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Discussion Starter #1
This morning on our walk, a jogger came by, had Sierra do a
sit/stay and fine... then, about a half hour later, this jogger has
turned around and coming towards us and I have Sierra do
another sit/stay, and as the guy gets closer, BIG yawn out of
Sierra. She didn't break her stay or give him a hard stare or
anything at any time but I'm wondering, is a yawn just a yawn?
Is it nerves or boredom? We've had some ongoing fear aggression
problems with her (although greatly improved, to the point of
taking treats from a dog savvy "stranger" who is now her friend)
and I want to be sure I don't muck anything up with her.

Thanks!
 

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I would say a calming signal. If you see two dogs interacting you will see that they never go in a straight line one to each other unless they want to defy the other one. When too friendly dogs, unknown to each other, meet, they walk describing circles and don't meet face to face, but side to side and butt to nose.

This jogger, running right to her sent her a defying message and all she did was to say "Man, I would step out of your way as I don't intend to defy you, but as mom wants me to stay here, lets put clear that I'm not a menace for you"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm... I'm wondering why she did this the SECOND time we saw
this guy... the path was just as wide as the other spot we saw
him, etc. so I can't think of anything different (for her) that was
going on.

We've been doing sit/stays or down/stays (and sometimes just
walking on, I try to "mix it up" so she gets that momma decides
what she does) for several months now, this is the first time
I've seen her yawn. So, maybe she is getting to the point of
a LITTLE more confidence in herself that she can use a calming
signal and still feel okay.

Thanks for the input, everybody. 'Preciate it!
 

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Originally Posted By: valbHmmm... I'm wondering why she did this the SECOND time we saw
this guy... the path was just as wide as the other spot we saw
him, etc. so I can't think of anything different (for her) that was
going on.
I want to make sure I got this right -- the first time he came up from behind you and ran past you. The second time he was running AT you?

Running AT you is a far more aggressive movement. Even if the jogger isn't making eye contact (and he may have, even for a second or two, and you just didn't notice it), or running STRAIGHT at you, the fact that he's running at you is far more assertive of a movement.

The first time, he was basically running away from you. Nothing to worry about. Second time, his motives are less clear. So she was more watchful and yet, you're keeping her in a sit (which is a less dominant position than, say, standing up).

Imagine if you thought you saw someone who might be a mugger, your instincts would be to walk away, or stand up and look assertive, or do something like that, right? But your friend said, "no, let's just sit here on this bench," and it seemed like your friend had no idea that there was a potential risk there. You'd be at least a little stressed, right?

And you would bite your lip, or pick at your fingernails, or drum your fingers on bench, or sigh a couple times.

My guess is that something like that was going on.

Do you have this? http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails_Reviews.cfm?ID=dtb527&AllReviews=1 One of the best little books out there. Lots of colorful photos!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm sorry, I guess I didn't explain the situation well enough.

Picture a clock face on the ground... Sierra and I are travelling
clockwise, the jogger is travelling counter, we passed him at say
noon and 12:30, coming toawrds us both times.

As for your analogy about the mugger, I get what you are saying,
but if I was with a person bigger than I am, that I had been with for
quite some time, and if I trusted that they had been right about
people in the past, and they hadn't hurt me... well then I'd
probably still sit on the bench,maybe just watch the "mugger" come
by or something...

We've had people come at us many times in the last few months,
including people with strollers, joggers, roller bladers, skate boarders,
a lot of different stuff. Early on when I got Sierra, she did
lunge/snap a couple of times. That's completely gone, and my
anxiety over will she/won't she seems to be gone, too.

Rhank you for the link, I wasn't familiar with that book.
 

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I would say stress, especially as you are working on her sit/stay and self control, I see this quite a bit when training excitable/prey driven/reactive dogs. Even my Alex will do a high pitched yawn when I make him wait to come through the gate because he is so excited and it is taking a lot of him to keep himself there.
Usually when the dog yawns it is high pitched and exaggerated. I would encourage her as she holds her stay and keep practicing. As she gets more comfortable she should be focusing on you and not the jogger. A clicker and the watch me command is great for this. It will help her relax and build her self control.
 

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Originally Posted By: valbI'm sorry, I guess I didn't explain the situation well enough.

Picture a clock face on the ground... Sierra and I are travelling
clockwise, the jogger is travelling counter, we passed him at say
noon and 12:30, coming toawrds us both times.
Ok. I wasn't quite sure how that worked. I couldn't figure out why the jogger was hanging a U-turn.
So I thought that Sierra might have been weirded out by it too.

Ignore the rest of my post.


But the book is still really cool!
 
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