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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Back From Camping with Willow

We are back from a 10 day camping trip. I'm so far behind on emails and forum news. I know there are a lot of newbies and I want to welcome all of you!

Willow is such a good camper. Loves being outside all the time and going on interesting walkies. I'm so glad she is back in a puppy cut. Sooooo much easier! One thing I have to watch for is Burdock! Oh my word what a mess when she gets into the seed pods. They are like the worst velcro bundles of little balls of stickers. Oh my she got them stuck to her face twice and once on her leg. Horrible burrs! I'm so glad Willow sleeps through the night - even in the RV. Not a peep out of her.

One thing though that is a problem is that she doesn't like children. Once they are in their early teens she is ok but the little ones are a problem. It's so embarrassing. She'll growl at them. And of course there are lots of kids when we camp. Unfortunately, we have no kids where we live. Everyone is over 50 or older where we live so I really don't have a way to daily expose her to the little ones.

Other than that, she is great.



Jackie & Willow
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 02:21 PM
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What a fun trip and Willow really is such a good girl! I'll bet she gets a lot of "what a cute dog" comments!

Oh those little sticky balls! I didn't know what they were called. My Hallie would get those and look like a beaded purse. (longhaired doxie). I'll bet Willows face took a while to pull them all out of.

Sophie was a little hesitant around children when I first got her too as she had had a bad experience. When kids would move quickly up to her she would back thru my legs and growl. So I was always trying to avoid that happening. I too don't have little children around so I started taking her to playgrounds at parks and sit on the ground near the swings etc. Eventually kids would always either come running to see the puppy or the nicer ones would ask first. I had treats on me and I'd ask them if they could help me by being very calm and sit down in front of us and give her a treat. I also went to a neighors house who knows Sophie would have never bitten anyone and let those kids pet and feed her as well.

She now has totally gotten over it in fact when I got my hair cut last week (I love our stylist she books us when no one else is there then locks the salon doors so Sophie can run loose) her partner came in with her 3 yr old boy and when he did a little hop and squeal when he saw her, she ran over to him and put her paws on his chest, trying to kiss his face and wagging her tail. She play bowed and he took off running and giggling and she chased him and played with him for quite some time. It was adorable (he had good parents that kept reminding him to be calmer) and made me feel good to see how far she has come with kids.

Do you know anyone at all with even one small child willing to work with you? Do you think Willow would actually nip a child?

Glad to hear she is doing great otherwise! She's a lucky girl.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 03:58 PM
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And... just where are your pictures, Jackie?!

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2017, 11:09 PM
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We had a new dog over for a play date, and Shama growled at him. I figured they were just negotiating their terms of play (i.e., that Shama was boss), but I still didn't like it.

I agree with Dee Dee that you might still be able to work with Willow on this. And I agree with Sheri that we need some photos!

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 03:04 PM
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I have heard it said that all dogs don't have to like all people/dogs, and they have personalities, too. We do need to be polite, of course! But, we don't have to be buddies with those we don't like.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 03:06 PM
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Glad you all had a good time.

I suppose any kids nearby should have parents with them before they approach your dog.
And they should ask first?

I always get down real low with them. "Let Henry smell you first."
Real small kids, under 3, I normally say "no". They grab a little too much for Henry.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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And... just where are your pictures, Jackie?!
Oh my gosh. I never took one photo! I am the world's worst when it comes to that. I used to be obsessed with taking pictures back in the "olden days" when we used film. I loved taking the film in to get developed and then getting the envelope back full of pictures was like opening a present! Now with the digital cameras I hardly ever use it. Basically it's because I hate going through the work of downloading all the pictures. I take so many that I can't decide which to keep and which to delete. Then I don't know how to organize them very well on my computer in order to find them again. I hate the expense of printing them all because the paper stock and toner is expensive!

Sometimes I think the days before computers and all this digital stuff was so much easier!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-11-2017, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments and tips and getting Willow used to children. I know it's the way children move and act that is causing Willow's reaction. I can tell Willow's reaction is one of uncertainty and a little fearfulness. I don't think she would nip unless they kept coming at her and seemed like they were going to hurt her. The kids never do that as the growling keeps them away. We don't know anyone with little kids and live in a rural area that really doesn't have playgrounds close by. There have been a few occasions where I was able to try and get a young person to calmly try and give Willow a treat, but Willow would just back away.

When Willow was younger, she wasn't like this. I think it all started on one camping trip when a little girl was trying to play with Willow. Willow seemed to be playing back but then the girl got a little bit too aggressive in play and was kind of lunging at Willow to get her to bark. At the time I thought Willow was playing back but now I wonder.

Dee Dee, I'm glad you got Sophie over her fear of children. It's funny how dogs will take to some people and not others. There has been occasions where Willow will back away from an adult too, but I think it's all in how they approach her. Sometimes they will just walk towards her with their hand out rather than letting Willow approach them.

I remember one time with my corgi when we were camping. She was asleep next to me in her bed and both my husband and I were reading. All of a sudden this little toddlers takes a flying leap onto Foxy and starts cuddling her. Poor dog! It was so fortunate that she was patient and liked children. Foxy just looked at me like, "Help!". None of us saw the child coming. I told the mom that she was lucky that Foxy was not aggressive. Now if that had happened with Willow, I don't really know what she would have done.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 09:54 AM
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I have heard it said that all dogs don't have to like all people/dogs, and they have personalities, too. We do need to be polite, of course! But, we don't have to be buddies with those we don't like.
Good point, Sheri.

I would also add that growling is an early warning signal that the dog is uncomfortable. There are some dogs who can NEVER accept young children. They are noisy, unpredictable, move fast, and to a Havanese, are STILL HUGE in comparison. It's really a wonder that AANY of them accept small children!

Don't be embarrassed by your dog giving a perfectly appropriate warning to stay back. Explain to the children (and parents) that your dog is shy and worried about children. Then, IF willow is up to it (not all dogs are) do the things Dee Dee suggested. But don't force it on Willow. You can train a growl out of a dog pretty easily. And THOSE are the dogs that eventually "bite with no warning", because their early warning system has been taken away.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
When Willow was younger, she wasn't like this. I think it all started on one camping trip when a little girl was trying to play with Willow. Willow seemed to be playing back but then the girl got a little bit too aggressive in play and was kind of lunging at Willow to get her to bark. At the time I thought Willow was playing back but now I wonder.
Yeah, that doesn't sound like play. Dogs will rarely play with a stranger like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Dee Dee, I'm glad you got Sophie over her fear of children. It's funny how dogs will take to some people and not others. There has been occasions where Willow will back away from an adult too, but I think it's all in how they approach her. Sometimes they will just walk towards her with their hand out rather than letting Willow approach them.
I believe in advocating for my dogs. Kodi never met anyone he didn't like. Both the girls are more "discerning". I stop ANYONE unknown from approaching my dogs. If it's Panda, I say, "Crouch down and let her smell your hand." That's all it takes with her. If it's Pixel, who can be VERY cautious with strangers, I tell them just ignore her. Don't look at her and talk to me. IF she comes to you, THEN you can scratch her shoulder with one hand. Pixel won't go to everyone, and rarely to children she doesn't know. But once she knows you and has decided you aren't scary, she is friends for life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
I remember one time with my corgi when we were camping. She was asleep next to me in her bed and both my husband and I were reading. All of a sudden this little toddlers takes a flying leap onto Foxy and starts cuddling her. Poor dog! It was so fortunate that she was patient and liked children. Foxy just looked at me like, "Help!". None of us saw the child coming. I told the mom that she was lucky that Foxy was not aggressive. Now if that had happened with Willow, I don't really know what she would have done.
That's EXACTLY why we always put up our ex-pen gates by the RV. It is to protect my dogs at LEAST as much as to keep them in. Our dogs, in particular, are attractive nuisances, especially with kids, but even with adults who don't know good dog etiquette. With the ex-pens, they stand by the gates, and the dogs come to them... Or they don't. Interestingly, this summer, Pixel seemed to decide that the ex-pen kept her "safe", and she regularly approached friendly strangers and let them gently stroke her with that barrier between them. Something she would NEVER do on-leash.
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