I described Shadow as a sweet, smart dog with no coping skills.
Even mild, harmless stimulus gets a completely over the top reaction.
I have never believed and still don't that this is an aggressive dog. Or a dog that is a waste. I believe that this is a dog who honestly believes that she is in mortal danger from other dogs and is going on the offensive, fighting for her life in her mind. I hesitated over the prong because I didn't want to add to that sense of fear with a painful correction.
If I can't control her, we are at a standstill. I need to be able to walk her to convince her no harm will come to her and in order to walk her I need to be able to control her.
Again, I have owned this dog literally all her life. I have studied her and watched her reactions all her life. She is genuinely afraid. I have no doubt that in the hands of a better person she could be something spectacular. Catch 22. In the hands of a more experienced person she may well have been put down that first night, and maybe I did her a disservice by keeping her alive, but that ship has sailed. I love this little dog beyond all reason, have from the second I first held her in my hands.
So here we are, doing the best we can.