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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
Linda
 
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Progress Being Made!

Dexter actually played with another dog at the dog park today! Dexter chased a friendly Miniature Schnauzer. I was so excited!

Dexter watched the Schnauzer running around (I mean running all over the place and around us)...they are fast! Dexter and the Schnauzer were the only dogs at the dog park (this makes a difference). When more dogs were present and playing, Dexter was not interested today.

There was a little Jack Russell terrier that loves to climb all over Dexter, this is when I have to pick Dexter up and separate and go to another area of the park.

Dexter is great with the quiet dogs that are not overly friendly. Dexter is actually smelling the other dogs now.

Being at the dog park is the only contact that Dexter has with dogs for now....



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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 06:28 PM
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That's great news, Linda!! You must be so excited! Its so exciting when our "high-maintenance" havs make progress I'm still waiting for Lola to make progress with her fear of people - if only we could give Dexter some of Lola's love for dogs and give Lola some of Dexter's love for people
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 07:08 PM
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Go Dexter-get out there and mingle!

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 08:13 PM
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Glad to hear he is getting more confident. Just one thing you might want to consider. What happens if you don't pick Dexter up and a dog is playing with him or bugging him? Could you be creating issues by always picking him up?

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 09:03 PM
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Yay Dexter! I'm so glad to hear he was playing with the other little guy
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2009, 09:37 PM
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Good going Linda. You've got the right idea. Just keep the greetings with other dogs low key. If you like the dog park just make sure there aren't too many dogs and get to know the dogs one by one to see whether Dexter will like them. Keep up the great work with Dexter.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ama0722 View Post
Glad to hear he is getting more confident. Just one thing you might want to consider. What happens if you don't pick Dexter up and a dog is playing with him or bugging him? Could you be creating issues by always picking him up?
I tend to agree. Sometimes this happens to Sophie. Usually she will get in their face and tell the other dog "enough" by snapping at them. Other times I would have to touch the other dog and say "hey", then create some space between her and her tormentor. If the other dog calmed down, I would then allow them to sniff and greet, otherwise I would just ask Sophie to follow me and we would walk away.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ama0722 View Post
Glad to hear he is getting more confident. Just one thing you might want to consider. What happens if you don't pick Dexter up and a dog is playing with him or bugging him? Could you be creating issues by always picking him up?
I am very low keyed at the park and walk around the park very slowly, so Dexter can smell every area.

When the other dogs jump on Dexter (usually one) the dog is all over Dexter, if Dexter got away from the dog, Dexter would run away with tail between legs, Dexter would be very low to the ground and take off away from me and the dog or dogs now would chase Dexter and they would be all over Dexter (I have seen Dexter get tumbled around) scared look on his face, run to the exit gate and very frighten.

The quiet dogs and not so quiet dogs will come up to Dexter and smell him and the other dogs will often walk away and while they are walking away Dexter will smell them. Dexter has been watching the other dogs in the park for a long time and it was finally Dexter who initiated play.

Often dogs at the park will run to their owner (around their legs) when they cannot handle a situation and use the owner as a base and protection (I have seen this behavior quite often in the park). I have seen Dexter do this behavior by staying around my legs for protection, in the mean time, the behaved dogs will smell Dexter... I am very low keyed and telling Dexter "It's ok," in an assuring calm voice.

It is the OVERLY friendly (excited) dogs that Dexter cannot handle, the ones who are jumping all over Dexter and getting in his face and their nails scratching all over Dexter (Not fun to watch). This happened to Dexter in the very beginning and it terrorized Dexter and it has taken me, I know over 7 months to make the progress of Dexter playing with another dog that was not behind a fence.

Dexter still plays with Bailey (Beagle) next door....Bailey is behind a fence. Both Dexter and Bailey will run back and forth playing along the fence.
Dexter and Bailey is another story...

Bailey is also one of those overly friendly dogs. When Dexter and Bailey meet at the fence, Bailey often rolls on her back in a submissive behavior.

I am sorry this is so long....but, I like to talk and make sure all the details are clear.

I so want Dexter to play with other dogs and run like you know what in the park. Patience....be still my heart, I so want another dog, but I wanted to wait until Dexter was over a year old and then.......I need to work on dh.

Dexter and I still have lots to do at the park....and, it will take lots of patience. We made a big break through with Dexter playing (Dexter chasing the dog). Dexter will have to learn to be more confident with the greeting, to be chased by other dogs in play, learn to stand up for himself when he has had enough, learn the submissive roll when needed for some dogs, and who knows what else....I'll let you know when I see it. It is a learning experience for both of us. Thanks for listening to me. You guys are the greatest support system!



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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 11:13 PM
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Good for Dexter!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 09:02 AM
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Linda, Do you have any dog training facilities near you? If so, they often offer "free play" periods, that are supervised by the owners AND one of the trainers from the facility. At the one I belong to, they are great at making sure that no dog is terrorized by others, and that they learn to play well together.

Kodi was very shy with the other dogs when we started going there, and they made sure that he had plenty of play time with very gentle, quieter dogs until he became more confident. Obviously, he's a little dog, and will never be able to hold his own with a rambunctious sub-adult Husky or German Shepherd, but he will now happily play with even big dogs as long as they aren't too wild, and he can hold his own even with scrappy little terriers. His play skills are so good that the trainer often invites Kodi to stay and socialize with the puppies in the class after ours on Sat. mornings if there aren't enough small puppies to play with each other. (it's a drop-in class, and it sometimes happens that there is a horde of large-breed puppies, and one or two little ones)

I don't know whether I would have had the skill to be able to pair Kodi with the RIGHT playmates to develop his confidence and social skills with other dogs, and I'm _sure_ I couldn't have done it in the context of a dog park, where you don't know whether the other dogs are an appropriate match, or whether their owners can/will control them.

One other thing... Kodi often gets "rolled" by bigger dogs. In the beginning, this scared him, even if it was obvious to us that the dog meant no harm. He would run back to me for protection, and we would let him stay there until he felt brave enough to venture out again. Now, he can tell when the bigger dog is just playing, even if he ends up on his back. Once they let him up (which is quickly, or we would intervene) he is right back in the mix, chasing the big dog. He sure wouldn't do that if he wasn't having fun. One thing he DOESN'T like (and it sounds like this is what you were saying Dexter dislikes too) is when a bigger dog paws at him with their front feet. Now, though, he's learned to TELL them he doesn't like it, and if they are nice dogs, they back off. One big Golden that he plays with frequently will even roll belly-up for him, which is pretty funny to see!<g>

If you could get Dexter into an environment where there was some control of the OTHER dogs, you might make faster progress with his dog-socialization skills.


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