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Old 02-16-2014, 06:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
Colie CVT
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 486
Default Confidence Through Protection Work

I really am so very proud of my female shepherd, Leia. I never thought she would be the dog she has become or that we would share in a crazy journey together. But the way that she has changed has been for the better, and I have learned so much with her.

Last May, I met with a trainer to have her instincts for bitework evaluated. I always wanted to do Schutzhund or another protection sport. Her lines aren't exactly known for being good candidates, but you never know. And I really was hoping for her to learn a bite and hold, since my only dog prior was my golden who is a big marshmallow.

But her instinct test went like this...



I have an abundance of pictures from that day that look like this. Leia looking at me, the distance. Not engaging the trainer or really doing anything. It was bad enough, he didn't charge me for his time. But he had a plan. He asked if she ever barked in the car. Which she had here or there, very sporadically.

So the next week we gave that a try, and the results basically speak for themselves...













Then devastation. She pulled her iliopsoas muscle in her right leg and for basically 4 months, she couldn't do anything really physical. I kept her swimming, still did some walks, but with how much power she hit the end of the leash with and how she just gives 110% of herself to the job, I had to keep her from things. Talked with our physiotherapist about how to warm her up and stretch her best when the limp went away. We got a game plan down and after being off, she got to get back to what she loved in November.

And never missed a step.



































She has blossomed so much and our bond only has gotten better and better with all of this. <3 She was almost five when she had the instinct test, she had gone through obedience with someone other than me when they owned her when she was younger. I got her at age 3.5 years when it was clear she wasn't happy when her puppies got to the age to go home with other people. Anything I ask, she wants to do, and the sheer joy I have seen grow in her is a sight to see.

Not sure if this is the best place to share, but I love sharing pictures of her doing what she loves to do (outside of hiking or fetch).
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