A new dog Lily (spoodle) joins the dog-pack for the first time
As a pro dog walker I have had many situations where our dog pack has encountered new dogs in the park for the first time. Some are social, some have had very little exposure to other dogs off lead.
This short post is about Lily the spoodle who at under a year old did amazingly well with our dog pack for the first time.
I always see a clients dog in their own home, with my very social spoodle to gauge socialisation and any issues that may occur at dog parks. Though this is only really a first pass estimation. A very friendly dog in their owner’s home can act very confident but when out in an off lead environment without their owner may be very scared or aggressive.
The different with Lily is that her owner has taken her out regularly and I had met her at the park once before. This didn’t guarantee that when I was to pick her up on my own, and put her in the back of my car with the social dog pack, that she would be very socially aware and know what was appropriate to do.
The amazing thing was that very early on in the walk, she accessed the levels of each dog in our pack, and mostly went about her own business but still stayed quite close to me and the pack, having no real issue with recall.
Lily acted very well when we met dogs coming the other way, and didn’t go out of her way to be submissive as some young, first time dogs will do.
The only hiccup that she encountered in her nearly flawless behaviour card was taking on the staffy in the group for a chase. The staffy has a muzzle for the one percent of the times when over excitement has potential to go further than is acceptable.
In this case Lily ran past the staffy so many times encouraging it to chase her that she was lucky the dog had a muzzle. She could outrun the dog, which is a flaw that many fast dogs can have in thinking speed has them rise above others in the pack or other packs. She and other dogs don’t always realise that they may not have the endurance to keep up the chase or that they will eventually have to stop.
I was easily able to calm down the excitement when Lily stopped but she quickly became aware of her limitations and rolled onto her back to submit herself for examination to other members of the pack too. She didn’t have to do this, and I didn’t encourage it, but she realised that perhaps an error in her judgement would make things better with the pack again if she did this. The pack didn’t really care that she was submitting, they were curious and puzzled if anything.
Suffice to say that Lily passed with flying colours and at only a year old shows very impressive social skills for her first visit with the off lead dog pack. A credit to herself and her owner for putting the time into her socialisation as much as the obvious affection that she gives Lily !
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