The Countryman's Weekly

Canine Behaviour

Canine Behaviour
June 12
08:00 2019

Adapting to a new way of living

By Penny Taylor.

IT is said that we humans are one of the most adaptable species on earth, but I am sure the domestic dog comes a close second, apart from such widely-spread creatures as rats, cockroaches and other pervasive pests which find a way of making a living across the planet.

I’ve taken a short break from writing articles over the last month because we and our dogs have moved from a house and on to a narrowboat; a move that has necessitated enormous changes in lifestyle. Where our lurchers once had the freedom of a large garden, they must now be confined to the boat for we are temporarily berthed in a marina, apart from weekend trips on the river.

Dogs which once guarded their property have had to learn to remain quiet as people pass by along the pontoon; not an easy restriction for animals such as ‘Schuck’, who believes her sworn duty is to alert me to any potential intruder walking harmlessly down the road outside the house. Such is the nature of the Airedale, from which she has inherited half of her genes.

That this sensitive and alert dog has been able to contain her warning barks, merely rumbling quietly in her throat when other dogs walk past (yes, it seems as though most of the narrowboats contain a dog, or two) is due, I believe, to the close relationship she has with me.

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