One thing about Luna that struck me is her intense eye contact. I haven’t really noticed that with other dogs. This makes it nice because she will look at me and already we are on the way to communicating. I wouldn’t say we noticed the eye contact when she was 8-10 weeks old it was sometime after. Now that I have noticed and realized the value of eye contact, I foster eye contact by reciprocating as a routine.
People say that training is key to a good dog. I believe that is true. Still, there is an element of disposition, sometimes you are just born with it. Now that I have had the experience with two dogs of the same breed with completely different personalities I believe breeding had a lot to do with disposition.
Because of the horrible experience I had with my first Bichon, this one definitely was introduced to a lot of people and other dogs. Even with that first encounter or subsequent early encounters with people, my first dog was anxious and I really think that I got her that way. Luna is not anxious at all. We will walk by other dogs who are barking like crazy and their owners are doing their best to restrain them and Luna will not bark and just observe. She doesn’t cower in the presence of big dogs either. That is not something we got from our puppy training or even anything I could possibly do to teach that. Maybe she senses that I am not afraid of big dogs and don’t say or do anything behavior wise that would cause her to fear them.
On our walk yesterday we encountered ducks that just walk the streets. My previous dog would have wanted to chase, Luna observed. Now I will say that a person can add to a dog’s anxiousness by saying with extreme excitement, “look a duck!!!” I did say in a calm voice that is a duck, no excitement. And when walking by other dogs, I do communicate with Luna to continue the focus on me and say her name and “let’s walk” in a calm voice. So maybe that helps.
She had her first flight on United and we were squished in like sardines, it’s hard to get the carrier under the seat where the animals are to stay for the duration of the flight. Luna made friends with the flight attendants and they let her sit on my lap the entire flight. I was sitting in the window seat and the couple next to me appeared uninterested in dogs. Luna is good about that too, she senses it and leaves them alone. However if you are a dog lover, she recognizes that too and will give you all of the love you can stand.
I think with my first dog I was really careful with her because she was so tiny and when I would see kids or people going at her to pick her up I feared they would drop her when she squirmed. So I would shield her which probably made her more anxious and distrustful of others. There is a solution for this! It is so simple it’s crazy! I recognized that she is a DOG! Sounds pretty dumb, and yet it’s genius. Dogs are not what you carry around like a stuffed animals or a baby, they belong on the ground. When people greet your dog, all four paws need to be on the ground. And when people come at your dog to pick it up, the owner intercepts and says, you can greet my dog when she is on the ground. That’s it!
If you are going to be in control of your dog , you have to be assertive enough to stand up to others and let them know how you want them to interface with your dog. It’s always best to ask permission from the owner if it is ok to pet. This helps the owner maintain control of their animal which results in positive behavior outcome.
Luna has some trouble with jumping on others to give kisses. Not everyone is enchanted with her enthusiasm. The solution for this that works is I put her on her leash and step on it so that she can’t jump and she stops.
Animals appreciate your attention to detail and consistency!