Ever since I read a post on 24 Paws of Love that reflected on the different walking styles of the author and her spouse, I have been comparing the relationship I have with Shiva to the one she has with my PH. The two are markedly different.
When I walk Shiva, I tend to keep a longer leash. I let her sniff as she pleases three or four feet in front of me. As long as she doesn’t pull or cross in front of me, I don’t really mind if she spends most of the time with her nose to the ground. I also am pretty understanding if she needs to stop and check out a tree or light pole. Unless I am running late for work, I will let her take as much time as she needs. I don’t let her stop if she looks like she is about to eat something disgusting but I do let her snatch up some grass.
When the man walks Shiva he tends to keep her closer to his side. Shiva is only allowed to sniff on cue and only in certain spots. They move much faster and Shiva must ask permission by looking at him if she wants to investigate a tree. He rarely lets her take anything off the ground – as much as he can anyway. As a result Shiva tends to be a lot more focussed on walks with him as opposed to our more leisurely strolls.
When I play tug with Shiva she is very polite. She never grabs the toy near my hand and she pulls with only minor force. Our games tend to be divided up between tugging and then fetching the toy. Shiva’s body remains loose and her mouth open. When she growls the sound isn’t very intense.
When the man plays tug with Shiva she is much less polite. She play growls almost the whole time. The game is almost entirely a competition of strength. When he asks her to drop the toy, her body becomes stiff and her mouth closes. Her eyes are almost as intense as a Border Collie’s while herding sheep. He has been known to push her too far past her limit, resulting in tooth marks in his hands.
When I pet Shiva she is very sweet. She will lean against me and relax her body. If she licks, she only ever licks my hands. She will often place her head on my knee and stare up at me.
When the man pets Shiva she often climbs all over him. She licks any spot she can reach, most often the face. Her tail doesn’t stop wagging.
Those are just the areas in which the differences are most noticeable. There are other little things. We’ve already covered how I am more of a sucker. Since my PH works more hours a day than I do, I tend to do the bulk of the training and walking. When he gets home, he tends to do the bulk of the playing. Shiva is usually much more excited to see him than she is to see me. He gets a happy dance; I get an expression of impatience. However, since I do most of the training, especially in regards to agility, Shiva tends to be a lot more goofy around him when he is asking her to work. We both have slightly different expectations in regards to her behaviour. Sometimes he looks to me for assistance when Shiva just isn’t getting it. Sometimes he comes up with something I’d never think of on my own.
Are there differences in how your dog responds to other members of the family?