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My 'Gentle Giant'... The ' Fraidy Cat'

I have a baby Great Dane named Raven, who's almost 7 months old now. She's black, except for a small, perfect rectangle of white on her chest, and people often mistake her for a Labrador Retriever. She only weighs 70 pounds at this point (She's going to be small for her breed; maybe only 100-120 lbs.), so I guess that I can understand the confusion. We live in the mountains at a California ski resort, and our house is in a quiet, wooded area, so she doesn't get a whole lot of socialization... so I take her with me everywhere that I go.

She especially loves running around in the forest behind our house, and is great about coming back when she's called. She doesn't have any problem with one person who hikes by, or a group of people who have a dog with them; but one day I was hiking with her when 3 big teenagers came towards us, down the path on which we were walking. She Totally freaked out and ran in the other direction, and when I called her, she cut through the bushes around them (They had kept on walking.), and came back to me, all quivery. Well, I knew that, obviously, going into the stores with which she was familiar wasn't doing the trick for socialization, so I've been walking her in the village for the past couple of days. At first she was horrified at the cars, the motorcycles, the banners flapping in the breeze, the people, and the new location. After the first walk, I'd NEVER seen her jump back into the car so fast. Now, after a few days of this, she's calmed down enough to stop when I talk to people, and even went up to a little baby, while I was talking with the parents, and licked her face (Fortunately, the child's parents also owned a gigantic black Great Dane). By the way... Why do people always name their Great Danes ' Scooby Doo'?

Last night, we were playing 'fetch', and Raven accidentally knocked over a new wine rack that was leaning against the steps to the loft. It made this loud CRASH (We have wooden floors.), and she yelped and barked and started running around like something was going to kill her. It's hard to remember sometimes that, regardless of how big she is, she's still a puppy. She's always been affectionate, but last night,she wouldn't let me out of her sight, and snuggled with me on the couch until she finally fell asleep... and just at daybreak, she jumped into bed with me and stayed there until I got up.

She barks when people occasionally walk by our house, but god help us if anyone actually tries to come onto the porch and talk... She runs like a scared rabbit. I thought that Great Danes were suppossed to be more protective, but she's a total 'fraidy cat'...which is actually refreshing after our last dog, a full-size standard poodle, who was so vicious with others that he'd have taken your face off.

She doesn't know how big and intimidating she is because she's to young to have figured it out. I suppose that it would be okay if she stayed this way... a barking, enormous black dog would scare away pretty much anyone!
fishsweeper fishsweeper 51-55, F Apr 23, 2012

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