Fun, fun, fun in the sun

The latest on my 28 Before 28 list was to take my 4 year old Miniature Pinscher to the dog beach/park to get some socializing skills under her belt. She’s a territorial breed and overly excited/anxious when she meets new people. She usually barks and charges people when she first meets them. But its really to say “Hey! I’m here!” and not to bite or be mean. However, she really freaks people out most of the time because all they see is a little black dog lunging for them.

I felt like Ella needed to be around people and other dogs and also exert some energy. So, we packed up mid-morning and headed to Montrose Beach in Chicago where they have a gated off section of the beach that’s dedicated to letting dogs romp in the sand.

Well, long story short but Ella wasn’t as excited and energetic as I thought she would be. Walking up to the gates, while she was still on the leash, she was barking at people as usual but as soon as I unleashed her (much to the disapproving onlookers) she didn’t make a peep at all. She didn’t do all the things I figured she would do. There was no running away from me, not listening to me, barking at people, etc. I couldn’t tell if she was overwhelmed and some owners suggested that this usually happens on their first time at the beach.

She tucked her little tail under her butt when other dogs tried to sniff her out and barely chased or socialized with the other dogs. She literally stayed next to me the entire time. When we went walking down the beach she walked ahead of me for a little bit, but stopped and looked back often enough to make sure I was with her. If I stopped for any amount of time, she ran right back to me. I even received comments on how well behaved my dog was. Ha! If they only knew!

We stayed at the beach for about 2 hours and when it was time to go and Ella was back on her leash, walking back up to the sidewalks, she was barking at other people and sniffing out other dogs, just like her usual self. I had to shuttle her away from the people/dogs coming into the beach and keep my head/eyes held low and away from the disapproving onlookers that didn’t know how Ella just behaved for 120 minutes of her life. Anyone have any experiencing socializing their dog/puppy in a new environment?

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