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Hi everybody! 

I begin to foster with intent to adopt my sweet girl Rhea just shy of a month ago. She was great with other dogs - not playful, but loved to meet new dogs on our walks. We live in a major city so we run into dogs of all breeds, shapes, sizes, and temperaments. Rhea never reacted to other dogs' barking or aggression before and simply paid no mind to leash reactive dogs we encountered. I always keep a safe distance if I feel any other dogs may not be safe or may be too excitable. 

However - several days ago, Rhea greeted an Irish Wolfound in the entrance hall of our building. I had seen this dog around often and had never witnessed him/her bark or show keen interest in other dogs. They sniffed hello but after a moment the dog barked and lunged at Rhea. She was able to jump out of the way and nobody was hurt but it was a truly scary experience. She is now terrified of other dogs and attempts to run out of the way when we see even tiny dogs on our walks.

Any advice on how to re-socialize her is welcome. My parents own Great Danes and it is absolutely necessary that Rhea get along with them. As mentioned, we live in a major city and encountering other dogs multiple times a day is unavoidable. To keep it short, it is not an option for me to have a dog that is not good with other dogs. I understand I am not free of fault in this situation - going forward I will not allow her to interact with any dogs without having a conversation with their owner first, and I should never have allowed her to engage with another dog in close quarters like that. I have been bringing treats with me on walks and giving her a treat as soon as we see another dog approaching and after we have walked past to try to associate these dogs with something yummy and fun - but I am not sure if this is the right approach. By giving her a treat, could I be reinforcing her scared behavior? Any and all comments are welcome. Thank you! 

Edited by AnglovesRhea
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It's exactly the right thing to do.  Reward the behavior you want, ignore the behavior you don't.  Timing is everything when working through a behavioral issue.

As I just wrote in your other thread - time and patience.  She just needs more time to work through her anxiety.  The good news is, she does seem to be aboe to do so.  Just give her the extra time and support she needs.

When the lockdown is over and you're considering introductions to your parents Danes, do so on neutral ground - a park or other quiet walking place - and meet them one at a time.  Don't everwhelm her with meeting two giant dogs at once.  Then, just walk together for a while and don't force them to interact.  I would probably do this 3 or 4 times (with each Dane) before I let them interact off leash in a secure area.  This way she has a chance to process the meetings herself.  Try and make sure the walks end with a nice yummy treat and a positive experience.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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