Dog reaction to mirror

Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2015 08:34 pm
My dog usually ignores mirrors and such, probably because they have no smell and obviously arent real. However, sometimes, rarely, he becomes very interested in them and stares at them, mainly at himself and me, and is quite intense and is hard to distract.

Ive seen him do similar behaviours before and its just what he does if he is very interested, or if his brain starts ticking. But what amused me more is that today he showed to be more than just looking. I found after playing around a bit that if i creeped up behind him then moved my hands quickly towards him, like going to pounce, he gave a bark and a few growls. They weren't threatening growls of course

what i found interesting was that while he didnt see the mirror dog as another dog, he was reacting to what was happening to the other dog like it was happening to himself, although he never growls usually on a day to day basis and only barks when he's startled which is usually a single bark. Also, the dog spends most his time in a room with the mirrors in, so he does see the large mirrors almost every day.

I just wanted to know what people think of this. I found it very amusing, but im also thinking how this would stand on a psychological standpoint. Dogs do not recognise themselves in the mirror or have self awareness from what i have heard, and i dont think thats what my dog was showing at all, but he also wasnt treating the reflection like a different dog as he would never act like this with other dogs, and would have walked up to the mirror rather than just looked.
Reply Tue 27 Oct, 2015 08:51 pm
I think that the dog is play-acting. He.she knows it's not real but it allows him/her to play a game or what I call 'sporting'. It keeps him/her sharp and gives him an imaginary friend..and he sees those reflections or shadows as movement or action.

How does your dog respond to TV?

My dog is smart poodle (the only kind) and she will try to grab my attention by growling at the other dog in the reflection in a pain of glass (semi-mirror) in my entertainment center. She knows it is not real and that it attracts my attention. She's signaling for me to play with her by tossing the ball around.

Hey, I can be trained!

Furthermore, my dog watches TV. How do I know this? If the show is an animal in the wild show or The Dog Whisperer, she is very responsive; whereas, the other shows she may look but never react..or maybe she'd not look at it at all.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 03:22 am
If dogs react to television, they are almost certainly reacting to the soundtrack. The images would largely be meaningless to them--their vision means less to them than vision does to us, and very likely they don't have much invested in visual cues in terms of symbolism. Dogs do have greater visual acuity than we do, and very likely don't see what you and i see. If you can tune into a wildlife show or a show about dogs, while the sound is off, that might give you a better understanding of what your dog is reacting to--soundtrack or image.
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 05:50 am
I can't do that, boss. The dog has the remote. In fact, she controls the beer, for that matter.
Miss L Toad
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 06:14 am
When Sam was just a pup I tied a piece of rope to the screen door.

I put the rope in his mouth and showed him how he could pull it to open the door.

He didn't get it.

Then I put the rope in my mouth and pulled it to open the door.

Then I put the rope in his mouth and he still didn't get it.

Stupid dog, I thought.

Half an hour later he'd obviously mastered the manoeuvre because we met unexpectedly inside to much joy and celebration.

Stupid owner, I thought.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 06:15 am
You're better off without the beer--nasty stuff, bad for you.
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Reply Wed 28 Oct, 2015 06:17 am
I recall putting a bandanna on Jake the dog the first time. He ran upstairs to the full-length mirror, and we found him looking in it. We figure he was checking himself out although yes, he could have been mimicking similar behaviors he had seen in us.
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