Have you ever felt uncomfortable at a cocktail party until you struck up a conversation with someone fun? I knew that having a friend would help Cherokee get through the process, but she was too frightened to approach another dog and make friends the way most dogs naturally do. I needed to get creative. After I showered Cherokee with love and she trusted me, I moved on to the next step of Operation Cherokee. I smeared honey around her mouth and introduced her to Ginger Bosley, an easy-going dog I thought she would really like.
When the two dogs first met, Ginger crouched on the floor and lay in a submissive posture which let Cherokee know that she was not a threat. Cherokee gave a little growl and began to check out Ginger. When Ginger smelled the honey, she started licking Cherokee's mouth, and they were instant friends! I felt like a proud "doggy match-maker." With the support of a good friend and non-violent coaching, Cherokee began to heal. Her fear dissipated, and the two dogs shared a fantastic friendship for many years.
In the cases of both Layla and Cherokee, I needed to figure out what made each dog tick before I could bond with them and coach them. Each dog's fears and desires are distinct to their personalities, but we also need to be aware of the seven basic needs that all dogs share.
See how Tamar helped Oprah train her three new golden retriever puppies.