The Elusive Well-Balanced Rescue Dog.

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.

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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.

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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!

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Maybe.

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9 thoughts on “The Elusive Well-Balanced Rescue Dog.

  1. That’s great to hear! I know what you mean, though, with being a bit baffled on how to raise a dog who was already socially confident! Pyrrha, and then our five subsequent fosters, all had varying levels of fear issues. But then we met Eden, who never met a stranger, and we were confused! Ha. I am happy to report, though, that her social butterfly-nature has rubbed off some on Pyrrha; Pyrrha is now much less timid about house guests and meeting strange adults in general, partially I think because of her new sister’s enthusiasm for human beings. Good luck! Love hearing more about Hattie.

  2. she has a smile on her face. Momwithoutpaws when she chose me it was because I loved her right away that is also why she trained me to be a registered therapy dog

  3. I love your Rufus posts/photos, but now I love them even more with Hattie in! She looks adorable, and I love their collars 🙂 Enjoy your socialisation fun with her, that’s one of the things I love about being a dog walker 🙂

  4. I am in the same situation with Trevor! He absolutely ADORES people to the point where small children grab him into a bear hug and he just licks them on the head and wags! Now to socialise him with dogs…!

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