Poppy the puppy is a submissive dog. She is so submissive that she tends to piddle on the floor if I yell too loud.
I am not used to having a submissive dog. Fox the husky mutt is anything but submissive – if you give her a command like, say, “sit”, she’ll look at you for a bit while she decides if she’s going to do it or not. Mostly she does, but she lets you know it’s her choice. Cherry the bull mastiff is pretty dominant, too, though not as bright as Fox. Cherry will sit…eventually. After you get her attention, and maybe remind her a couple of times. Poppy, however, will hit the floor instantly, tail wagging, hoping to get some praise or a treat. In fact, she’ll sit before she’s told to, in the hopes of getting a little attention.
This tendency has made Poppy a treat to train – she tries really really hard to figure out what it is you want, and, once she’s got it, she is quick to respond to commands. She is eager to please, whether you have a treat in your hand or not. Just praise makes her ecstatic…unlike the other two, who need a bit more…tangible…motivation.
Last night, as I was going out to milk the goat, I could hear a fox yapping, fairly close to the house. Poppy routinely wakes us up by growling and making little half-barks when the foxes start yipping at night, and last night was no exception. I looked at Hubby and asked if he thought she’d come back when I called if I let her out to chase off the fox. I know Fox the dog would be gone like a shot, and would spend the night trying to dig the foxes out of their den, and there’s no way she’d come back when called. Even Cherry would probably take off chasing them, and be unlikely to come back until she had been thoroughly stymied. Hubby wasn’t sure what Poppy would do, but we decided to try letting her loose.
So, as I went out to the barn, I let Poppy out. Just as we were going down the back step, a fox yipped and rustled the bushes just north of the house. Poppy gave a little bark, and then…looked at me. Expectantly. She looked at me as if to say ‘well, what are you going to do about this?‘.
It hit me then that Poppy is not protective of us, because to her, we are the tough guys. She has been letting us know all along that we have a problem with foxes close to the house, but she seems to think it’s the humans’ job to do something about it. Bleh.
Unfortunately, the dogs who will do something about it, won’t stay close to home like they’re supposed to…