waffles Posted April 28, 2012 Report Share Posted April 28, 2012 Some of you may remember that our boy Levi was petrified of other dogs when we got him a year and a half ago. He was already a year and a half old at the time, raised outside on a farm with his only exposure to other dogs being the ones he lived with. The male dogs were not nice to him. So when we brought him home he would cower, growl, tail tucked to his belly at the sight of any dog within a few houses of us. We would be on a walk and he was terrified of any dog, no matter size or demeanor, he wanted nothing to do with them. In the time we have had him he has met hundreds of dogs of all kinds. Most people would have thought he was on the edge of fear aggressive (even though he has never harmed a dog) with dogs but we worked endlessly with him to build his confidence and he made slow steady progress. It took 5 months before he even showed interest on his own in another dog. He quickly got to the point of tolerating polite dogs but couldn't stand annoying rude dogs. Over time he has built up a lot more patience for rude dogs (mostly because he knows we will step in before he has to). We can take him to friends and family's houses and he can get along with dogs he originally hated in the beginning. He has no problem now hiking, swimming and playing ball with other dogs around but pretty much ignores them the whole time. But, I always said I secretly wanted him to have 1 friend, just 1 dog he could play with-actually roughhouse with. I loved that he was okay with almost all dogs and that was more than enough for me. I was just happy he wasn't living in fear every time we left the house that he might have to meet a strange dog. However... last night, we saw him for the first time ever... play! with a dog!!! Typically if a dog tried to play with him he would chase them off or freeze and whine out of anxiety. But, we just moved to a rural area with land and our neighbors 9 month old female husky (a dog that would have been his worst nightmare before) kind of wanders all over. They met once last week and all was fine but she came over last night when we were out and in 5 minutes they were romping, jumping, chasing, nibbling ears, punching each other...I couldn't believe what was happening and it went on for 20min til it was dark. All the hard work we did had already paid off but this was icing on the cake. This was truly unbelievable. He looked like a puppy, so blissfully happy. We spent so much time doing LAT, exposing him to situations to challenge him and making sure we stepped in when he was about to be overwhelmed. I have on countless occasions grabbed strangers dogs that were barreling at him and given owners a lesson on why they shouldn't allow their dogs to run up to strangers. It was not always easy and he still meets dogs every so often he doesn't care for,, he is still a border collie that has a large personal space bubble with dogs. I wanted to give a little hope and inspiration for others who have fearful dogs. With a lot of patience and the right knowledge (my dog has taught me a lot!) you really can bring your dog up to a level where you both can enjoy life together more. Don't be afraid to push yourself and your dog, just know your limits. I remember a lot of people told me I should just deal with his fear cause that was just how he was. I did not think that was fair to my dog. He shouldn't live in fear and his life is 100x's better now. He doesn't have to stay home when we go somewhere with other dogs and he is so much more confident. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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