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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or if it is merely one of Mia's peculiarities. She is significantly more interested in meeting a person if they smell of dog. Said dog need not be present -- in fact, it is better that the dog is not present, if the goal is for Mia to interact with the person. If the person does not smell of dog, then her eagerness to meet this stranger quickly wanes, her poodley prance stops abruptly, and her tail droops. But when that person smells of dog, she is quite solicitous, prancing in circles for attention, rubbing herself against their legs to invite petting, all the while with a wide grin and eyes beaming with enthusiasm.

It makes sense that she is more interested in people who have an established interest in dogs, and I wonder what she thinks when she reacts this way.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter #3
Do you think that's what she's thinking? Perhaps she knows that people with dogs will give more pets, or she hopes that if she rubs herself against the legs three times the dog will appear?
 

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Either theory would indicate that she's very smart and capable of thinking about chains of association (dog people are the good ones) or causality (dog person means a chance for fun dog times). I wonder if this figures into Oona's interest or disinterest in strangers at all. She certainly likes to be cooed at by people who like dogs, and is less friendly and more nervous with people who give her the side eye. I bet there's a whole body language thing happening in addition to the smell where some dog people read as more inviting.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter #6
Either theory would indicate that she's very smart and capable of thinking about chains of association (dog people are the good ones) or causality (dog person means a chance for fun dog times). I wonder if this figures into Oona's interest or disinterest in strangers at all. She certainly likes to be cooed at by people who like dogs, and is less friendly and more nervous with people who give her the side eye. I bet there's a whole body language thing happening in addition to the smell where some dog people read as more inviting.
That's good insight, Oona's Mum. Like Oona, Mia reacts to people who aren't comfortable with her. Sometimes people lie and say they like dogs, but Mia always discerns the truth.
 

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I’m very curious about this but for a different reason. Bobby barks at two different sets of neighbors if they get too close. Both neighbors have dogs who growl menacingly when Bobby walks by. I’ve been wondering for awhile if it’s the scent of their dogs.
 

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This is a bit off topic because it’s not a poodle, but same idea. Yesterday I unloaded my dog training bag from my car, carried it to my front door, and was punching in the lock code when I was lightly thumped on the butt. Being me, I yelped and had a minor heart attack but it was a friendly blue-eyed husky behind me. She was very interested in the nice treats-n-toys smells coming from my bag.

I had no idea who this dog was, but could quickly see she was friendly. I put my small dog leash on her big dog harness and dialed her owner’s cell number from her ID tag. She had managed to break out of her yard a few blocks away. While we waited for her owner to show up she happily gobbled up my dog treats.

I imagine she was just cruising her way down my street doing her dog thing when she got a whiff of my bag of dog fun. Maybe I also smell like dog fun? Violet seems to think so.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Discussion Starter #9
@Spottytoes - It seems possible that Bobby associates these people by smell to their growling dogs and has developed a disliking for the respective households. There's a dog in our neighborhood who is in a cold war with Mia, and Mia responds by acting extra poodley and obsequious towards her owners.

@Newport - I bet you're right! And what a happy ending for a story that could have turned out much worse!
 
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