Too Shy, Too Shy!
I think I already mentioned that one of the “cons” of the water dogs as a breed is that they are very reserved with strangers and mine is not the exception. To be honest with you that issue never concerned, as long as there’s no aggression present I’m ok with it. I got Doggy with 4 months, he’s a really social dog (with other dogs) but he doesn’t get too close to other people, he’s curious, but as soon as people try to touch him he backs up. I’ve always paid close attention just in case he shows teeth or growls, up to date he hasn’t done it (just with 1 person, but that’s worth a different post). Doggy would usually approach people when they put their hand down to his level, smells and then leaves without any display of attention other than curiosity, the “problem” is when once he’s close enough so people can touch him, he immediately backs up and leaves. That doesn’t seem like much of an issue until there are kinds and parents around, he looks like a big stuffed animal, kids wan to touch him, surprisingly he’s friendly with kids, but when the parents try to do the same he leaves, they get scared because they think he’s gonna bite the kids, then I have to explain that he’s not aggressive, that he doesn’t like people. Anyhow, I didn’t know how blessed I was by having a dog like that, granted he can’t be a therapy dog, but I’ve experienced what’s like walking a dog that would stop and play with everybody, would respond to whomever calls him and would ignore you when you call because he’s too busy being a social butterfly. The ideal would be a mix between the dogs, but to be honest I rather have a dog that doesn’t pay attention to other people than a social butterfly. According to the experts I’ve asked, Doggy is going to change, he’ll lose that “shyness” once he matures but will never be attracted to other people as other dogs, it’s just a characteristic of his breed.