I had dogs growing up, but we always lived in the country so I have never dealt with socializing dogs and introducing my dog to other dogs. We just didn’t have many opportunities for visitors on a dead-end, country, dirt road.
When I adopted Ginger, they told me that she didn’t have any issues with other dogs, that she enjoyed running with them, but beyond that, she often enjoyed just being off on her own. Even though I knew this, I was still nervous to take her around other dogs. I wasn’t sure how she would react, if I would be able to handle her should she go crazy. Thankfully, my bf has two Golden Retrievers that he cares for and has raised since they were puppies, so he suggested we do a long walk with the three dogs to see how Ginger would do.
The initial meeting was a bit scary as Murphy (the Golden boy) is very protective of bf and a little defensive with dogs as he’s met 12 too many bad dogs who have tried to attack him (side note: if you’re dog is not friendly towards other dogs, don’t let them roam off-leash in the neighborhoods, please.) He growled and barked a couple times when Ginger came close, so we decided to just begin walking them and let them warm up to each other naturally. It worked! The first mile was rather entertaining. For the most part, they just ignored each other, much more concerned with what there was to sniff, but every few moments, one of them would cross paths with the other and it was like “oh, hey. It’s you….who are you again? Let me sniff you..hmm…meh. I’m over it. Back to sniffing” and that’s what went on for awhile. But mile 2, they were all friends.
Halfway through the walk, we stopped at a secluded, all enclosed tennis court to give Ginger her first off-leash experience with me. I had never seen her off-leash so I had no idea what to expect. I wish I had taken video of it but I was in too much shock. She took off running round and round that tennis court like a race dog! I’m not sure I had ever seen a dog run so fast! Bf threw the tennis ball for Murphy a few times and Ginger would run after Murphy chasing the ball, but she really had no interest in the toy itself.
After about 10 minutes of running fun, it was time to leash back up and keep walking. “OK, Ginger, let’s go!”. Blank stare, then she took off running again. This went on for another 5 minutes before I finally caught her and put the leash back on. Needless to say, we have to work on our recall skills.
We stopped for lunch at Lake Washington and sat on the dock for a rest. Bf’s pups always pay attention to him while mine, being the independent girl she is, always looks away from me. I guess there’s too much to pay attention to.
The rest of the walk went really well, and by the end of the 10 miles, my dog was tiiiiiiiiiiiiiired. We arrived home around 6:00PM and both crashed on the couch for a 2 hour nap before getting up to get ready for bed. Overall, a great adventure, good exercise, and new friends acquired!