Anyone who has ever met my little brown dog has undoubtedly heard me moan about her behaviour. Particularly the stubbornness. Tula doesn’t do what Tula doesn’t want to do. If this happens to including crossing the street, well then shes not crossing the street – it’s not uncommon for her to stop dead in the middle of a crosswalk and refuse to move, oncoming traffic be damned.

We always thought this was just a Tula thing – that we had adopted a headstrong creature with a determined personality.

Until last night as we were walking past Trinity Bellwoods park and watched a young woman dragging a shar-pei across the road. We recognized it immediately – the exact same “planted to the ground” stance, the same taut shoulders and neck, the pulling with the head. Not going, no how, no way. No reason, either, other than “I’m a shar-pei and I don’t want to”.

It was reassuring in a way – to know that it was a breed thing. That it wasn’t our poor dog-training skills or that we had somehow gotten a broken, disobedient dog. Like the wrinkly skin and the absolutely fear of rain or wet grass, this sudden desire to simply stop turns out to be a shar-pei thing.

Doesn’t make it any less frustrating (or terrifying when a truck is barrelling at you), but at least we know where it comes from now.