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So, I've recently read Denise Fenzi's Book One (Developing Engagement and Relationship, the whole series is excellent if you haven't read it!) and was thinking about the relationships I have with both of my dogs.
We have just returned from a weekend in Toronto, so when we picked up the dogs, the relationship differences between both dogs became glaringly obvious. Heidi ran up to us tail wagging, came to me, jumped up, tried to lick my face, I pet her a bunch, then she ran to my husband and did the same. Then Levi ran out and went ballistic on us - jumping, barking, howling, trying to lick our faces.
We arrived home, and Levi was quite happy to sit with us, hang out, and get pet. Heidi went to lay down and ignored us. So, I would argue our personal relationship with Levi is very good, I think we bring a lot of joy to each other. Our working relationship is also very good, he likes to work, we have a good time, and he is very happy while training.
Heidi and I have an amazing working relationship. She has laser-like focus, seems to get real joy/pleasure out of working, and training is fun because she likes to work on so many behaviors. She also really seems to enjoy playing with us, fetch in particular is a serious favourite of hers. Our personal relationship does not seem that great, but I'm starting to wonder if that is just her personality? She doesn't appreciate snuggles (unless we are sleeping - she sleeps in bed with us, curled up tight against my legs), not a huge fan of being pet (unless it is by a stranger or my brother who lives with us and she sees EVERYDAY), and is pretty much content to be on her own, chilling. She is currently on the floor near us, sleeping.

I guess after having Levi, her behavior just seems so cold towards us. Especially when she goes bananas over my brother. Normally, I would say more training/games/affection would build up our relationship, but we love training together so much. Everyone is always talking about how cuddly, sweet, and affectionate BCs are, and apparently ours just isn't really like that?

In the grand scheme of things, it's fairly minor I suppose, given that she's an excellent dog otherwise. Should I just leave this alone?
 

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I think you just have a more mellow second dog. No harm no foul. If she's still willing to work and you're not competing/working her and are otherwise happy with her, I think you're just putting undue pressure on the relationship by second guessing things. It's fine :)
 

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I agree with Kwenami, everything is fine. Heidi actually sounds alot like my boy Liam. He loves me, and loves training and working with me but he prefers to be alone too. He hates cuddles, doesnt like me petting or hugging on him(But will tolerate it if he HAS to) but in public he goes ham for strangers. Nudging them, wanting them to pet him. Where as Blarney wants my attention 24/7.

Ive had Liam since a pup, and he's now almost 6. Hes always been like this and its never bothered me, it's just his personality. Just like some people(myself included) prefer to be left alone.
 

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She just sounds like a typical female to me. Not all of the females I've owned have been like this (my current one is actually very snuggly), but most have and it's pretty typical for girls to be more independent/less overtly soppy and affectionate vs males. I've known female BCs specifically who are just like her - live to work, follow their people around, but not interested in close physical contact.

Though my current female is very much a cuddler, it's obvious that she prefers my husband to me and will pretty much always choose him if he's home. But I have a great working relationship with her and we have a blast training in a variety of sports. On the other hand, I have a much closer personal relationship with my male, and it's obvious he prefers me, but our working relationship needs work since he's a fairly stressy and environmental dog. Every relationship is different.
 

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Sounds like a border collie. It's hard not to but you have to try to not compare Levi and Heidi. Their breeds are distinctively different. Aussies are class clowns, full of personality and very attached to their humans. Border collies (especially working bred ones) are born to work. They love to work.

I remember the one day I was playing with my trainer AMAZING agility BC. After hearing how (after a month) he placed at a herding trial, he could catch frisbees, and he is an amazing agility dog, I asked if there is anything he couldn't do. One of my other trainers quickly replied, "Love". And it hit me. He LOVES to work. He will work for ANYONE. And that is what he gets enjoyment out of. He doesn't really like to be pet, and my trainer has said he is not a cuddlier, but he is his happiest working. So for Heidi it may just be personality.
 
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