Today was a huge success for Sally! My neighbor and I take our dogs down to the park every morning to walk. If there are no other dogs there, we let them off leash to run and play. This morning we saw someone come in to the park with a dog. I went to put Sally's leash on so she wouldn't go ballistic, but my neighbor recognized the dog that had just entered the park. She said ,"That's Ginger, she is a good dog, you don't need to keep Sally on leash". So I let her off, but just then my neighbor said, "Oh wait, that doesn't look like Ginger's owner, maybe that's not her". great..... Sally went running over with a sort of "stalking" body language. But the three dogs met up and were fine with each other. Sally and Ginger kind of were nervous around each other for awhile, but they eventually relaxed and then became best friends. Sally was totally focused on playing with her alone.
Suddenly, here came our neighbor two doors down with his dog Bode. Bode is a boxer, and last time we tried to have them meet, Sally went ballistic. This guy's wife went in to a panic and put Bode away. I wondered if they would ever have the chance to meet again. Today the husband brought Bode. He is a big man, works out at the gym. We knew that if the dogs got in to a brawl, he could handle it. So we let them meet off leash and they had a great time! It was so nice to see my dog playing with 3 other dogs without having any problems fighting. They all really got a work out, and I think we will try to meet up again in the mornings.
By the way, do you know why they call Boxers by that name? They actually do sort of box when they fight. When Bode plays, he uses his front feet to attack the other dogs.
We are still working on teaching her to calm down when she is on leash and sees other dogs, but this was a huge step in helping her learn better socialization skills. I know what to do, but it is a tedious process. It just takes time and patience. I'm not very energetic, but I am stubborn. Maybe that will help me get her through this stage.