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.