So we are about 5 weeks post spay, and I wanted to update this thread to say she definitely has gotten less mature with the spaying. It could be the hormonal changes, frustration from still having the cone on for a toe sore, or the 2 week break in structure and exercise post spay.
I've upped the exercise, but we are experiencing some behavior problems that we had seen when she was about 7 months old. She is mouthy, pushy, destructive in the house and yard, vocal/frustrated on public transit and generally always busy except for the early morning cuddle and the after play nap. I feel like I have a tiny puppy again!
Tonight, while playing with the flirt pole in our drive way with a long lead on, one of my friends greeted me from down the street. She barked once, her long lead slipped out of my hand and charged my friend, jumped up, and nipped her hand. She has NEVER done that before. It was completely my fault for not securing her better. We have always played in the drive way at night because our street is very very quiet, and the drive way doesn't have mud for her to slip on when we play the flirt pole. I think she nipped my friend's hand because she was so built up from the flirt pole and the frustration was transferred to my friend when she greeted.
I've restarted the relaxation protocol, and jogging with her, to try to calm her down more and help her settle. She is back on her prong collar in the house, which we haven't used in 5 months. On walks, she is on the gentle leader for more focus on me. We are also going to the vet tomorrow to see if there's something else agitating her.
I feel so frustrated and at a loss. It's a stressful time of the year for me because I have professional exams coming up...but I want to do right by her.