Scary strangers went AWESOME!

Just got back from having a picnic with my parents and Pixie. Everyone involved did SO WELL! 😀

Pixie was fantastic, I have never been so proud, & my parents followed every instruction we gave them. It might sound stupid but most people can’t follow the simplest instructions, eg. don’t look at my dog.

I put Pixie in the pupoose as my partner went out to run over the ‘rules’with my parents one last time. The pupoose is the one way Pixie can walk past strangers and unknown dogs without barking or becoming scared, so we utilised it for having her meet strangers for the first time.

We went out to the car park & I stood 30ft from my parents as they collected their bag of food & we all started walking. Pixie was entirely silent!

I kept a good 15+ft from my parents as we walked, & they didn’t interact or look to me at all.  Pixie was able to glance over and have a quick look at them, with no eye contact to scare her.

At the top of the field everyone dumped their bags & sat down. I sat about 10ft away from my partner, with my parents on the other side of him, and let Pixie out of the pupoose.

I walked about with her for five minutes, as she wanted to keep some distance. Exploring calmed her & it was her choice to move closer. Any time she wanted to move away she could, and my parents were still completely ignoring her.

We practised recall around my parents, then I unhooked her and left her trailing a longline to go do what she wanted. I sat with the others. Pixie was very happy doing her own thing, & really wanted to overcome her fear and investigate my parents closer.

As the others ate, me and Pixie went for a mooch & had a mad period of chase, with her tearing about like a loon. We rejoined the picnickers and this time she was taking treats from my dad!!

:yay_jump:

As my dad fed her, he ducked his head so his face was hidden as Pixie approached for the treat, and my mum turned and kept her back to them. AWESOME USE OF BODY LANGUAGE!

The picnic finished with Pixie running about like a loon again (she was EXHAUSTED by the end as she’d played with Rey just before we left!) and everyone laughing at her.

As we were walking home Pixie needed scooping into the pupoose because she was sooo tired, and it’s safe to say my parents adore her 🙂

So yes I am so chuffed with how my parents acted, and I am so immensely proud of Pixie.

When she came to our house we couldn’t even look at her for days. It was weeks before my partner could even stroke her, and it’s only within the last week I’ve been able to pick her up and stroke her on walks.

Today she met strangers for the first time whilst living with us, and didn’t make a peep. She was off lead around them, taking food from them…all this from a dog that is terrified of people and still gets anxious about strangers across the road.

What a truly amazing puppy she is ^__^

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5 thoughts on “Scary strangers went AWESOME!

  1. Oh Pixie you are a total star! And brilliant job from all the humans too, so proud of your parents that they followed the instructions so well and made it such a positive experience and you guys knew exactly what to do to give Pixie the best chance at doing well in the situation. Seriously so happy for you guys, it such a big deal. She is such a sweet puppy and all she needed was the right people and environment to appreciate her and let her come into her personality in her own time and choices. ❤

    • Ahhh thank you 😀 I was honestly over the moon!

      I was really expecting it to go badly, with Pixie reacting to my parents from the pupoose, and it to push her right back to trembling whenever she saw a stranger. And then she goes and doesn’t make a peep, races around happily even with strangers sitting 20ft away, and takes treats off my dad 😀 😀 😀

      My dad got a video of her zooming so hopefully I can share it on the blog 🙂

  2. Sounds like you have a wonderfully empathetic system of helping her overcome her fear. Made good sense. Good to know this for future interactions with strange dogs . Thanks.

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