While out on a walk I spotted a couple of owners walking their dogs who I had spoken to before. These owners understand dog behavior and the dog's natural instincts. They make their little dogs heel while out on a walk and walk them every day. This particular time I had my hands full. I was holding a couple of very full poop bags in one hand and happened to have both Bruno and Spencer in the other hand. Bruno just had ACL surgery a couple of weeks prior and I needed to be careful with this knee. I contemplated what to do and didn't have much time to decide before my dogs spotted their dogs. If Spencer decided to pull toward the other dogs it might put stress on Bruno's knee, but it would have been difficult to rearrange how I had a hold of everything before the dogs spotted one another, so I just kept walking, poop bags in one hand and both dogs in the other. As we passed both packs looked at one another, with Bruno looking less than his curious kid brother Spencer. I had given Spencer a couple of voice commands to "leave it" as he was looking, said "Hi" to the other owners and the dogs just walked right by one another, their dogs looking at mine and mine looking at theirs. The other pack was small dogs too, yet they behaved superbly. That was it. Very uneventful. What a big difference it makes when an owner actually understands how to communicate with their dogs and takes the time to give them what they instinctually need. The outcome is stable-minded dogs that have no problems being around one another.
When a dog’s tail goes up and becomes rigid it's an indication that the dog is in a dominant frame of mind. When Spencer was messing around with the cats his tail went up. I knew that was not a good sign. However, what I had not realized was Spencer’s tail was not as far up as I thought. I realized this when Spencer was outside on the porch at night and he heard something in the woods. Spencer started barking and his tail went up, higher than I had known it could go. His head was held high and his body was stiff. This was a dominant state. When he was messing with the cats it was high but not that high. No wonder the cats were not that worried. Spencer had meant no harm to them. Whatever was in the woods, however was a different story. I did not correct him when he was barking into the woods; I want him to be on guard when it comes to strange things going on around the property. I did call him inside after a bit and he came right to me. He's going to be a fine guard dog since he is submissive and therefore listens to human commands but still alerts us when he thinks something is not right. One can never train the guard out of the guard dog, but they can have a dog that respects its owners and listens to commands even when in guard mode.