No Trespassing! Woof!

I have noted in numerous Posts that Ray was originally afraid of anybody he did not know, and we can only speculate on the possible reasons as he was originally picked up as a stray with no known history.

Here we are 2-1/2 years later, and we have a much improved Ray living with us. I really don’t think that he is totally relaxed when meeting strangers, but he is cooperative and shows all the expected signs of at least being sociable. He is not outgoing to the point of inviting attention as some dogs do but then, neither am I with a total stranger (Sandra Bullock could be an exception!).

Just recently, he made a giant leap forward by actually responding positively to our neighbor’s voice. He heard Lisa talking in her driveway and immediately dragged us over to see her! Their relationship has been a little sensitive because she was one of the first people that he seemed to accept after moving in here, but a few months later, he wanted nothing to do with her. Her attention was met with his lunge and bark routine.

In view of his recent interest in going to see her after hearing her voice, we were quite happy drawing the conclusion that not only is Ray comfortable around us and Heather (a trainer at OMHS* and our “Ray sitter”), but we could probably now add Lisa to his very short list of accepted friends!

This was further confirmed when we came back from evening walks and Lisa was on her front deck. Ray would immediately start pulling us up her driveway where he would occasionally even touch noses with her. Needless to say we were all (especially Lisa) very pleased with the way that things were developing.

As you may have guessed by the direction this Post is going, Ray, once again, proved us wrong!

We were in our back garden and Lisa came down our driveway to the back gate. Ray immediately went into his lunge and bark routine. The obvious difference in circumstances was the location and so, based on that, Ray would appear to be extremely protective of “his” territory!

Who would have thought that getting Ray to accept other people would have to be done in stages?

Stage 1: Outside the home.

Stage 2: On his territory.

In hindsight, I guess it should have been rather obvious but then, “in hindsight” usually is isn’t it? Our challenge now is to persuade Ray to accept specific individuals on the property, but to deter others!

*The Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

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11 thoughts on “No Trespassing! Woof!

  1. I’m sure Ray will always be a bit protective of the homestead…most dogs are and even Sam goes ballistic with the mail carrier even tho he absolutely loves her when I accept the mail. Good to see Ray is making progress with whom he accepts and tolerates. Baby steps are always good for confidence. Ear scratches for Ray!

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  2. There is a blind woman who walks to work every morning, and we usually see her while Sammie is out to potty. 9 mornings out of 10, Sammie doesn’t pay her any attention. For whatever reasons, 1 morning out of 10 she barks at her and runs up to her (without getting close). I can’t figure out what changes to make her behave like that…

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  3. Our Border Collie Bilbo has come out of his shell a lot more and is actually friendly when we’re out now. That said, we mostly run into the same dogs and walkers. He used to be quite withdrawn. Good to hear Ray is also chilling out a bit xx Rowena

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  4. I’ve experienced this first hand too. Come through the front door and it’s accepted. Come to the back, and you’re a threat.
    Friends became confused when we would greet them at the front door with a dog biscuit. This was for them to give to the dog of the time to prove they were friendly and ‘allowed’. No-one was allowed behind the gate to the back door though, and this was a comfort to my Mum when she dog sat as she knew the dog would look after her. The gate was always locked from the back but Mum could talk to ‘visitors’ through it quite safely with the trusty mutt by her side just looking. During local elections one year, a Conservative candidate made the mistake of trying to open the gate to come into the garden as we were talking. The dog stood up in full battle stance, growled and glared, and the guy backed off (we patted the dog on the head and said ‘good boy!’). The fact that he stank of alcohol may also have had something to with it. He didn’t win by the way.

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