on the blind hound as we meandered the trail. The last few months have brought major storms to the area which appear to have caused more soil erosion. The cliffs seemed a bit closer to the trails. We were walking just that much closer to the edge. Slightly worrisome for the sighted, not so much for the blind.
But that is beside the point. What I really wanted to bring up is a disturbing new quirk in Ray. Over the past few months I have noticed that Ray has developed an active dislike of the bully breeds: Pit bulls, Boxers, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Ridgebacks. If it's got some bully, Ray doesn't like it.
I can't say for sure, but I think it kinda started with his run-in with Lefty. Then there was the emphysemic-sounding English Bulldog that was staying next-door to my parents last time we were visiting. I could tell that she was hurling some really vile insults at Ray while we were there and no amount of his singing was going to win her over. Then there was the Boxer/Ridgeback mix that Ray has met a couple of time while walking around the lake. Although she's a sweet dog, she has inadvertently socked him in the eye a couple of times.
Now, when Ray meets a bully, he growls. And if I'm not alert, he'll start a fight. It's happened enough over the past few months that I can no longer pretend that it's an anomaly. Dogs that have done nothing to him are being singled out because of their breed.
So yesterday, while we were walking the cliffs, an off-leash, white Boxer came running up behind us. We didn't see him until he was amongst us. His body posture was all dominance, very upright, with stiff legs. His owners were nowhere to be seen. He scared the bejeezus out of me. Ray turned to meet him, gave one sniff, and let loose with his deep-from-the-belly yell. And he kept on yelling long after the dog had tucked his nub of a tail, turned, and ran.
So here's the usual question: How does he know what kind of dog it is?
I've pretty much accepted that Ray can smell color but can he also smell breed?
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Oh my goodness - that is so strange! I wonder if the bullies do give off a different odor. Sounds like Ray scared that poor dog too! Lol - poor thing. I wonder if there has been a study on this - very interesting!ReplyDelete
I've often found myself wondering if breeds give off their own odors because I've noticed that Ray has a definite penchant for Greyhounds. He LOVES them and treats them like superstars. All of them. Every single one he's ever met. He was the same way around a couple of Great Prys too but we haven't met enough of those to test his nose affectively.Delete
It would be an interesting study!
Hmmm...make you wonder, doesn't it? While it can seem amusing that he can smell certain breeds, I really understand your frustration. I don't have an answer for that one. We've never had problems, except for blind Brook who tries to be a pushy girl with little dogs, not that she is all that big!ReplyDelete
Ray loves to hound the little nervous dogs. It's the smell of fear that sets him off. I'm convinced that he doesn't know they're dogs but are some kind of prey. He is terrified of other little dogs with Napoleonic complexes (the ankle biters) and will go completely submissive around them, or try to get as far away from them as possible.Delete
This bully breed prejudice is relatively new. He's never really cared for boxers but he's never been aggressive before.
Wow. Way to go Ray. Does attitude and posture come with a certain release of some kind of scent?? You said the dog had a dominance posture and stiff leg stance, have to wonder if his body was emitting some sort of odor that our little noses would never catch. Rays sure did, if my thought were to be true. He gave a great yell of protection for you. Brave Ray. Good boy.ReplyDelete
It's a good theory but Ray doesn't have the same reaction to all dominant dogs. Most dogs he'll roll to (do the submissive posture). But not the bullys. He stands up to them. When we were at the eye doctor a couple of months ago there were a lot of dogs in a small waiting room. Ray immediately went up to an old English Bulldog, growled menacingly, and started yelling. It was a bit embarrassing especially since the owner said her dog has never been in a fight in its life and was an old sweetie.Delete
Hmmm, maybe 'breed' does mean more than how a dog looks on the outside. Very interesting to this one time vet tech. Maybe because he is blind his nose works not just better but much better in more subtle ways than ours and even some sighted dogs. Interesting you noticed who he takes offense to and who he doesn't. Gives me something to ponder.Delete
Bizarre. But the really scary thing is dogs running around loose. A loose dog attacked Josey out of the blue once, and Steve had to kick it off her before the owner ran up - which was upsetting to Steve, too, he certainly didn't want to have to hurt a dog :( Glad that dog didn't get aggressive with y'all...ReplyDelete
I have to agree with the running around loose thing. The owners were behind the dog on the trail somewhere because when Ray started yelling, so did they. The dog didn't return (thank God) because Ray doesn't back down in a fight, and since he can't see what he's fighting, he's a bit like a loose canon. You never know what's going to get hit.Delete