Sunday, August 29, 2010

Confidence


There are many things I hear about dogs and that I just can't believe.

Until last week, one was "My other dog makes my shy dog feel safer. He's way better when they are together!" I did believe that a shy dog would be a bit better in a group, especially if he's not as bonded to the family. But a drastic difference? People were probably just imagining things as silly humans tend to.

Last week between our many lessons, I would let Griffin and Luna play together in the big open space (I am SOOOO lucky!). It's way bigger than their fenced yard and Luna is not allowed off leash in open areas. Her previous 2-3 trips to the facility resulted in a very shy and scared dog. Tail tucked. Crouched down. Sometimes refusing food. Ready to bolt for the door. Scared of everyone she doesn't know. One of the agility training days she was a bit better, it was people she knew well.

But, with Griffin, she was running, playing, wrestling, chasing toys. And approaching people she had been terrified of previously. If they had tried to pet her, Luna would likely have run off. But she came up to sniff and then carefully walked away. Sometimes she tried to solicit food with Sits, just like Griffin next to her was attempting.

She also performed the teeter. She had not yet met that teeter. She went over it, full height, great contact behavior. Multiple times. She weaved 12 poles.

Later on, I left Griffin crated and brought out Luna. Every tiny noise made her jump. She would only put two feet on the teeter. She was tail tucked and ready to run away. When I did let her loose, she wouldn't come near me.

And Griffin came out that session. She was much happier and running. Not as brave as before, but not worried about noises or me. Happy body language.

Griffin and Luna have always been attached and I have severely underestimated their relationship and how beneficial he is for her at times. I do now have to say....dogs can reduce stress for others!

1 comment:

Leah said...

When I take Louie for a walk by himself, he is significantly more nervous, tail-tucked, stuck right next to my side the whole time often. If Zoe comes along, he is happy and confident and will run off to explore, both on his own and with her.