River vs the Maltese

Early Saturday morning, a co-worker asked me for a favor. Would I be willing to watch his dog overnight as he went out of town. Being a dog lover, I eagerly agreed – knowing full well Bear would be fine… but I did wonder about River.

I quickly got into action, making my house presentable (because, let’s be honest – who keeps their house presentable all the time? (No…really, who? If you do – how? Please share your secret.))

They arrived a bit sooner then I expected, but waited patiently before entering while I got  River’s harness on her. The Maltese, as tiny as she was, was in a pet carrier.  I’m sure she was terrified – having no idea where she was or who the big dogs were.

Having River secure, I said it was safe to let her out and explore. I was curious to see how River would react.

Bear – well, he was a CHAMP. He did everything that makes me proud that he is my dog. He sniffed and then ignored. It was great.

River, well, she tried to sniff but due to her energy level, the Maltese quickly felt threatened and snapped at River. That just made River more excited. Needless to say, neither seemed interested in making friends.

River barked. The Maltese barked. And both barked and barked and barked. No sniffing was to be had.

IMG_0033We tried for a bit and let the Maltese walk around and sniff and feel comfortable. But every time River approached, even cautiously, there was a snap of uncertainty that followed. And that just escalated the situation.

After trying for a bit, my co-worker’s wife conceded that perhaps this would not work out. I agreed – I did not want to stress their dog out more than necessary. But I was sad to miss the opportunity to teach River to behave around smaller dogs.

I did suggest future encounters, where we could introduce both dogs and work on them getting along. I like being able to help folks out, and not being able to help them this weekend bummed me out a bit.

But, hopefully, in the future, we can change that. After all, a simple walk between dogs can do wonders.


3 thoughts on “River vs the Maltese

  1. I was just going to say that It might have gone better had you had them both on leash, met outside, and went for a walk together before going into the house. If they were aggressive with each other, have one walk behind the other and then alongside. I saw my trainer do this with a little puppy and my Tippy when we were taking a hike. The puppy had all of the wrong energy, but, after they walked together a little, it was much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you both – a walk is so powerful. Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned this out very well, and I’m not entirely sure if they would have seen the power of the walk. Every dog I have every been around that has had issues, I’ve used a walk to eliminate those issues (as long as it is a controlled walk – not a “let them run loose” walk). It is amazing what a walk does for two dogs. Hopefully I can convince them that a few walks with these two can help (cause I really don’t want to give up).


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