Your Cattle Dog Hates Deadpool

A weekly blog wherein I show how I can relate almost every­thing to dog.

This week­end the movie Dead­pool, based on a pop­u­lar foul-mouthed ninja-esque gun wield­ing assas­sin comic book hero, comes out in the­aters.  It has great reviews and I have heard great things about it but when the first few trail­ers came out I was put-off.  I have strange and var­ied movie tastes but I was never really into comic books, assas­sins, or fart-jokes, all of which I asso­ci­ated with Dead­pool and appar­ently also tween boys.  My exact words when asked what I thought of the first trail­ers from my ecsta­tic friends were…

“Nah, it looks like it’s for 12 year old boys”

And that got me think­ing about how it is both nor­mal and accept­able, although a lit­tle discriminate-ey, to say some­thing like that.   Almost every­one I inter­act with is an adult and I don’t famil­iar­ize myself much with the “tween” range of soci­ety.  And I feel like I know even relate even less to boys because I was never one.

The thing is we are all pretty much okay with this.  Now I’m not allowed to behave aggres­sively towards tweens but I sup­posed it would be accept­able in some groups for me to be rude to them to boss them around when deemed appro­pri­ate (“Get off my lawn!”).

It would be less accept­able for me to do this if I were a dog…

…And they were ado­les­cent dogs of course.  We hold dogs to some unre­al­is­tic stan­dard of friend­li­ness where they should tol­er­ate and express mutual inter­est in all man­ner of dogs that are pushy, obnox­ious, or sim­ply have noth­ing in com­mon with them.  We do this much more than we do our­selves.  Your 6 year old lady Cat­tle Dog has trou­ble relat­ing to Dead­pool as much as I do, if Dead­pool were of course 8 month old dogs that have a lot to learn.

Here are some nor­mal and nat­ural things that influ­ence how your dog gets on with dogs they meet…

Age - Mature dogs play less and are more selec­tive.  Much like peo­ple, who start off mak­ing best friends with who­ever is on the play­ground and develop into form­ing long-term bonds with select indi­vid­u­als.  Dogs and peo­ple both develop clearer ideas about who and what they like as they grow up.

Breed — Some breeds, work­ing breeds in par­tic­u­lar, can be less play­ful.  This varies by breed func­tion too.  This can be com­pared to per­son­al­ity in peo­ple.  Some peo­ple are very socia­ble and flu­idly inter­act with lots of peo­ple, the social but­ter­fly.  Some are more reserved, only shar­ing with close friends.  Some are down­right hermit-ey.

I picked Cat­tle Dogs here as an exam­ple because they are a breed that, when mature, has a fairly low suc­cess rate in dog day­care.  They are intense dri­ven dogs that intrin­si­cally love to herd.  As they get older it often becomes more fun for them to herd other dogs (which the herdees typ­i­cally don’t appre­ci­ate) than to play with other dogs.  And if they have their choice to leave dogs they’re not par­tic­u­larly fond of alone of herd them around, guess what they choose?

Gen­der — In dogs it is usu­ally oppo­site sex pair­ings that work well into adult­hood which is gen­er­ally true to peo­ple as well.  Adult humans are most likely to live with an opposite-sex part­ner and have a same-sex best friend (which is where dogs and humans dif­fer here).

Play style — Or pos­si­bly com­mon inter­ests in peo­ple.  Some dogs like rough play, some lazy play, oth­ers solo play with a toy.  Some dogs only feel com­fort­able play­ing with dogs that they know well or who intro­duce them­selves in a cer­tain way.

Social expe­ri­ence — This can’t go with­out say­ing.  Dogs who have really great social skills, who are flu­ent in dog so-to-speak, select dif­fer­ent play­mates than those who have less expe­ri­ence.  They may actu­ally be pick­ier because they are bet­ter at suss­ing out “rude” behav­ior in other dogs but they are also much bet­ter at find­ing and rec­og­niz­ing dogs that would like to social­ize with them.  Less expe­ri­enced dogs tend to “test the waters” with many dogs, some­times to their dis­ad­van­tage, and they are also slower to real­ize when a dog is just not that into them.

In all hon­esty your dog is likely stereo­typ­ing just as much as I am when it comes to siz­ing up poten­tial doggy inter­ests.  And also if I was a more socia­ble per­son (I am far from social but­ter­fly) I would prob­a­bly have not jumped to clas­si­fy­ing “12 year old boys” as such.  Just like the more expe­ri­ence your dog has, the more likely they are to assess other dogs based on behav­ior alone.  And, just like your dog, I can change my opin­ion about a group or inter­est upon learn­ing more about it… but we may never warm up to fart jokes.

And if you’re curi­ous, here’s the trailer…



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