I just wrote this on a message board and thought I would also post it here because it’s what I’ve had in mind about Tatum lately!
Tatum is from a hoarder in Houston so she is very dog savy. But her contact with humans, in the past, has been minimal at best, and was not positive when she got it.
She’s not submissive, she’s nervous around humans. But at flyball practice now she is really starting to loosen up a lot. And she is starting to realize humans have lots of yummy treats.
I think the lack of eye contact is partly because of bad human experiences, and partly because she just hasn’t learned that she can communicate with humans. Probably humans were big angry trees that walked around being rough with the dogs. She will dart away from me if I try to catch her.. which I don’t do, I let her come to me and praise and treat.
She is very good with the other dogs in ourn house. When she gets tired, though, in the evenings, she will launch herself at another dog snarling and barking, but doesn’t do any damage. If this happens I know she is over her threshold and she gets down time in the crate. Nothing at all bad happens to her, no punishment, I just quietly pull her off the other dog and put her in the crate and she settles down.
She gets stressed after I sit with her and stroke her and rub her down, and she gets stressed after we go out for a couple of hours. I am learning what stresses her and how she shows it.
She does tend to be dominant with the other dogs, but she respects us. I think she could be dominant with people if she was allowed to be, but she is not allowed to be… in a positive and firm way.
One reason I would be afraid of placing her into another home is because she is so sensitive to humans. She get into and chews up everything, and if someone smacked her or yelled at her, it could put her back months. She also nips us for attention and play, and we don’t, yet, discourage this because any time she initiates contact we want it it to be positive!
Anyway that’s my daily ramble about Tatum Tot. LOL