Encouraging Site to see
Well, this weekend I brought my doxie to the park. There were lots of animals, kids, people, and loud things going on. We walked around for about an hour. Just randomly moved about the park slowly so my doxie could take it all in.
She did not like the animals to much, she barked excessively at the chickens, pigs, rabbits, and the horse. (can you imagine a little doxie barking and scaring a horse?). What was good, was we walked away from the Petting zoo for a bit and came back about 20 minutes later. She slowly approached the same animals again and this time she did not bark at them or growl. She actually jumped up to smell the horse. She was nose to nose to the horse, until the horse opened its mouth. Then she barked again. But, I thought this was a good sign.
Well, then I walked her around the kids play around. There were tons of kids running, screaming, and playing. It was a perfect spot. I brought April right in the middle of the action to have her just observe everything. She was actually pretty good. Just sat there and watched everything go past her. The only time she barked was when the kids would run toward her and scream pretty close to her. Which only happened once. She had tons of kids come up to her and I brought a lot of training treats, for them to feed her and get close to her. I sat there for about 15 minutes and then we walked away.
What made me feel good, was during Easter, we were with our family, and there are two children under the age of 6. She usually would bark excessively at them. However, this time, she walked up to them smelled them and played with them. Much better than past.
I think this is a good thing. I think that with a lot of patience and a lot of time, April will adjust nicely. I am going to take her every weekend I have open to some kind of park, whether it is a normal park or it is a dog park. The next time will be a dog park, but one step at a time. She needs to get comfortable with people and kids first. Then I will adjust her to other dogs, (other than the ones in our family already).
Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how socialize April other ways, other than parks and dog parks?