Barker Posey has been getting her skills put to the test. And my skills have been tested, too. We waited less than 2 months for another chance to foster. I admit, I was nervous again. I worried about it and still find myself thinking it’s too good to be true. But this time, I think it’s all true.
We got a call from a couple of angelic rescuers (Goddesses really) about a dog that desperately needed to get away from it’s humans. (Mister Rogers #keepup) We agreed to take him as a foster for many reasons. Later I realized how little we knew about this dog, This may have been the best worst decision ever.
When we brought Mister home, we followed the general guidelines for dog introduction. We walked them together, let them sniff asses, you know, don’t rush a friendship. Vito seemed to be a little apprehensive. He has some resource guarding behaviors that we are working on. Now there’s this dog, coming onto his territory, receiving all the attention and love. Vito didn’t care for it, but he warmed up.
Barker came right over and just stood there. JUST STOOD THERE. She let M.R. sniff her and play bow and act silly while she assessed him like it was her full time job. Barker Posey, my, “I WILL KILL YOU,” dog was patiently assessing this new animal in her territory. After a few minutes, she dropped, rolled, and the friendship began.
Their play was the typical big dog, knock things over, tail destroying the house kind of play. Barker likes that stuff. But when M.R., with his still intact hormones flowing, tried to mount her…
OH SHIT! CAN YOU IMAGINE HER REACTION?
She corrected him and moved on. He did it again, she warned him, and moved on. And when she perceived Vito being too rough or too mean, she would step in and regulate. Barker Posey would get in between them and make Vito break. I am currently shaking my head remembering how amazing that was to witness.
Since we’ve had him in our home, there have been a couple times where Mr Rogers and Barker Posey and Vito have gone too far, with playing or not accepting feedback or one startling one of the others. That happens in well-adjusted dogs that have been friends for a while. We will take those few spats.
Barker and I are here to tell you there is hope. Maybe you have a dog that is reactive, loud, a jerk on a leash, an asshole. We are reminding you, don’t give up. Training, a strong relationship, leadership, and practice are things you NEED. Oh, and your dog, too. There are tons of trainers out there. There are many training philosophies. Find one that suits your philosophy and stick with it. The rewards are amazing.