Yesterday I was at a Home and Pet Expo as a presenter. I was invited by the Paws to People Bridges to Cures group to be at their booth for two hours to talk to people. It was an opportunity for me to go outside my comfort zone and I am glad I did.
One of the volunteers at the booth had her Chihuahua cross Gigi with her. Gigi and her human Donna where sitting close to where I was sitting. Gigi came over and sat down in front of me and stared. She invitied me to touch her and as I was stroking her she showed me how worried she was. Her concern was how was she to protect Donna in this busy place. There were other dogs being walked around who where service dogs and lots of humans.
I showed Gigi that her human would do the protecting of them. I had observed that Donna was very calreful with Gigi and how people approached the little dog. People tend to walk up to small dogs reach down and start touching them. They are cute and small. Donna did not allow people to do that which was really nice for Gigi. It was a relief for Gigi to not have to be the protector in this busy place.
I saw the same with the larger dogs there, they were equally worried about protection and how to function in this place with many humans and quite a few dogs.
My point is have an awaremess when you take your dog out in public. Dogs are wired for territory of pack. We take them out of their territory and put them in many territories. Their wiring says you have to defend your territory from outsiders. We take them into someone else’s territory and the hard wiring is there. I am amazed at how well dogs function in a world we created. We put them in situations that go against their nature and they do amazingly well.
I have to remember no one is a victim. Dogs that live with humans are there by their choice. Living with a human is an opportunity for them to learn about human wiring and how humans function.
When you are out with your dog, your dog is asking you to be a strong leader. All the dogs at the Expo were on leashes and I saw that was a comfort for them. It created a boundary for them to function within.
After Gigi understood Donna would protect them she walked away from me sat down next to Donna, relaxed and totally ignored me, which made me laugh.