When I look at all my accumulated pictures of Bowpi playing with other dogs, I forget that it took her about six months of living with us before we saw her trying to initiate play. It was a few months beyond that for her to begin playing with Bowdu, even if somewhat awkwardly. Though she remains uncertain of how to interact with Bowdu, Bowpi has taken to wedging herself into the action, especially during Bowdu and RJ’s noisier roughhousing sessions. She’ll get between the two and try to “box” one of them, then flatten her ears and lick her lips like she’s anxious about what she got herself into. Then she doesn’t continue in earnest even when Bowdu responds by chomping her head and buttchecking her.
I wonder if living with Bowdu influences how she sees other Shibas, as a whole. We do encounter other Shibas fairly regularly — but no, I don’t see any consistency to her responses.
Sometimes Bowpi plays with other Shibas…
And sometimes she doesn’t.
How well they get along really depends on individual personalities, not breed. Generally, Bowpi is easy-going and able to adapt to virtually any other dog. Yet, the one breed that she reacts most strongly to is still her own.
We recently bumped into Zorro (above), whom we’ve had a chance to meet a couple times before when he was a crazy pup. Normally, Bowpi is more tense during other B-to-B encounters, but she just cut loose around him. Actually, Bowpi always seems to get along nicely with this local breeder’s Basenjis (we’ve had the occasion to meet five of her dogs now, including Zorro’s brother). It’s striking to me that a good breeder really can produce such consistency in temperament and type.
It’s nice to see her looking so comfortable around other B’s! Gives me hope for adding another to the household during her lifetime…