you are tough. you are scary. you are a good boy. but also a scary one. if the situation calls for it https://t.co/KWXCX5uEbn
— Thoughts of Dog® (@dog_feelings) January 28, 2021
Some dogs do recognize themselves in their reflections — I knew an Afghan Hound who was so enamoured by his own voguing skillz that his handler joked about using a hand mirror instead of liver treats to get his attention in the show ring. Other dogs seem to find the whole mirror thing somewhat unsettling. If a ghost, for us tactile primates, is a being we can see but not touch, then perhaps a canine ghost would be one they could see but not smell.
IMO, that’s the best explanation for the Golden Retriever in the top tweet. He is confronted by a strange dog who has no olfactory signature! This is mildly alarming, especially if it’s happening on *his* personal territory. Naturally, he shows his teeth to let this uncanny intruder know that he is a dog not to be trifled with, a canine in full. Good news! — the Unsniffable understands this gesture, responding in kind, but matching the exact lift of lip and angle of ears to a nicety. Whatever his other problems, at least this is a dog who knows his manners, so Original Dog is able to relax from his original alarm and give a measured canine smile. The world, for a good dog, remains good…