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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was out walking with Leia around midnight last night and we came across one of Simba's doggie friends, Missy. It was the first time Leia had met missy

Normally Leia loves all dogs, she want's to play and is always bouncing around with her tail wagging and barking when playing. Last night though she stood next to me very still and let Missy sniff her and her owner pet her but she was clearly not her usual playful self. While I was talking to Missy's owner we were standing next to someones garage door and Leia tried to take a half step back and backed into it. A few seconds later when Missy tried to sniff again Leia snarled at her which didn't seem to faze her at all but she didn't try to get closer and us humans decided to head along our ways.

I'm wondering if this abnormal reaction was due to Missy being about 140lbs of drooling Douge de Bordeux, or to Missy's incredibly loud brachycephalic nasal breathing or..... to the fact that Missy was wearing an absolutely ridiculous (more so for the 60F weather) fur-lined plaid flannel coat.

I'm going to try to rule them out 1 by 1.

I have a friend who has a french bull dog so we can test the breathing noise.

I casually know a neighbor who has a young DDB who is even larger than Missy so we can test the breed/size issue.

My problem is that I don't know anybody else who owns a fur lined flannel coat for their dog :confused: Where does one search for such people? Craigslist? The Canine Lumberjack Society? :p
 

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Maybe Leia is super fashion-forward and thought that coat was heinous! Maybe you could find a plaid blanket and drape it over Simba?
 
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I honestly think that reaction to Missy is totally within reason. It was dark, and there was a strange giant beast in clothes wheezing at her. It sounds like she wasn't reactive, just cautious and a little stressed. I would imagine hanging out near Missy, doing some LAT and just letting her acclimate would help her relax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I honestly think that reaction to Missy is totally within reason. It was dark, and there was a strange giant beast in clothes wheezing at her. It sounds like she wasn't reactive, just cautious and a little stressed. I would imagine hanging out near Missy, doing some LAT and just letting her acclimate would help her relax.
Yep I know, this was mostly a tounge in cheek post about the completely rediculous getup. I wish I had my phone to take a pic. If I see them again I'm going to ask for pics to post here. It was bomber jacket style with the fur lining sticking out around the openings.
 

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Honestly it sounds to me like Leia wasn't comfortable having Missy smell her the first time since she was standing still, felt trapped when she tried to back up and hit the garage door, then showed her displeasure with Missy coming back for more by growling a "back off". The coat might have camouflaged things like hackles on Missy too. But what do I know.

If Leia was my dog I'd be asking myself things like: What was Missy's eye contact like? Body posture? Did Leia throw off any calming signals that Missy ignored? Did Missy seem pushy? Where were the tails? Were they straight up? Loose?
 

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Clothing on a dog can mask that particular dog's body language. A couple of years ago I was fostering a very sweet Saint Bernard. At that time, my dog Dallas had some skin issues so I had a sweater type coat on him to keep him from chewing or scratching at himself. When I did the introduction, she immediately got defensive when she saw him coming towards her and let out a big bark. As soon as I took the coat off Dallas, she was fine and back to her regular sweet self.

Add in the variables that your dog was backed into a corner and a meeting a new dog, so understandably she felt vulnerable in that situation. I think both dogs reacted very well and read each others dog language very well too.
 
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