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We took Cierra and Melissa to the dog park today.
It was Melissa's first trip to the dog park and it's a good place for her to continue to gain her self confidence and learn about good social skills.
Unfortunately, not all dogs at the dog park practice good manners. This is also a good lesson for Melissa to learn that while she minds her manners, we will watch her back.
We don't really believe in the necessity of small dog and big dog segregation at the dog park. Melissa spent the majority of her time in the big dog side, and a little in the small dog side.
It was a good experience, great weather (high of 71 today) and her next trip to the dog park will continue her learning and growing.
Melissa will go home with her daddy soon, so we just have a short time left with her.
Just arriving. Cierra knows what to do and is off. Melissa is still standing close to PJ.
Cierra meets a white GSD.
Melissa meeting some of the dogs. Despite how it looks, PJ has his eye on the light colored dog, he wasn't minding his manners and was corrected by PJ.
Cierra participating in a trio of tree sniffing.
Cierra decided these three were uninteresting and moved on.
Approaching two dogs playing, I love how Cierra's crouched down low as she moves in.
A bad mannered dog gets aggressive with Cierra.
And Cierra does the right thing by minding her own manners and moves on.
Melissa blends in with the grass.
PJ has had practically a lifetime of experience training dogs, horses, cats, and a raccoon. PJ and I have had Cierra for three years, and that's been the extent of my learning dog training from him.
Sometimes I make mistakes. While PJ was away at work this past summer, there was a phase where I was a poor pack leader for Cierra and I saw the results of that and have since got back on the right track.
I understand the concept of the safety and security within our pack. PJ and I must protect Cierra from poorly mannered dogs. What I still struggle with is correcting someone elses dog in order to protect my dog. I'm not afraid of the dog, I'm afraid of its owner. As time goes by though, what other people think means little to me. Experience is telling me that most dog owners are oblivious, and rarely do they even say anything to me. The most important thing is that my dog is protected by me.
When we left the dog park, both dogs remained off-leash and walked with us with good manners to the truck. This is normal for Cierra but a big step in Melissa's training.