I was so proud of him Saturday morning, I just have to brag a little bit.
Ever since he was bombarded by the crazy Setter two doors down from us, he's been very wary of other dogs. Wants nothing to do with them. He's not quite as bad with small dogs as he is with big ones, but he's still very fearful. I've sort of gone to square one and have been trying to build his confidence with other dogs from a safe distance.
Well, when mom and I took him out for his walk Saturday morning, we rounded a corner and ran right smack into a guy walking the cutest little 14 week old GSD puppy I've ever seen. (Picture Lisa's Diesel as a pup and you'll get the idea.) Riley freaked out a little bit and was content to stay the length of his leash away from this exuberant little fluff-ball... until he saw me petting the pup and making a fuss over him. At that point, he decided that he wanted to investigate.
He actually stood there, nose-to-nose with this little guy, and was letting the pup give him kisses! He was stiff and a little uncomfortable, but he didn't shy away. We were careful to end it on a good note, right before the pup started to get a little too excited for Riley's liking, and of course he got treats and lots of praise.
I was just so proud of him. As unplanned and unexpected as it was, I think it might have been a good step for him.