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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Another Weird Behavior?

OK, we had a funny one happen today.

Kodi and I were out on a walk with a friend an her dog. We ran into another woman that we know casually, who usually has a big friendly Irish Setter with her, though this time she was alone. Kodi has met this other woman, but only once in a great while, and not at all for at least 6 months.

We were all standing in the middle of the street talking, and she said "hi" to Corrie (my friend's dog) then to Kodi. She is a pretty knowledgeable dog person, and when greeting Kodi, she squatted down and held the back of her hand out toward him. He will usually go to almost anyone. This time, he JUMPED away from her as if he was afraid. She made light of it, and we both ignored his reaction, but I thought it was odd. The only thing I could SEE was that she was wearing a NEON yellow jacket.

So we all started walking down the street together, chatting, and Kodi (still attached to me by the leash) moves to be beside her, in a perfect heads-up heel position, seemingly mesmerized by her. She again tried to put a hand down toward him and he skittered away, only to return to her side the moment she "ignored" him again.

When we got to the park and let them off leash, he did a bit of dashing about with Corrie, checked in with me, then went back to walk with the other woman… But he continued to back off and act afraid any time she tried to interact with him. Thankfully, she had the good sense not to continue TRYING to interact with him, and just let him be, but it was the oddest thing I've ever seen. Certainly not behavior I've ever seen in him before.

Any guesses anyone? Dave?


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 05:58 AM
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I wonder if she had smell on her hand that he didn't like maybe??

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 06:52 AM
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Where was her dog? If her dog was not walking for a reason maybe he smelled "dog stress" on her? Seems like he was concerned but also frightened, just a thought. Timmy is very insightful like that, Mae... not so much LOL.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 08:24 AM
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Karen - I so want to be helpful because you are always so helpful to me (and everyone else) but that IS truly weird and interesting. Maybe next time you should ask her to take off the neon yellow jacket and see what happens. Kodi the Mysterious!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Where was her dog? If her dog was not walking for a reason maybe he smelled "dog stress" on her? Seems like he was concerned but also frightened, just a thought. Timmy is very insightful like that, Mae... not so much LOL.
Her dog was with her hsuband and grandson, walking the trail from the other direction. The dog is a big, friendly goof. We met up with them later on, and her dog certainly didn't sem the least bit stressed. Like Corrie and Kodi (at that point) he was off leash, cavorting around and having a great time. Kodi showed no signs of worrying about the setter, but continued the same strange business of "heeling" beside the woman until we all aprted company and headed back home in different directions. The setter was oblivious to whatever issue Kodi was having!


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 06:52 PM
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My guess is dogs just have things that cause them to act different.

Chewy for some reason acts different around overweight people. I always kind of cringe when Chewy starts acting odd - I know why but the person doesn't. Then again - Chewy won't walk on manhole covers either so she is eccentric.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 02:54 PM
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There may be something very subtle about this person that Kodi doesn't like, there could be something about her that he associates with something he doesn't like? He might have been having an off day, there could be trigger stacking involved where he has experienced a number of smaller stressors that all together cause him to have weird responses, but really who knows?! But often times where pet owners report dramatic behaviour 'out of the blue' there has often been more subtle responses from the dog often going on for some time. Either way the important thing is to work with the dog in front of you and if on that day that dog needed some space from a person or people well then it's a good idea to give him what he needs. So these are only guesses Karen, sometimes we just never know. I do think also that it could be smell related. and that would be quite possible. Smell is so powerful with dogs and can trigger a host of behaviors. I doubt it would be color related. Dogs see bright yellow as a muted butter color. Sorry I missed getting to your post, I've been preocuppied with IAABC. We're possibly drafting up a position statement on the use of punishment.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
There may be something very subtle about this person that Kodi doesn't like, there could be something about her that he associates with something he doesn't like? He might have been having an off day, there could be trigger stacking involved where he has experienced a number of smaller stressors that all together cause him to have weird responses, but really who knows?! But often times where pet owners report dramatic behaviour 'out of the blue' there has often been more subtle responses from the dog often going on for some time. Either way the important thing is to work with the dog in front of you and if on that day that dog needed some space from a person or people well then it's a good idea to give him what he needs. So these are only guesses Karen, sometimes we just never know. I do think also that it could be smell related. and that would be quite possible. Smell is so powerful with dogs and can trigger a host of behaviors. I doubt it would be color related. Dogs see bright yellow as a muted butter color. Sorry I missed getting to your post, I've been preocuppied with IAABC. We're possibly drafting up a position statement on the use of punishment.
Fortunately, as I mentioned in my original post, the woman was an experienced dog person, and she respected Kodi's space, and in no way pushed herself on him. The weird thing was not so much him skittering away from her… I know he's got a thing about men with hats on, and he'll do the same thing… Even if it's someone he knows well and really likes. I'll remind them to take the hat off, and he's immediately in their arms. (she wasn't wearing a hat, BTW)

The weird part was his fascination with her, and wanting to walk RIGHT BESIDE her, in close "heel" position, (leaving my side to do so) but then acting nervous and backing away of her if she reached toward him at all.

One of the trainers I work with brought up an interesting possibility when I told her about it. She wondered whether the woman might have an illness of some sort that he could smell, like diabetes or cancer. I do know that one of his close relatives was the first to discover my breeder's cancer, so that ability is in the family. I don't know this woman well enough to know whether she has health problems or not, but that comes closer to explaining his behavior than anything else!

You're right, we'll never know for sure, and it's certainly not anything I'm worried about. He's friendly and outgoing toward anyone who's not wearing a hat. (or a child in a snow suit, but I can see how that would obscure a child's outline to the point that they look kind of scary! ) And, of course, I would never let anyone force themselves on him if he didn't offer to come forward and great them. So it's not a big deal, just very strange!


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 11:25 AM
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yeah who knows , like I mentioned smell could be a likely reason. I hope she's not sick. It's one of my favourite topics, and I am planning to write about it for Feb. issue of Havanese Breed Magazine . It boggles my mind on how well dogs can smell. Yeah she at least treated Kodi well.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
yeah who knows , like I mentioned smell could be a likely reason. I hope she's not sick. It's one of my favourite topics, and I am planning to write about it for Feb. issue of Havanese Breed Magazine . It boggles my mind on how well dogs can smell. Yeah she at least treated Kodi well.
Yes, it was really nice to see her do just the right thing (completely ignore him once she saw he was nervous) without any coaching from me. So many people try to force themselves on the "cute little dog".


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