Did you know that stranger danger is real? Like, paralyzingly real?
We’ve been considering getting Hazel into behavioral training lately, not because she isn’t a wonderful pup, but because she has this intense fear of the unknown; unknown dogs, unknown people. Her “Stranger Danger” barometer is sensitive, and I can’t help but think we have somehow played a role in that-despite playgroups and outings and general attempts at desensitization.
Hazel has her pack. Barnaby and Wesley (and Cooper) are her family. She is totally content with them but that doesn’t leave room for anything, or anyone, else. She’s 8 months and although we think she’s got a large world of travel and play and love, I know her opt-in idea on isolationism will only get worse…so with that, we’ve got two appointments with trainers. Both have different philosophies on training so we’ll see which one resonates best with our dog parenting intuition/ dog know-how-nothingness. Both, however, did immediately point out it was likely our fault, which was lovely but probably true.
“Hazel has her pack.”
Have you experienced a similar situation? What did you do? I can’t begin to imagine what scares her so badly, when there is no common denominator of the size, shape, creed of dog or human she encounters, except that they are UNKNOWN. She has been with us since 5 weeks, has no traumatic history, and is instantaneously nippy, hackles raised and on the defensive when strangers pay her attention (good attention OR bad). I am so sad and frustrated because I don’t know how to help her. We can’t just keep her tucked away, that is no solution-we also can’t force her to like dogs that scare her, or allow humans to pet her that she shies away from.
Yeah for parenting fails.
Also, Hazel is a burrower as you can see in this photo. My roommate took this photo, so this is what she does when we are AND are not home. The look in her eyes implies she knows we have scheduled training appointments…I can almost hear her giving us the finger.
On the win side, we enjoyed epic rain-induced naps this weekend. Always a silver lining!
Have a great Monday.