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Adjudicated Guess, Episode 2

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Combine them to form a supergroup:

Men Without Work

Huh, I learned a new thing today. I never knew that Jerusalem artichokes existed. :. What do they taste like?

And now, an animal enthusiast rambles about cat and dog vocalizations. :B

Feral cats do sometimes vocalize to each other, but yeah -- meowing beyond kittenhood is generally used to communicate solely with humans and kittens. Most of adult cat "language" is silent -- ear position, tail position, posture, gaze...

Here's a cat-speak lesson humans can use to help get closer to their feline friends. Eye contact is threatening to cats, since it usually leads up to a fight in the wild unless someone backs down. A cat looking away means "I'm not a threat, I trust you not to hurt me." A slow blink, or closing the eyes, means "I trust you completely and am relaxed in your presence." Try blinking slowly at your cat -- you might get a slow blink in return! :3

(Or if your cat is like my Tony, he'll flop over and fall asleep -- the ultimate sign of relaxation and trust, I guess! XD)

Meows with an "rr" sound in them, like "mrrrow?" or "prrrrt," are generally friendly greetings, especially when accompanied by a tail sticking up straight (sometimes with a little hooked tip). That trill basically means "hello, friend!" Mother cats trill to their kittens all the time, and rarely, you'll hear a cat who's close to another cat trill at their friend to greet them or initiate play. A trilled meow that goes up in pitch near the end ("mrrrrow?") is like saying "hey friend, come here, attention please!"

Now, as to why "dogs don't seem to understand to stop barking when someone passes by," well, Dog is a whole different language from Cat. The basic tenet of dog vocalization understanding is that all barks generally mean "Hey!" in one way or another. :B

"Hey! My human's home! Hey! Hey! Hi!"

"Hey! You're getting too close."

"Hey! This is confusing! I don't understand."


"Hey! I don't want to be in here! Let me out! Hey!"

In this case, it's usually "hey! Hey human! There's something out there!" Unless your dog's showing signs of aggression toward passersby (in which case it's "HEY INTRUDER BACK OFF GET OFF MY PROPERTY"), they're just doing their "job" and helping you, their packmate, keep aware of what's going on around the pack territory. It's like a sentry alerting others about a suspicious individual lurking around the area. "Could be a friend, could be a foe, could be a lost person, but hey, let's let the rest of the squad know so we're all aware. And if they're supposed to be there and I just don't know, the others can tell me so!"

Punishing your dog for doing their "job" tends to just confuse them and make things worse -- they begin to associate people and things walking by with negative things, and thus bark more because hey -- people walking by are now tangibly a threat to the dog! Dogs also tend to bark more when they're nervous -- "hey! Hey! I'm scared! D:" -- and it just turns into this vicious cycle. ^^;

Disclaimer, I'm not a professional dog trainer, but I have grown up with dogs, and generally, this works for me; when a dog barks at something they see outside, I say "what? Whatcha see?" and go over. I then make a show out of looking in the direction the dog is. Praise and pet the dog when it quiets down. If it's just a squirrel or a neighbor, I say so -- "it's okay, buddy, it's just the neighbors. C'mon, where's your toy?" And then distract them away from the window with play. If they go back to the window and bark, I say "it's okay, buddy, it's just the neighbors," and recommence distraction tactics.

Eventually  the dog will learn that if the human says it's okay, that means it's okay to stop keeping tabs on the mysterious interloper and alerting the human to their presence. "Oh, the human saw it and said it was fine! I trust my human. No need to keep yelling 'hey' to let them know. |D"

Distraction tactics also work well if the dog is showing aggression toward passersby -- you're slowly teaching them that passersby are not threats, and in fact can lead to good things. Just remember not to start praising the dog until it's distracted from barking, otherwise you're teaching them that barking and aggression lead to good things.

Now go pet your critters! :D

And now, a pangolin.

Achilles' Heelies:
This wasn't what I expected when I googled Teliqua.

Agent Coop Time!:
This wasn't what I expected when I googled Teliqua.
Achilles' Heelies, September 01, 2016, 11:31:03 am
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