Tag: not Iowa

Canine butt-wrestling

This morning, I saw two of the neighbor’s dogs standing on the lawn, uh, abutted, ass-to-ass, each in a “four-point stance,” pushing against one another like two football linemen trying to dominate some invisible line of scrimmage on the ground beneath their hind legs, except they’re both facing the wrong way. When one dog began to “win,” the other’s haunches and hind paws would lift off the ground.  Normally forepaw lift-off is voluntary, and it’s called “rearing,” as dogs can be trained to do to push shopping carts for “entertainment” purposes, and sometimes just do reflexively when excitedly greeting their masters, or when wanting to exit a walled-in arena.  I dunno what you’d call the involuntary reverse lift-off engineered by another dog’s will-power, but when it happens, the liftee’s forepaws angle-in sharper against the heightening scrum and the four-point stalemate once again ensues.  They were still holding their original lines, albeit considerably rotated, by the time I finished my cigarette.  Maybe it’s more like dog judo. I’d never seen it before in dogs, and could at best hazard a guess as to the ethological significance of this kind of K9 ass-backwards shoving match, so it was infinitely more interesting than the Iowa caucuses, I’m sure.