Socializing without traumatizing
Ok, so Sigrid and I went for a short walk yesterday just up the block and back, and it was great. She loved it and she met a neighbor lady and it was a very good experience. Then we went to the Environmental Learning Center at the college (think of a very dense nature park with lots of rabbits, ducks, turtles, frogs, birds, trails). We had a great time.
This morning we went for another walk up the block, but today a neighbor was walking his two goldens who were very excited to see her. She seemed interested at first, but quickly got overwhelmed and peed. She pressed up against my legs and laid down on my feet while he and I talked for a minute (the goldens were very good dogs and backed off immediately, so she just watched them afterward). She didn't seem totally freaked out, or anything, but it's hard to tell with her because she seems very submissive (when she is scared she just gets quiet, crouches down against me, and won't move). I gave her a treat after they left and she wasn't too scared to eat it. But I'm so afraid I'm going to traumatize her! That situation was in my control - I could have picked her up or asked my neighbor not to get so close. But I wasn't sure if it would make her more scared if I acted like they were something to be scared of...?
Augie - GSD/Border collie mix, born 1/14/1997
Sigrid - GSD, born 3/14/09
Everything reminds me of my dog. - Jane Siberry