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Discussion Starter #1
I put this in training, as it is a training issue, BUT I'm the one who needs the training, lol!

Our pupper, Zoey, graduated from a cell dog program in 2004. She lived with another dog for the 2 years following placement. She's been an "only dog" for quite sometime and now that she's aging we're looking for a second dog. We arranged a couple meetings, and both ended without a match. :(

So realizing there were two common denominators, Zoey and I; I went ahead and made an appointment with a trainer. Diagnosis: Zoey still knows all her stuff from training, she's still socialized just fine, she just has a "helicopter mom."

Zoey's big, and I get nervous others won't understand her... is she steps on them, their small dog or their kid.

Here's my question, what tips do you guys have for getting my head straight?
 

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So what happens that's bad? Are you freaking out and using a megaphone to say 'big dog, stay away!!!' or just stressed? Is she picking up on the stress and reacting badly?

If it's you, then see if you can find someone to walk her and you can follow or watch from a distance. Put her in those situations if she's ok without you and you can see what she does. Once you see she's fine you can relax.
 

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If your dog has good social skills, why not send him to doggy daycare once a week and peek in on him? He will have a great time, refresh his doggy ettiquette and you'll be able to gain confidence in his abilities by watching him interact. Be careful though, make sure the establishment is clean, has good reviews and trained staff.

Also, basic doggy classes are a great way for pet owners to build confidence. If he has a good foundation of obedience, how about choosing a dog sport to try; like Rally-O, agility, flyball or dock diving? He may very well surprise you with his skills and you will learn to trust him a bit more.

This topic is kind of funny to me as I see this all the time at the dog park. Some people are terrified of letting my puppy play with their, friendly big dogs, for fear of them squishing him!

I think if it troubles a person that much, they should develop a good solid recall or other cue. When my puppy is getting too excitable with a dog, I simply call him to me, or go to him and ask for a sit. That settles him right away as his focus immediately changes.
 

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Wait whats Helicopter Mom?
It's one of those moms of kids/dogs who hovers over everything their kid/dog does like a helicopter. You know, the ones that are always two feet away at the playground, stepping in to moderate, checking on every detail of what the kids do. The opposite of the parent who has no clue where their kids are or what they are doing or don't seem to care....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So what happens that's bad? Are you freaking out and using a megaphone to say 'big dog, stay away!!!' or just stressed? Is she picking up on the stress and reacting badly?

If it's you, then see if you can find someone to walk her and you can follow or watch from a distance. Put her in those situations if she's ok without you and you can see what she does. Once you see she's fine you can relax.
that's just it, nothing... cause I won't let it. I just get too nervous cause she's so big, and sometimes people seem to expect too much from dogs. Expecting them to be Lassie or some other perfect TV dog. She's not perfect, and she can be an oaf. It's ok if she steps on me, she's my girl... but what if she steps on somebody's kid?

just to keep some perspective on the situation, she stands 27 inches at the withers and weighs 125lbs.
 

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I'm sorry, I still don't understand what is actually happening that you're concerned about. You're not letting her meet people? Not having people over?
 

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1. Let her play with kids that have big dogs at home... they break less easily :)
2. Usually dogs don't want to step on little people or dogs, b/c they stick between the toes :)
3. Seriously, a dog won't put all of her weight on one foot, and she'll learn to be careful with experience.

As long as she doesn't mean it and isn't aggressive, I think people will understand if you apologize... People can see she's a big dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm sorry, I still don't understand what is actually happening that you're concerned about. You're not letting her meet people? Not having people over?
I let people come over and I let her meet other dogs, but I'm very apprehensive to let her go off lead and play with too many other dogs. That's all. Anyway, that anxiety seems to travel right down her leash and into her.

When I take her out people say "OMG! that dog is SO big..." not sure why, but it leaves me feeling edgy, like I need to defend and protect her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
1. Let her play with kids that have big dogs at home... they break less easily :)
2. Usually dogs don't want to step on little people or dogs, b/c they stick between the toes :)
3. Seriously, a dog won't put all of her weight on one foot, and she'll learn to be careful with experience.

As long as she doesn't mean it and isn't aggressive, I think people will understand if you apologize... People can see she's a big dog.
ok, this made me laugh. Thank you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If your dog has good social skills, why not send him to doggy daycare once a week and peek in on him? He will have a great time, refresh his doggy ettiquette and you'll be able to gain confidence in his abilities by watching him interact. Be careful though, make sure the establishment is clean, has good reviews and trained staff.

Also, basic doggy classes are a great way for pet owners to build confidence. If he has a good foundation of obedience, how about choosing a dog sport to try; like Rally-O, agility, flyball or dock diving? He may very well surprise you with his skills and you will learn to trust him a bit more.

This topic is kind of funny to me as I see this all the time at the dog park. Some people are terrified of letting my puppy play with their, friendly big dogs, for fear of them squishing him!

I think if it troubles a person that much, they should develop a good solid recall or other cue. When my puppy is getting too excitable with a dog, I simply call him to me, or go to him and ask for a sit. That settles him right away as his focus immediately changes.
Dock diving could be doable for her, she's part Black Lab.

Doggy Day Care - do they have someplace for naps? Zoey's on the senior side, she needs nap time.
 

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A good dog daycare will have lots of comfy places for dogs to sleep. The one we are looking at taking Gally to once a week has dog beds, couches, and some other cushions so there are lots of areas to choose from for all their doggy relaxing needs. From the pictures on their facebook page looks like everyone is pretty tuckered out by the afternoon and settles in for a nap.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the places I've talked to have said that younger dogs do best in doggy day care, the older pooches would rather stay home and sleep. Certainly don't want to torture her, but I'd like to do more for her now that I can!
 

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Many day cares separate dogs into groups based on size, age, and/or play style. Maybe you could call them up and just explain your situation, or ask if you can visit and see their facility and to ask questions about it.
 

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Here's my question, what tips do you guys have for getting my head straight?
is there a reason why you won't take your dog to a dog park?

Ask yourself these questions: Is my dog very reactive? Is she showing any of the signs of dog aggression? Any of the signs of people aggression? If not, you've really got to get over not allowing her to interact with other dogs and other people. There's no magic wand - you've just got to do it.
 
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