Lacey is a sweet little pup who loves to be around people and who loves to play with our cat Violet. But she has absolutely no understanding at all of correct social behavior around other dogs, including our dog Glimmer. Instead of sniffing and using play bows to invite interaction, Lacey tends to chase and jump at Glimmer’s face. This makes Glimmer very nervous and anxious, and though she gives the puppy every imaginable cue to tell her she doesn’t like that behavior, Lacey is consistently failing to read those cues. Instead, she becomes more persistent, not less, which makes Glimmer nervous and very fearful. The last time a dog jumped at Glimmer the way Lacey does, it was to attack her, not play with her. Sadly, almost every experience Glimmer has had with other dogs has been negative and traumatic for her, and as a result, she has become anti-social and highly mistrustful around them, even when they are in her house and she knows I have control of them.
Lacey has been fostering with us long enough, now, for me to see quite clearly that this situation must be addressed. So, beginning today, I am putting her through a re-introduction process that will not only help her learn to associate her kennel with calmness and relaxation, it will also teach her how to be calm in the presence of her foster pack. When she is not in her kennel, she will be attached directly to me by a long leash. This will help her learn that in order to have any freedom around her foster pack, she must be calm and she must not jump at or otherwise chase them, even when they invite her to play. She must learn self-restraint, and she must learn to recognize and respect the end of a game when her foster pack lets her know they want to take a break. Having her on a leash will help her learn that only calmness and polite behavior will be rewarded.
It’s going to be quite an adventure. Lacey is a very independent little puppy who wants everything her way, all the time, and if she doesn’t get her way, she howls and throws temper tantrums. It’s going to be quite an interesting journey, helping her become her very best, most balanced self…