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Daddy's Woofs and Wags

SO proud of my boy (on-leash 'meet & greet' with a large- male dog)

August 17th 2008 2:19 pm
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Daddy met a Rottweiler/Chow/American Eskimo Dog mix (I personally think he looks like he has some Golden Retriever in him too, but that's just speculation, noone got to see the pups' father). I've been anxiously awaiting the day when the dog's owners brought the dog over; Daddy likes other dogs but he has been leash-reactive in the past, and I didn't know how this other dog would react to another male dog of medium size; the other dog tends to be protective of his owners, undestandably, and when he was a pubecent dog he got attacked into a tussle with the older, altered male Doberman that used to live in his house, so I was prepared for the worst.

It started off by Daddy seeing him outside in our backyard, my mother's dog, Peg, was barking (getting a bit senile in her old age), so I figured that Daddy would pick up on that and get upset as well. Well, to my surprise when he saw the other dog his tail was low-set and going a mile a minute, his hackles weren't up, his head and ears were relaxed, and there was no tension. He even started making his playful excitement noise. So I decided then to put him on the leash and head-halter, becuase I was sure that once I did that the leash-reactivity would set in, so I watched for all the 'warning signs' (stiff or stiffly wagging tail, high-raised tail, fearful or nervous behavior, hackles, etc), and even more surprisingly, having the leash/halter on didn't change things one bit. The other dog didn't even seem like he noticed Daddy, he was just like 'meh another dog, big whoop'.

So I asked the other dog's owner if it was alright to bring Daddy out since he had the halter on, and she said that was fine, so I took him out and made him stand by my side so they didn't greet face-to-face. Daddy ears were up now and his head was wrinkled, so I got a little concerned, but his stance and tail kept relaxed and he began wagging his tail happily and I had him sit by my side; he sat the whole time until I told him he could get up. Then my brother's cat showed up, and I was figuring Daddy would get overwhelmed by TWO new visitors, but he was completely gentle with the cat too, and when the cat arched his back, Daddy sat down and just looked at him until my mother picked him up and took him back to my brother's room.

There was a bit of a scare though, when I turned Daddy where he could face the other dog after a few minutes the other dog made a huff/growl noise and erected his ears, Daddy still had a completely relaxed body; then, to my total surprise (because again, he has been leash-reactive in the past) Daddy actually put his front paws on the ground, his bum in the air in a play bow and started wagging his stick-tail all over the place before making his playful-excitement noise, he actually wanted to play with the other dog on leash! I thought for sure Daddy would get nervous/scared when the other dog made that niose, but he was just completely submissive about it, and then after the other dog didn't make any play motions he just went over and started trying to play with my mother and just ignored the large visitor. He was even upset when the other dog left, he looked at me, then looked at the dog, then looked and me and whined before running in the living room to go find a toy.

I am so happy right now, and so proud of Daddy. He wasn't leash-reactive in the petco either when he got his updated rabies vaccine, or when he, one of my friends, and I brought him with us on the way to the nearest convenience store, I think he's finally getting over his leash-reactivity/nervousness, putting the past behind him. I praised him a lot the whole time he was good with the other dog and afterwards of course too. I really wish the other dog were more playful, they would probably make great playmates if he were.


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