Now it’s easy to look at these two and think on what a friendly puppy sharing his crow feet with his friend, but what if it’s not what it appears what if these two had just gotten in somewhat of a dogfight and now they just want to make amends. There’s probably a lot that we could learn from dogs when it comes to war and getting over our own small disputes with one another. As battle for a dog never lasts long, the fights chosen are ones that have a pretty good chance of working out and he moves on quickly without holding a grudge.
Dogs fight, they do it naturally, as puppies they play fight and learn how to defend themselves and how best to make another submit and win their chosen battle. These puppy fighting skills are used throughout life, even in the tame, controlled and domesticated world they live in today but these skills are used rarely out of aggression but often just to show a little superiority (fight for Alpha Male) or just to tell another to get out of his territory.
Dogs normally make a little noise, a growly or even just a subtle look that sends a message and the offending dog takes notice. Push the boundaries a little too far and the dog will move up slowly, skulk down on his haunches and deepen his growl. Plenty of warning is given and very often, the offending dog backs off and then rarely a fight will ensue. In the wild the fight would be to the death, or close to it but luckily today owners intervene and prevent blood shed.
A dog fight is often a short lived affair. The fight may be a few growls and the offending or invading party backs off or their will be a scuffle, some blood on the ear and then a howling retreat with tail between the legs. The retreating dog will always look back in retreat, watch next time your dog is in a scuffle, and this is more out of respect and an apology than anything and the victor stands proud and then simply carries on.
Regret is not part of a dog’s war and whilst it is not known if the dog forgives a dog sure as does forget. A dog learns from a fight, the dog tends to learn quickly unlike us humans who repeat mistakes time and time again. In forgetting a trespass or misgiving dogs soon become friends under less territorially tense conditions, they don’t hold grudges but do though command respect.
It’s not about the size of the dog either. “I am bigger therefore I am” doesn’t get a look in, dogs don’t have an ego or a need to show off. They are deeply territorial and love their personal space; interfere with this and even the smallest Chihuahua will see off the most brutal of Dobermans with a squeaky yap and the most evil of looks. Imagine human wars if size didn’t matter, leaders didn’t have the ego or dictator trait and respect over territory was understood… war would be a few harsh words followed by that look your mother gave you when you did something wrong as a child.
Dogs continue to play fight, it is more rough play than fighting and they are thus always ready for the real thing. Dogs though live peacefully; they don’t let the little things get them down. Dogs will always protect their pack and that goes for their human pack too and when needed to fight hard they will and in some cases to the death. Every dog it seems has read the art of war and applies it better than humans do just to be ready but never to go on the offensive.
We can learn a lot about war from dogs. Dogs can fight but choose not to, they protect what they have and respect that which others have. Dogs like to become the alpha male, the alpha male is respected and the alpha male respects a challenge for his position but those who jostle for it do so out of respect not hatred. The world of dogs is far better structured than the world of man, and who says that man is the more intelligent species?
This post was written by international author Matt Newnham