Generally I think I know my dogs. I think behavior follows from motivation, and there are only a few motivators for them: food, sex (well, for Kunga anyway), protection, play, and companionship. As long as I can understand what’s motivating them, I can pretty much predict their reactions.
But sometimes they surprise me. A Lab-sized dog off-lead charged up to Kunga a few days ago and began sniffing him. I thought there’d be blood, but Kunga took it with a bemused sideways look and a warning growl that made the Lab back off. (I was the one who reacted furiously to the Lab’s owner.)
Then there’s the mysterious behavior that I can never quite figure out: Kunga will sometimes turn a circle before eating the food from his dish; Lucy will suddenly race to the picture window and bark at nothing, furiously; Kunga will stare at a place in the rug as though the pattern will jump up and bite his nose. For all that we think we know our dogs, I think they will always surprise us with their hidden sides.