The tiny little Pomeranian puppy pictured above was carried into Life on the Leash like a delicate flower. He fit in his person’s palm, with room to spare.
“Oh no,” I thought, “here’s another little bitty nervous shaky dog.”
Now, I have nothing against scaredy dogs. In fact, my boxer Sumer is a frequent member of the nervous dog club. Nature and nurture can conspire to create a dog that’s apprehensive despite attempts to properly socialize. It’s the dogs that are encouraged to be nervous that I find troubling. The dogs that are carried everywhere and denied the ability to properly interact with other dogs and people--the dogs that are soothed and cooed over when they vocalize in any way (which can actually encourage the behavior)--it’s not surprising that these stunted dogs don’t have the tools necessary to function in public.
I was prepared for the little Pom to run and hide when Millie first came out from behind the counter. Granted, he’s a young dog in an unfamiliar environment, so any initial fear would be normal. He did indeed take refuge behind his person’s legs, but then came out and sniffed at Millie. The two danced around a bit, and the next thing you know the Pom was giving Millie a run for her money! His play was appropriate - meaning not overly pushy and confrontational – and really cute. The two had a ridiculously photogenic romp.
Have you worked hard to make sure that your little dog is confident and well-rounded? What are your secrets?