Just wondering what everyone thinks about the following:
For the second time I had Rocky babysat by friends. The first time was back in May, I was gone for a full week and he was moved from one friend's place to another. And again this weekend, but from Friday to Sunday. If anything he had more attention, special permissions and play with other dogs than he does at home. he was very well taken care of and quite happy. But I get the same greeting every time:
He will give me a sniff then go directly to my brother behind me (who drives me to pick him up) and is all over him. I mean he doesn't great my brother like that when he visits either. Today after two minutes of rubbing against my brother he sat right up against him and started WHINING.
Then when we get home, he'll come thru the main door but refuses to come into the apt. he stands there and i have to force him in.
Is his "sulking" because I left him? I don't really believe dogs actually feel that but...i'm starting to wonder.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I don't know about sulking but dogs do not get even. I think we too often give them human characteristics which they do not have.
<br />~~~~~~~~<br />Danie<br />Nellie, CGC<br />~~~~~~~~<br />The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Gandhi
I agree that dogs don't get even but they can sure make you humble!! ;D
"In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden
Linda, Kona and Bo
I agree with you - i don't believe it's getting even (a human emotion) but am trying to figure out his behavior - why the extreme greeting for my brother and barely a 'sniff" at me?Originally Posted by nellies mom
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Well I believe they sulk, my last one Midnite would watch me pack to leave on trips where he could not go along.  If I took my shotgun along it had to be smuggled out to the pick-up with out him seeing it.  Any of my several rifles or handguns he didn't care about if I left with them or not, they were not the guns he got to hunt with, he knew if he was there he'd just get to watch them be shot, no bird chasing.  If I took the shotgun and not him he would not even stay in the same room as me for 2-3 days after I got home, that included him sleeping on the couch instead of sleeping on our bed like he always did, he wouldn't even sit in the kitchen while I ate.  Now some may poo-poo that, but it happened more than once.
Added. In late May/early June when I went to the hospital for 45 days Rowdy knew I wasn't there but my pick-up was in the driveway, he saw Rita leave with me and not bring me back, he chose to sleep in the crate and not with her every night I was gone, the only nights he has ever slept in the crate and it was his choice.
Mongrel Historian aka Glen Carman<br />Lincoln Newbrassky<br /><br />Member of POOP: People Offended by Offended People<br /><br /><br /><br />Lexie, are you telling me you want me to get on the couch?
Fanny sulks! OO boy does she!
Eddie is too happy to sulk.
Tal doesn't sulk much...but when I leave and he knows I am going without him he would get excited like why can't I come too? With a little time he doesn't do that anymore.
Now if he wants more to eat or it's time to stop playing before he wants to he will pout. That usually lasts about 5 minutes and he is his usual funny self.
I don't know that they really have human emotions, but they know when things "aren't right" with their world! Sammi just went through a bout of cold tail and she just was not herself, maybe "sulking" is the right term, she just wasn't herself! Poor thing!!
Revenge/getting even isn't in a dog, but boy can they sulk... Sophie pouts for a day or so when a particularly playful boarder goes home:
and boy, can she ever pout! :P
I agree with others that dogs don't get even, show revenge, seek paybacks, etc., but they do have emotional reactions that can be called sulking.
My graduate studies were in comparative psychology (the study of similarities and differences between species) and learning so I'm not inclined to anthropomorphize (attribute human characteristics to animals).
But this is my experience.
Charlotte and I got Bess when she was 5 weeks old (too young) and Bess didn't have that much contact playing with other dogs. My impression, and that of many, was that she considered herself as belonging to the human -- not canine -- race.
Bess had never been separate from Charlotte and I even a day until we married when Bess was about 18 months old. We put her in a kennel and went on a honeymoon for 10-14 days.
When we returned, Bess was a different dog. Usually an insatiable sponge for affection and being petted, Bess spurned all attempts by Char and me to comfort or love her. This went on for several days.
Finally ("DUH!"), since Bess loved retrieving more than anything in life (even above getting food which was #1), I took Bess out with the training dummy to retrieve.
That broke through her icy reserve.
I might add that, after that, although my later position with the state mental health system often required Bess going into a kennel for 3-7 days while I was out of town/state, she never again had any similar reactions. No evidence of PTSD.
[FWIW, Bess' reaction was helpful to me in my later clinical psychology practice. It helped me discover that a number of clients who'd been separated from parents early in their lives had had very similar reactions to their parents.]
Fast forward 20 years.
When Puff was spayed at K-State's CollVetMed Tchng Hospl, she had to stay overnight. Puff had never before been separated from me. I anticipated a distancing reaction.
When Puff was brought out to me, there was also a family there with some preteen kids waiting for their dog.
Puff schmoozed with the kids and ignored me.
On the 60 mile drive back to Topeka, Puff ignored me for the first half of the trip which I accepted as her perogative without trying to break through her reserve.
Then she began being more affectionate and I responded.
Puff also has since gone in kennels without any subsequent reaction.
So I DO think that dogs can show emotional reactions to separations?
I recommend to all (who encounter "sulking," etc.) to try some variation on my retrieving with Bess to counter those emotional reactions.
FWIW, my vet at K-State invited me to attend a 2-3 hr faculty meeting with Karen Over*** (Overall? Overstreet?) on psychological/psychiatric problems in dogs. Her thesis was that most psych disorders in humans also occur in dogs.
Being hurt, feeling spurned, would certainly be consistent.
Getting even, payback, etc., while those are human reactions -- I see no evidence to substantiate.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":