Most of my dogs are rescues. Four of Six are rescues. Two are not rescues, I bought them from breeders back in 1999. Each one of my dogs, current and past, are all very unique and different int how they learn, what they like, their mannerisms, and all their little quirks.
I have been wondering, lately, how much my dogs actually trust me. I think they trust in context… they trust me in certain situations, and not in others. I think they trust me in most situations.
Lucy and Levi are the dogs that I bought from breeders as puppies, and I think they trust me a great deal. They let me trim their toenails and handle them when I need to. Of course I tried to work with them when they were little. Levi doesn’t like it when my pager goes off, and I think he doesn’t trust me that much when it does. Pre-Medication when I got paged I got very upset, and of course he picked up on that. Now, though, I don’t react so badly, but Levi still does react. Even when the same page noise goes off on the TV! Lucy is very stubborn and sassy, and sure of herself, and I don’t think she has any problems trusting me in just about any situation.
I think Angel trusts us now. She didn’t when she came to live with us. She was afraid of everything. And still she doesn’t want her toenails trimmed, but she suffers it for a constant supply of treats. I can’t think of a situation where she reacts now in ways that says she doesn’t trust us. So that is good. 🙂
I think Chase trusts us too. He is good at letting us handle him, his toenails, and all over when we need to. When we go to the vet he hides behind us too. Poor boy.
As for Muffit and Tatum, I think they are still learning. The whole point of this post was to wonder if Tatum trusts me or not. I think Muffit still has his doubts, but he’s only been with us since February 2008… which has been nine months. Angel has been with us for six years, and Chase three years.
Tatum was treated poorly by humans when she lived at the hoarders. When she had contact with humans at all. And I think Muffit, also, wasn’t treated well by people. He’s a bit protective of me now and he’s been known to snark at people he’s not sure of. By snark, I mean a fake snap. I’m 95% sure he wouldn’t actually bite anyone. 🙂 But dogs do have a bite threshold. Just as we do if pushed.
I wonder if rescue dogs will always have a lack of trust for humans. Be it any other human than their family. Or any human, even those in their own family. I guess it depends on the dog and what the dogs have been through. I like to think that my dogs trust me. That I earn their trust, and keep their trust. i want Muffit and Tatum to trust me more than they do. Of course with Tatum, instead of a lack of trust, she could just be showing off her sassiness! Which she does a lot, now. And I find it interesting with Muffit, that I can touch his feet and toenails just fine when we are sitting together. But if the nail clippers or the dremmel come out, he will not let me near his feet. He will squeal and scream and whine and put his mouth on me. I find it interesting that he associates nail trimming as bad with all humans. Not just with a past human that hurt him. He just thinks it’s bad all the way around. I want to convince him it’s not so bad after all!
So do your dogs trust you? Are they rescues or did you buy them as a puppies? I’m just curious. 🙂