The eye of the tiger dog on the Melbourne dog walkThis is a close up of Kooper the Chihuahua's eye. He is part of our Wednesday pack at the moment.
While I think its a good photo, it gives me a launching point to discuss the world form the dogs eye view.
Firstly the mechanics of the dog's vision.
It is more granular than a humans (not as high resolution) and doesnt see the red part of the spectrum, so while we see:
Red orange green blue indigo violet
Mellow yellow, mellow yellow, WHITE (instead of Green) then most of the blues until the indigo violet end that is some kind of grey.
That means that if you are wearing a red or orange colour it kind of morphs with every other red orange and yellow into the same light yellow colour making you kind of camouflaged.
The lovely green grass that we take for granted your dog sees as WHITE.
Isn't that really an amazingly different view of the world? All those colour dog beds and toys we buy our dogs at a premium which they literally can't see as the colour we chose.
Their vision is much better than ours at night time, but I am discussing Kooper's eye view during his morning dog walks with the pack in Melbourne.
Dogs have been shown to be very good at reading human faces and emotions. When people say that a dog doesn't like men for instance, the dog is judging what a man who did something to them used to smell and look like then pre judging most men as being a potential threat.
Their eye and mind work in unison to protect them, even when the threat is no longer present, so yes, dogs have baggage too.
But really I wanted this blog to be about what Kooper's dog eye tracks and how that affects his behaviour and dog walks.
He is like many Chihuahuas who make excellent guard dogs. They are loyal, speedy and courageous but that in an off lead dog park cna translate into being a strategic sniper. NOT all Chihuahuas are like this, but since many Chihuahuas do not regularly socialise their dogs in off lead dog parks, their inate guarding abilities often translate into them sizing up every dog as either something to pretend to ignore or scare.
THIS is the filter of their eye and mind that works strategically to keep them and their pack safe (once they accept a pack of different breed dogs).
It took quite a while for Kooper to get a grasp of what he could and couldn't do with his own pack we walked him with, let alone what he can do now when he meets a new dog for the first time. His goal is always to impress the new dog and the pack that he is on duty. He wants to show that a new dog cant elevate in the pack structure, unless he allows it.
Its an incredibly powerful survival tool, but one that needs to be tempered if the Chihuahua themselves are to be kept safe. But he is so smart at which dog he chooses to challenge (and only half challenge) that there is rarely any real conflict.
So our dog walks often involve Kooper watching the other dogs, and me watching Kooper, who then watches me to see if I am going to spoil his plans. The watcher, watches the watcher, watches the watcher ... you get the idea ...