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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is going to be long, so please bare with me!
I've been working with Brew a lot with his on-leash aggression towards other dogs and he is improving. I've been giving him treats when he sees a dog and does not bark and am teaching him the "quiet" command. Also, if he just starts barking, I have him sit and look at me to refocus his attention. The farmer's market is perfect for this and we also work on this during walks in town and through our neighborhood. I have been seeing lots of improvement with him, but his social skills seem to be a bit off.

He regularly visits with our good friend's 10 month old puppy, Pippa, who is a Llsa Apso something or another designer dog mix(sorry-- can't remember what it's called!) She is not much bigger than him and has a sweet disposition. Brew usually ignores her despite her trying to play with him (she literally follows him around trying to play) and he favors playing with her toys or trying to get OUR attention. Sometimes he barks at her to leave him alone, but he does not seem distressed most of the time. This always takes place at our friend's large house, both inside and outside, sometimes with teenagers around and sometimes not. This is the main dog he socializes with.

He met 3 new dogs today.
The first one is our friend's dog, Chino, and he is a Cavalier King Charles and has a very blase', cat-like attitude. Brew met him in the owner's cafe and was very nice and calm, then promptly ignored Chino. The cafe was quiet and mostly empty.
The second and third dogs are our other friend's(Roxy) and her son's(Abby) very high energy, female small breed mixes. They are about 3-4 times Brewster's size (maybe 20lbs?) and have virtually no manners, slightly pushy, and are sisters. At first, I was holding Brew, but barked a lot and was VERY upset, so we put him in the car. We waited until he settled down (20 minutes or so), then let him meet each dog one by one (first Roxy, who is more hyper, and then Abby, who is a bit calmer) and he took well to them, with no barking at first. We had them all outside and he would mostly ignore them. He barked when they play-bowed and tried to get him to play.

I'm wondering if he does not know what it means when other dogs try to play with him and he mistakes that for aggression. He did have a "cell mate" at the shelter, but he didn't seem interested in playing with him and seemed to mostly ignore him. We have no idea what his prior socialization history is like, if he even HAS been socialized. I notice that he usually prefers to pay attention to people or sniff the ground/area, rather than playing with other dogs.

I appreciate any kind of advice or feedback on how I can help improve his social skills, if they need improving. Thanks!
 

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It took my first rescue, Reggie, about 6 months before he learned to play. He came to me about 6 years old near as we can tell. I had three other dogs that I rescued within a few weeks of him coming here and finally he learned to play but it's not very often and he never plays with toys. And that's ok. That just him. Delilah and Twiggy don't play much, either. Delilah will play with another dog maybe once a month and Twiggy will play only when she is going into heat. Each dog has it's own personality. You can't force a dog to play. lol Just let him be himself and whatever he acts like is just how he is. He's not attacking them, so that's good. Maybe someday he will want to play. I didn't think Abby would ever play until we got Pepe about 8 months after we rescued her. She loves Pepe and they run around the living room having a gay old time. She totally ignores all the other dogs in the house, even Gonzo who is always in the living room with her. So, give him time and he will either start playing when he feels comfortable or finds a dog he wants to play with or not. And that's ok either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It took my first rescue, Reggie, about 6 months before he learned to play. He came to me about 6 years old near as we can tell. I had three other dogs that I rescued within a few weeks of him coming here and finally he learned to play but it's not very often and he never plays with toys. And that's ok. That just him. Delilah and Twiggy don't play much, either. Delilah will play with another dog maybe once a month and Twiggy will play only when she is going into heat. Each dog has it's own personality. You can't force a dog to play. lol Just let him be himself and whatever he acts like is just how he is. He's not attacking them, so that's good. Maybe someday he will want to play. I didn't think Abby would ever play until we got Pepe about 8 months after we rescued her. She loves Pepe and they run around the living room having a gay old time. She totally ignores all the other dogs in the house, even Gonzo who is always in the living room with her. So, give him time and he will either start playing when he feels comfortable or finds a dog he wants to play with or not. And that's ok either way.
That makes me feel better :)

I actually remembered that sometimes he lets Pippa chase him, but that's the most I've ever seen him play with another dog. It's funny because he LOVES to play with us (mainly tug of war) but not with other dogs.

Thanks!
 

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My chis get overwhelmed and scared by rambunctious dogs. If the dogs are calm then my dogs relax. I think many chis are just intimidated and know they can get hurt, even by a 20 lb dog. I am not a big fan of Cesar Milan but I do agree with him entirely on not introducing dogs that are in a state of excitement, even if the owners are interpreting the excitement as play. Dogs need to be calm and relaxed before introductions are made.

If it were me, I would stick with the cavalier and skip the untrained sisters. Brew sounds like a good judge of character!
 
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