"easy to live with"

I've always said Bailey is easy to live with.  She doesn't counter surf, care about litter boxes, get into the trash, eat plants, chew up things that shouldn't be chewed up, or do something she's been told not to.  I adore these things about her, it balances Buzz out (what, there's a crumb on the floor, I'll chew through the rug it's on--true story) and it makes me call her the "perfect pet" with a few minor changes.

Today I was asked if she doesn't do those things because they scare her.  I immediately said "no!" pretty emphatically, and then through a series of questions started to change my answer.  I still don't think it's completely fear based, but I'm curious now if those "perfect pets" have some crazy fears outside of their "perfect" behaviors, and act that way due to a lack in confidence.


Crystal said...

Wow. That's a really interesting thought.

Maisy's one of those "perfect" dogs, too. Okay, well, counter-surfing isn't quite possible with her shortness, but she's never really chewed on things. She destroyed ONE thing her entire puppyhood, and I promise it was not because I was doing a good job supervising her. I can leave a plate full of food on the floor and walk away, and be confident it will still be there when I return. She doesn't get into the trash, she doesn't bark excessively, she's just great.

Now, some of that is the result of training, but... she does have a lot of fears.

I'd like to hear more about your conversation! What questions led you to think that Bailey's easiness is possibly related to fear?

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

I'm not sure if I agree with that. Both Lance and Vito are generally very easy dogs to live with at home. Vito is a bit more work then Lance, especially when out in public and over aroused, but in general I trust him. But comparing the two dogs I don't think Lance is less confident then Vito, if anything it's the opposite. I would qualify both dogs as confident but Vito is more reactive and of course has battled sep anxiety. I think Vito being a tiny bit naughtier then Lance has more to do with having less impulse control then less confidence.

The only part where I could agree is that I do use some intimidation so them being "perfect" could be partly from fear of me. My verbal "ah ah" works because of my body language and "the look." I may not use physical force but obviously for it to be effective they are a bit fearful of me in that moment. It sounds kind've sad but I think it must be true or why else would just a verbal reprimand be so effective? Well Obviously training plays a big part, but besides that.

Perhaps I'm missing something. What questions where you asked that made you rethink your answer?