This may sound super bizarre, but I just don’t know how to handle a dog that actually loves people. And not just people, but strangers! It’s so foreign to me and frankly, I’m baffled.
Of course I’m being dramatic but as someone who has exclusively fostered timid and weary dogs, Hattie’s personality is unchartered territory for me.
Growing up, all of our dogs were super friendly with people. But as soon as I got into rescue, I realized this was not always the case.
And the truth is that rescues are full of dogs that love everyone they meet! But after fostering a timid pup and training her to come out of her shell, my rescue in Chicago saw this as my strength and we mutually agreed that this would kind of be my specialty. I’m not complaining at all – I absolutely love seeing dogs flourish and become more confident. The experience of training a dog to become comfortable in not-so-comfortable situations was so incredibly rewarding.
But Hattie? Hattie doesn’t need this kind of training. The girl is pretty darn easy going.
Of course, this doesn’t mean our little monkey is perfect. She certainly has some issues to conquer, but having her already socialized with new people is kind of a breath of fresh air.
So my goal? Keep Hattie social and confident. This is kind of a juggling act when I’m alone with both dogs, especially on walks and hikes. I worry about Ru’s weariness rubbing off on her unintentionally. Since she looks up to him so much, I get nervous about her reading his negative signals and starting to doubt herself. That would be a super bummer, guys.
As of right now, my solution is to only let her interact with dogs and people I know that Rufus also trusts. And when I have an extra set of arms (in the shape of a handsome boyfriend), I can give her more spontaneous interactions when we’re out and about. And who knows? Maybe her confidence and trusting nature will start to rub off on my troubled little man!