Seeing things from a short point of view.
Could understanding your dachshund be as simple as seeing things from their perspective?
A dachshund eye view of the world?
Today I just wanted a quiet walk with the dogs without having to think about others. Where I could practice Zella’s off lead recalls around the big ones and not much else. I am blessed to have this lovely secure field a couple of miles away. Sometimes its just nice just to be able to get lost in your own thoughts. I highly recommend freedom fields, they are beneficial to dogs and to us!
I don’t think I’ve really talked about it before with much depth before and I think its something many of us assume we know….but do we? So, rather than bore you with words – they do say a picture is worth a thousand words, how many are a video worth?
If you don't want to read on that's fine. The video really drives home the point I am trying to make. But, I know some of you like to read my waffle too, so hopefully I'm meeting everyone's needs.
How does this influence them?
When they are puppies what do we do, we all do it? We carry them around to different places until they are old enough to go on the floor. Then quickly we start getting them out into the world.
Its like something out of who shrunk the kids! They go from being great and mighty dachshunds with a view of everything to itty bitty cuties where the world is full of giants!
Much of their socialising in the early days is done in our arms or from our laps…..even greeting visitors at the door, they’re in our arms……but do we help them enough when they are at ground level or do we assume that they will transfer the information they’ve learnt to their new viewpoint?
Lets think about the video.
Lets just imagine the dogs in the video were dogs from different owners who had come together in the park. You have a huge age range here, Zella at 8 months and Lyka at 13 years old. They all have different desires, different needs, different experiences.
Elderly Lyka just wants to romp around at her pace occasionally joining a game of chase with Piper (black Dobe) but generally just wants to sniff, you have Zella who is hitting that dreaded adolescent stage at 8 months old but here she’s happy and confident bouncing around with the others but regularly returning to me or at the least checking where I am.
In between you have a very boisterous Vega (Chocolate Dobe) who adores little Siren (collie) a bit too much and then you have Siren who just wants to herd up Piper. These guys know each other, but imagine for a minute if they didn’t. Would your dog feel comfortable entering this space? Not just the breeds but the energy they give off? Crouching down low I had a couple of eek moments as they charged towards me, and I know they will carry on past!
Their movements around me whilst I’m standing still go a small way to give some understanding as to why smaller breeds can be more sensitive to things approaching them, especially when really all they see are feet and legs and hands coming in from above.
The video demonstrates why when you stand or sit in one place why they can become a bit uncomfortable or reactive if they are a bit nervous anyway, and even if they are not, especially if they are on lead. They can't move away and the dogs tend to congregate around you when you are still.
If you lived in a world where you were always the shortest in the room and people just kept coming at you, or surrounding your space you may feel a need to be a bit louder so people notice you are there and keep a respectful distance so you can communicate with ease.
When you train your dogs….do you kneel down?
When you cuddle them, are you sitting down?
When you put their leads on, do you crouch?
You make yourself smaller don’t you, more accessible?
But do you do that when you are out and about?
What about if they are asleep on the sofa and get a bit grumpy about your approach? You might think about things from your perspective, but what about theirs?
And their beds? Or when they are eating?
What about children running towards them?
At the pub when someone brings you your food?
Perspectives matter. Not just the ones we voice, but the ones we see and feel.
Next time your dachshund does something and it irks you…..try to literally see it from their perspective. You don’t need to have a degree in psychology to do that. Just grab your phone, put it a few inches off the ground and hit record.
What do you see? And then consider, how can you help them feel more comfortable with that……from their perspective?
And now you see it….start teaching them to cope with things from their view, its a very different world when you have little legs!