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Got another question. This past weekend Lexi got loose from the yard. Since it was day time and she was primarily staying in the court area where I live I quickly got up, ran into the house and grabbed her leash and a milk bone. However, as I was coming back out of the house I froze. Lexi was across the court with her head slightly down and her hackles up. She wasn't moving but she was growling and barking and the neighbor girl. This girl is about 14 or 15 and of average size and thin. She slowly turned around and was saying something to Lexi but I couldn't hear what it was. I wasn't sure if I should approach Lexi or not so my first reaction was to yell, "Knock if off!" Then I yelled "That's enough!" before I realized she wasn't even responding to my voice. I then corrected myself and yelled, "Lexi, leave it!" More like screamed it out of fear. At that point Lexi sort of snapped out of it and went into a play bow and wagged her nub. I ran up and grabbed her collar and in a soft voice said, "Hey, she's not going to hurt you......." The young girl then crouched down and put her hand out and said her name. Lexi put her head down and backed up so I gently lead her up to the girl and said, "It's okay, say hello." Lexi let her pet her and wagged her nub but she quickly turned around and pulled me towards home. I asked the girl if she was okay and she said yeah like it was no big deal. I think I was more scared than she was!

Lexi has never done this before, especially from someone walking away from her. (It looked like Lexi ran up on her as she was going around the house.) I have seen her back away from someone when she got loose but never growled or barked and never with her hackles up. I have seen her bark and jump back when a man approached her one time when I was trying to catch her and he quickly backed off and left and she calmed down right away but never anything like this. The little girl rarely sees Lexi as she is in school and I don't think I've ever seen her out when I'm walking her so I don't have any reason to believe she has ever teased Lexi.

What happened here? Was Lexi just "talking" to her and she was scared or was she being aggressive? I didn't think to ask her what she was saying to Lexi but I don't think it was anything mean. She looked a little bit shocked more than anything.

The only other time Lexi has done anything like this was when she got loose at my boyfriend's house and was running out of the garage. A couple was walking by and she stopped and barked at them. They stopped and I yelled, "Heeey...." and got her attention. She quickly went into a play bow and the guy reached out and petted her and I grabbed her by the collar and took her inside. I did NOT punish her either time.
 

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Sounds like she was just checking things out. Our dogs do the same thing from a distance. Until they can see closer that the person is no threat. It's good that you intoduced them.
 

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Phew.... it sounds like you averted a disaster possibly. There really isn't a way of knowing if she actually would have done something, but if her hackles her up and she was growing, it could have gotten ugly. On the other hand she may have just stood her ground and been just warning the strangers to keep clear of her area. Either way, better safe then sorry. Accidents can happen, so just do your best, which I'm sure you do, to make sure Lexi is safe and confined. My Lexy has jumped her fence recently, (talk about my heart stopping) so I have now put a long line in the fenced in area for her to be on a line as well as in a fence when I am not supervising her. I'd rather be proactive and inhibit her play a little, then finding her in a bad situation.

It was good you changed your tone when she didn't respond to you initially, and you MUST pat yourself on the back that you worked her into a different frame of mind AND ended it on a good note with meeting the girl and getting her to pet Lexi.

I would work on your recalls with her, you can get a really long line, even a horse's lunge line so she is safe on a line but you can work at a distance with her and reward her every time she comes to you. I have two recall commands, Comin (german, sorry I'm sure I'm butchering the spelling) is the general relaxed command, and we have a Heya (lol, please don't beat me up I know I'm butchering that spelling) is our formal recall, we use that one in our training, and it has always been a NO EXCUSES COME HERE NOW command, and she is heavily rewarded for returning. In training her that command, I never used it if I wasn't 100% sure that she was coming to me, so when initially training her, she was always on leash with it. So in her mind that command does not have an option. The benefits to having a command like that, she DID bolt off leash once, chasing her nemesis GEESE. And I mean she looses her mind with geese, and I immediately called her name and comin, no response, I called louder (without panicing) LEXY HEYA, and she pulled an about turn and ran back to me. Needless to say, it rained hot dogs that evening!

As for the girl, I'd doubt she was saying anything mean, I'm be willing to bet she was just trying to friendly b/c she was nervous.
 

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I really think that's a great point. Over-reacting and escalating the volume can really amp the situation up. It's super important to keep a level head and let your girl know, by your presence and demeanor, that everything is fine and she has nothing to worry about.
 
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