Emma and New People-dogs - first contact
I want to make sure I handle this correctly. Emma is great with everyone in the house and when my daughter comes over (aonce a week) - no barking - all love and play.
She met her first strangers and a neighborhood dog in the past few days. So folks know she is just over 13 weeks. She is my first pure bred GSD - had a mixed breed (GSD/border collie) before.
First was the plumbers coming to fix a leak. She barked up a storm keeping her distance. I told her it was OK and tried to get her to come closer on her own - no go. I kept reassuring her it was OK. She did stop barking after a bit while I worked with the folks on the issue. They were in the house for about 30 minutes. She did get a lot closed in the end and let one of them pet her but was very stand offish. She allowed the pet then backed off and barked - then her lunge nip mode. I put her on a leash and tied her to the door knob - close enough to see but not bite. She did fine, just laid down and watched. As they left she started barking again, but would not go near them.
Second event was a short walk. I kept to the center of the road so she would not get into other poo. Sandy - and elderly dog (Golden Retriever) that wanders the neighborhood came out from a neighbors yard barking. Sandy is a very fun loving dog that played with my golden a lot, so I was not too concerned. Emma was very defensive in posture and barking. At first behind me, moving forward to in front facing Sandy. I allowed Sandy to approach and as she got closer Emma got very agressive on the leash, growling and barking and actually scared Sandy off. Sandy is probably 5 times her current size. As Sandy walked off, Emma was still barking, but it seemed more calm like she wanted to play - pulling hard on the leash. We were following in the direction Sandy went. I did not let Emma get close enough to Sandy to actually see if she would play as the Vet said no contact - not until she has all of her shots.
Third event is as we were walking up to our driveway our neighbor came home. he is very good with animals, has a little inside dog and manages his fathers ranch. Emma again was very stand offish, barking, etc. Jim actually nealed down and showed the back of his hand. Emma did come forward and sniff the hand, but as Jim tried to pet she growled, jumped back and barked. Jim was very understanding and said she just needed more time.
I did not have treats available - should I have? Am I approaching this correctly. All of my past dogs just loved everybody, but golden retrievers are like that. Emma does get her shots at the end of the week that will allow us to do more.
Thoughts for next time - I want to do this right so Emma is friendly to everyone.