Blogtober Day 21: Biggest behavioural challenge to overcome

Cooper says:

My biggest behavioural challenge to overcome? Well, I think I’m perfect, but I know that there’s always new things I can learn that will make both me, and my family, even more proud of how far I have come. 😉 I think the Meet ‘n Greet of other dogs is what I struggle most with. I need to learn to greet other dogs in a way that is more socially acceptable.

The signs I need to learn for happy, healthy greetings with other dogs

The signs I need to learn for happy, healthy greetings with other dogs

You see, even though I love having other friends, I learned through my struggles in my previous life before I was rescued that it was important to assert myself as the most important dog in the room before we can get round to the playing business. This means that I need to learn not to rush at dogs, put my head over them and snap if they challenge me. Hopefully through all the (careful) socialising we do in class, and on walks I’ll learn the proper rules of Meeting and Greeting!

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Phoebe says:

My issue is similar to Cooper’s in that I have a problem with other dogs, but it’s not just the greeting that’s hard, I’m actually scared of other dogs all the time – not just the first few minutes. This makes me what is called a “Reactive Dog”, so I lash out barking, lunging and trying to fight whenever I see other dogs.

What I look like when I'm scared. Most people confuse this for me being "agressive", but all I want is space!

What I look like when I’m scared. Most people confuse this for me being “aggressive”, but all I want is space!

But Mom and I have been working hard at this, and we continue to work at it. I may never be 100% ok with other dogs, but the progress we’ve made already in the past 2 years is pretty amazing! Mom can even take me on walks and to class with almost no incidents as long as the situation is controlled – you see, Mom has learned the art of desensitising me, distracting me, and keeping me generally in my comfort zone as we learn to get closer to other dogs. As long as they don’t rush at me, I’m even usually ok with them being in my space! Progress!

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2 thoughts on “Blogtober Day 21: Biggest behavioural challenge to overcome

  1. Cooper seems a lot like Choppy – she’s almost six now, and it’s still a daily struggle to socialize her more (which is too bad – once we get through the initial issues, she loves being with other dogs!).

    Like

    • I feel so bad for poor Cooper sometimes, he’s desperate to play, and is such a fun-loving dog at heart, but because he seldom gets through the greeting stage he is stuck just watching the other dogs play while he whines. I hope it gets better for him, and for Choppy!

      Liked by 1 person

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