Luke and I met a puppy in the park yesterday. She was with her very sweaty Dad who I'd seen running blocks away as I made my way to the park. Luke and I were playing fetch with the Chuck it when they came up behind me. Luke was in the middle of a retrieve when those big ears of his went up; this is my "heads up." I quickly turned to see who was coming up from behind and saw the guy, I didn't notice the dog at first. Luke's ears got even higher and I glanced behind again; ah a dog.
The guy did the customary "your dog friendly?" And I shouted back "yep." Luke wasn't approaching; he was being a very good boy and waiting for my okay. The small dog froze and I asked how old? "Going on 4 months;" the guy told me and I immediately thought he was over doing it with the running for this little thing. I told Luke he could go see her but was ready to stop any bully behavior if he started. You see Luke loves to be the big tough guy often, not in a mean way but it does seem to fuel his ego if he get's to push someone around who is intimidated by him. He made a straight line towards the pup; not good. She shrunk down and her hair rose; she was very intimidated and as she tried to make her way back to Dad Luke followed causing her to scream in fear.
The guy then shared with me that she had been attacked at 8 weeks old; not good either. A neighbors dog bit her in the face but he said she was fine after it. She had obviously been left with some fear; although in all fairness Luke did tower over the approx. 10 lb pup. When something like this happens in a Fear Stage it can impact the rest of the dogs life. It is hard to avoid all bad things in life but at an early age "safety" and avoiding any real scarey situation should be the main goal.
After their initial meeting I asked Luke to laydown; this makes his very tall presence just a little less threatening. But by now the little puppy was between her Dad's legs where she felt safe and had no intention of coming out to see Luke. Now Luke had lost interest and wanted to play ball again; we let them head out and as they rounded the corner we commenced our retrieve game. Luke had a great 1/2 hour of full out running and then we headed home for a day of snoozing (for Luke that is).