Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Wolf in Rolf's clothing!

I like to think that despite joking and silliness I don't really anthropomorphise my animals. The human attributes that I occasionally apply to them are half hearted and I remain very aware of their instinctive traits. That doesn't mean that I love them any less, just maybe that I respect them more. I think that's the most effective way to build mutually rewarding relationships with them. Horses are so much easier and safer to manage if you remember that they are essentially prey animals. Dogs are pack members and predators. They all have their own ways of establishing and maintaining hierarchies and social structures and an understanding of their psychology facilitates wonderful positive interaction with these animals. They lack the pretence and affectation of many humans. But sometimes you get a glimpse of the wolf beneath the domestic veneer.
Believe it or not this is a regular ritual between Rolf and Chico and is play.See how they are both lying down and relaxed. It always begins with Chico approaching Rolf and suggesting a bit of wrestling.
Then he wriggles up and lies on Rolf and there follows ten minutes of wriggling, teeth showing and frightening faces. Then they touch muzzles and settle down for a kip, cuddled up together.
Just a little reminder that the ancient instinct that runs in their veins is still there. Behaviour is such a fascinating subject, in both animals and humans. And it's always what's under the surface that counts.

1 comment:

  1. Thats true, mine are the same, the Alpha rules!