I took Remus to Raven Rock! Again! And since it was a dreary miserable day, we had the entire park to ourselves when we first arrived. SO after making sure we were significantly down the path of choice, I let him off his leash. We also discovered that creeks, although maybe not friendly, don’t bite when sniffed and can be crossed without injury even if paws get wet. I think the jury is still out on water as a whole being “non-dangerous/scary” but we’ve made a truce with creeks. Sort of.
Remus was tired out (it was a 2.5 mile hike) but awake enough to whine anxiously at the group of men and teenagers who had appeared at the end of the trail measuring trees of all things. That whine turned to an out and out snarl, a first for me to hear from Remus, when one of the men approached to say hello. Remus meant business, he stationed himself in front of me, head up and ears twitching and then lowered his head and snarled when the man came up to us. I jerked on his leash and told him to knock it off. Instant puppy remorse and confusion followed with a lot of heartfelt whining and cowering behind my legs. He then made friends with the man (far easier than he had with the creek I might add) and as I was loading him into the car, revelation hit. He wasn’t afraid of the man-or at least, he hid his trepidation in his aggressive stance- he was afraid of my reaction. Not that I beat him, but that he wanted to please me and when his protective snarl got a quick rebuff he was confused and anxious. I made up for any hurt puppy feelings with cheese on his food when we got home, but I’m going to have to figure out how to channel my puppy’s natural aversion to strange men and his insistence on protecting me. I don’t mind, it just needs to be controlled.
Ah well. More posting later.