A new couple recently moved into the house behind ours. They have a five month old Golden Retriever, a beautiful, friendly boy, named Maddox. Maddox is fascinated by our ever changing collection of dogs and frequently plants himself next to the fence to watch at whoever’s in the backyard. If I talk to him, tell him what a pretty boy he is, he jumps up on the fence, wagging all over. When Marley and Phoebe were here, they’d race along on one side of the while Maddox raced along the other and all three tried their darnedest to dig under the fence to get to each other.
Since Hera had growled at me in the beginning, I really wasn’t in a hurry to introduce her to Wendy and Little Dog. Yet her needing time to warm up to people in no way indicated she’d have any issues with dogs. The two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. There are many dogs who are thoroughly socialized with other dogs who have issues with people and vice versa. But Hera is a very large, powerful dog and it seemed wiser to wait until she trusted me better and I had established better control.
Saturday morning when I was outside with Hera in the fenced off area on the side – which is separated from the fence that we share with the new neighbors – Hera spotted Maddox across the yards. She watched him for a moment but didn’t bark or growl. Later in the day, when she needed more space to run some energy off, I let her into the main part of our back yard. Maddox saw Hera and began jumping up on the fence. Hera approached, sniffed him through the fence then went back to jogging around the yard.
I wasn’t the only person in the house who Hera had growled at. She’d growled at both Amanda and Steve when they’d gone into the laundry room for various reasons. So this morning, Steve went out to the back patio with a dish of hot dog bites and by the time Hera had had her second bite she was jumping all over him, licking his face, acting as though he was the best person she’d ever met.
And since Hera had greeted Maddox nicely through the fence we decided to have similar introductions with Wendy and Little Dog. While I took Hera back behind the side yard fence, Steve carried Little Dog over. As I fed her treats, Hera looked benignly across at Little Dog – poor Little Dog was too nervous to eat her treats. Feeling confident that Hera wasn’t going to make a meal of Little Dog, I let them in the back yard together. We repeated these steps with Wendy and both dogs enjoyed the treats. Hera wagged her tail and sniffed Wendy, and Wendy tolerated Hera’s presence – that’s about all I can hope for from our “foster dog weary” old girl.
Later in the day, Amanda also fed Hera hot dogs bites. And I hope that puts to rest the growling.
Wendy and Hera in the back yard together: