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Discussion Starter #1
With respect to Teagan’s aggression, I have some concerns, partially b/c I will be doing some long races (30 hours) where I need the dogs to be looked after, and going away for one race in Alberta hopefully, and I’d go out the week before to get a bit used to altitude.

My brother has volunteered to look after the dogs, and other animals. In May he’s going to be renting the basement apartment in my house from me, so it will be easy for him to be around them regularly. He is nervous that he won’t know how to handle Teagan. She has cut him (she mouthed him when he stopped her from getting into the car (i was in the washroom), he threw her off him and got a little cut) and he didn’t freak out about it - still, not OK.

He knows she tried to bite me on Wednesday b/c I did not allow her in the vestibule when I was leaving the house w/a friend (we then glared at each other, and then when the glaring broke off, I removed her), he knows about the first bite (picking up a toy off the floor near her), and that she gave me a warning bite on the side of my head (knocking off my glasses in the process) once. i've never gotten worse than scratches from her.

he also knows she is aggressive towards strange dogs unless they are extremely submissive - dogs that act in a pacifying fashion don't provoke reaction. she rarely vocalizes when she is aggressive, as she gives little warning (i wonder if whoever had her before taught her to stop giving the warnings, like lou castle cautions can happen w/improper e-collar training) - she prefers to act calm and then attack when optimum distance is reached, and even then, she rarely vocalizes. she generally only vocalizes when she has been thwarted in her attack attempt, then she will snarl or growl. I posted about the most recent dog incident in our new house, which he also knows about. She can stare dogs down and I've seen dogs that were displaying confident body language basically turn from her stare (from 30M away) and move further off, into the middle of the road.

she has extremely confident body language. i adopted her for her confidence, as luc has tended to be not confident, and she has made a difference - i notice he will look at her (staring confidently at someone approaching) and then adopt a confident stance as well. ....i didn't think what else her being so confident could mean. i know she made the friend who drove me to the shelter uneasy, as she completely disregarded us and is extremely strong. she did what she wanted to.

anyways, fear isn't an issue with her. a lot of the books i've gotten on aggression assume fear, which is a bit frustrating, but there's still good information in there.

she has become more territorial in the new house, where we have a yard and she can see out into the yard, but i have been working at redirecting her and it is going well - it can feel a bit slow at times, but we've made really good progress doing this.

i am going to use the e-collar to work on crittering issues - her prey aggression is very high, as the trainer who came to help me after the first time she bit me said, she has no interest in playing with her prey, she goes straight for the kill. the issue is of course i have a number of small animals, including vulnerable ones – they all have their own rooms - teagan understands door knobs, so i have child-proof safety knobs on those doors - and teagan is crated overnight while the small animals get their turn out. i'm also hoping it can help turn around some of her dog issues so we could go public places and she wouldn't be muzzled! wow!

Anyways, that's quick background. My brother is willing to dog-sit for me but – he is nervous and wants to work on handling her.

I told him the biggest thing will be how confident he is.

He wants to start running to get in shape, so he’ll be going slower and shorter than me. I used to take Teags on ‘get into shape’ runs, and I have to say, she could go pretty fast for an overweight dog (that also had HD). After her HD/bone chip in the left hip diagnosis, I haven’t run her, though the vet said I could. She’s lost a lot of weight, which would help. He was thinking about taking her with him….I thought we could try it and see how she responds w/her hips.

I guess doing will be the best thing. I was thinking I could have him come over and he could get used to putting on the DD collar and prong, same with the muzzle, etc, and do some obed. w/her.

i'd also like to make this as painless as possible for him since he doesn't actually like dogs (other than mine, of course!).

Both dogs know him, and like him.

I have a 30k race the end of March, so it’ll be around 3 hours – I was going to have him come, and take the dogs – Teags in the prong w/back-up, and muzzled (she is collar wise and has exhibited higher aggression when not in the prong). I have a race in April that will also be a good opportunity (assuming I can convince him that going to all my races will be fun....heh).

This is pretty important to me, all this is a lot of training and if I can't get someone to take care of the dogs, I won't do the races. I don't think I would like to board either dog, especially with Luc's background.

Suggestions? Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
hmmmm....i lost the disclaimer paragraph stating that while these are issues w/her, she's actually a very sweet, very intelligent (her reasoning processes always impress me....far beyond what luc, who isn't stupid, has ever displayed) girl, who is sensitive and can pick up on people's emotions really well - i posted elsewhere about her staying calm when the drunk old woman petted her and cooed at her that she loved her while crying about her dead GSD....normally teagan would have been extremely annoyed, she dislikes people who reach over her head (we did a lot of work w/that), but she behaved beautifully.

i don't want to make it sound like she's some monster dog, b/c she's not. she's, unless mad, a really happy dog, who comes with me wherever i go, keeps me company while i shower, while i cook, while i read, whatever i'm doing.
 

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I think she sounds fun in her own way.

I would have him do NILIF and a lot of relationship based things. I would have him do that for a few weeks before he took her off the property.

http://www.flyingdogpress.com/artlibreg.htm

The more I do this kind of thing with Ilsa (and it takes time) the better she responds. She is the kind of dog who will throw down with people if given the chance.

If she's anything like Ilsa she will assess him and evaluate how far she can go with him. By doing NILIF she'll get the picture in a fair way-dogs that are that smart, I believe, get the concept of fair.

She just tested the vet this past weekend by grabbing his pantleg, kind of like whaddya think of that? He ignored her and had her sit for a treat and she was like...oh...okay, he's smart. Moving on.

I was interested in the glare part-I try not to get into that win-lose type thing as much as possible. Mine is a dog who will remember and try to one up me the next time. So if we have an understanding (capice, Ilsa? I say to her) we do better than having her waiting to get back at me.

Is Teagan food motivated? That is huge for Ilsa. A real blessing for me!

Then again, they may be nothing alike and all of this is just babble.


But I still vote for NILIF and those articles for your brother.
 

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Why exactly don't you think this aggression is fear based?

From what you have described of her behavior I don't really see the confidence there. I see a dog going to high alert because she just saw a person, she may not be barking because she could have been taught not to bark in the past, but she is alerting to their very presence. From the alert it sounds like she would go right to the bite, she wouldn't calm to a relaxed state. This is typical of fear aggressive dogs. A confident dog would relax when it was clear there was no threat.

I'm thinking some of the training methods in the books you have might just be on target here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks jean, those articles are great! NILIF will be perfect for him as well - and it's simple enough that he doesn't have to kill himself over it.

she is fun in her own way....i've learned so much handling her! and she's really pushed me to be a better leader, and as i have, she has become far more responsive to me - one reason why the attempted bite last week disappointed me, b/c we have made huge strides. i think having my friend there changed the dynamic a bit.

i'm not sure if the glaring was the greatest response - i looked at her, and she was glaring at me, and i just glared back. (possibly falling to her level, as my mother might say). the first time she bit me (this is early november), when i picked up the toy, i can remember looking at her, and honestly - the look in her eyes - i know it's bad, but i backed away. she looked so ready and willing to take me on, i didn't know what to do that wouldn't have started a fight, and i don't really want to fight my dogs, and also, i'll be honest, i wasn't sure i'd win. anyways, i let her calm down, and then i put her through an obed. routine. with the warning bite, we were practicing lifts (she has HD and a bone chip in her left hip) - she was having no pain issues (i regularly massage and i watch her, so i can tell when she's feeling sensitive) so it seemed to me to be the best time to practice lifting - she gave me a warning bite (didn't like being picked up, i guess) and i'd practiced reacting in a not-backing-away way in my head enough that i held her down for about 30 seconds, then did obed. with her. i don't think there she was challenging me, so the holding her down i wouldn't do again if i did that particular incident over, but, at least i was confident and comfortable in my reaction.

teagan is most definitely an assessor and evaluator. i think she looks to see if there's little ways to put herself forward. when i read patricia mcconnell, the 'alpha-wanna-be' (b/c i don't think she is a true dominant dog) and 'testy, status-seeking dog' descriptions really resonanted with me, it was like she was describing teagan. particularly given teagan's intelligence, she definitely assesses people and situations.

teagan is very food and toy motivated - it's cool to train a dog who is like that (luc is horrified by toys, shelter dog thing i guess), though i do have to be careful w/toys, especially her high-value toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally Posted By: Tim WildWhy exactly don't you think this aggression is fear based?

From what you have described of her behavior I don't really see the confidence there. I see a dog going to high alert because she just saw a person, she may not be barking because she could have been taught not to bark in the past, but she is alerting to their very presence. From the alert it sounds like she would go right to the bite, she wouldn't calm to a relaxed state. This is typical of fear aggressive dogs. A confident dog would relax when it was clear there was no threat.

I'm thinking some of the training methods in the books you have might just be on target her.
mostly b/c she always displays confident body language....i've wondered about it (is she just doing a great job of fronting?), but like i said, she tends to be very forward, and have the confident body language, she is not nervous around new people (unlike luc), that sort of thing. i did have a trainer come in and look at her and he didn't see fear as her issue either, which was helpful. i guess you're right though, i can't say for sure, but it really is that she's so confident even when not aggressive that i have trouble seeing her as a fearful dog.

edit: you're correct, she does alert to people, but she's not going after them....i don't know. usually she just watches them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
also....if she was taught not to bark in the past, it was very situation-specific


she loves to bark at the small animals when she's in her crate, and if something exciting is happening and she can't get out to see it....
 

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Jarn, I so admire your courage. You just want sweetie Teagan to have a great babysitter, and to do well in learning to behave apropriately. I love your grit and strength in dealing with all this. Sorry, no real advice here.
 

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thanks patti


i am selfish in this though, i want to be able to do the races and/or go away for the one race, and if i can't find someone who is comfortable handling her and who will be able to control her, i don't know if i can.

i got my delivery from amazon last night....started reading bringing light to shadow. thinking about this from the fear angle - since it's teagan who i'm having issues w/now, i looked for her in the book, b/c i want to be able to find as many tools as i can, from whereever. i didn't find her at all - she comes across as completely different from shadow. now luc, on the other hand, who did have fear issues (he's doing great now) - i kept reading it and being like 'hey! luc! this dog is just like you were!'

teagan seems to be most responsive to strong leadership - like most dogs are, of course. and she is such a sweet dog, but she has moments, and i worry - is it fair to expect someone else to take care of her? how will she behave when i'm not there? as my leadership has improved, she challenges me less, but should i really expect my brother, who, like i said, doesn't particularly like dogs, to take this on? but i wanna do my races (bratty me!).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
and she does help me too....for instance, i can take luc on the subway now and he doesn't shut down as long as teagan is with us, b/c she's so calm and 'whatever' about it, it's almost like competition....'see, i'm not scared either'.

i love her so much, but i do know she can difficult, and a responsibility.
 

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Originally Posted By: jarn .

edit: you're correct, she does alert to people, but she's not going after them....i don't know. usually she just watches them.
thinking about this....i've been running through incidents in my head this afternoon


yesterday afternoon was probably a good example. i was playing with the dogs in the side yard, teagan on the long leash. a woman was coming down the sidewalk opposite, pulling a cart behind her, and teagan was just STARING at her - totally focused. i managed to drop the long leash (that's what comes of playing 2 different games w/2 dogs at the same time) and teagan took off before i even realized i'd dropped it. the woman stopped (there was a GSD who'd been staring at her running full tilt at her, i can't blame her), and i was right behind teagan. she didn't growl at the woman, no aggression, i don't think she even sniffed her. she was busily inspecting and sniffing the cart though - what the heck is this thing? - i grabbed the lead, apologized, and took her away.

of the two times she's gone after people: once, i was not handling her (aftermath of the ex-PSD and PSD washout attack, i was extracting luc from under a trailer), and i was not nearby, and i would say there was some level of provocation (she went after the dogs' owner, who had just watched them attack and done nothing, after he moved towards her)....course, that could just be b/c the whole thing makes me so furious (last time i trust an ex-cop w/PSD won't be an idiot!) that i think that.

the other time, it was when i was trying her off the prong (using a flat collar) - i don't know what set her off, since it was snowing and i wasn't wearing my glasses. the guy looked harmless to me, but he also looked like a gigantic blurry blob, so.....

other than that, once we were in the park late at night and a man came in, with his hat pulled down low and wearing a mask....he saw me, and headed towards me (the dogs were behind me sniffing a tree). i tried to look like i wasn't terrified, but as he got closer, i think they felt him looking at us, b/c they looked up (teagan was the leader) and ran at him. they didn't growl, snarl, bark, or snap, nothing aggressive, they just both ran towards him with their ears forward, bodies forward. he took off and i tried not to die of relief....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i had to meet my brother last night, so we had a couple of drinks.

we talked about teagan - b/c i worry, is he really comfortable handling her, or just doing this to be nice to me? he said at first, just to be nice, but he's really excited about it now. he said the more time he spends around my dogs, the more he likes dogs period.

and he says he's comfortable working w/her issues - his take is that she has a very intense sense of self (compared to luc, especially).

i asked him before we started talking if he'd noticed teagan having any fear. he said, 'no, but she's so smart....if there was something she should be scared off, she would realize it' ....heh, that wasn't quite why i was asking!

anyways, i'm really happy he's looking forward to this. he actually was off for the afternoon, and near my house, so he popped by to say hello to the dogs
 

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i just wanted to update, b/c my brother handled the dogs during my race on sunday!

well, first of all, we've been making some really great strides in teagan's behaviour lately w/respect to other dogs. it's like stuff is starting to click, and i'm so excited.

she's starting to ignore some dogs! i am thrilled! :happy dance: she did great when we went to visit a guy and his malinois i know from another board (the dog is from the breeder i am likely going to go with) in montreal (she likes mals!....she does not like dobermans), and while she is still trying to get the two neighbourhood dogs she hates, very actively, she's improved, and i'm pleased with her behaviour around other dogs. she's also start to show some regular aggression to small dogs rather than stalking them and treating them like prey, which for some odd reason pleases me, though it probably shouldn't.

i think part of the problem is, she's pretty good at ignoring dogs when we're walking (and i'm getting really good at catching her before she starts in that situation), and she did well when we were in the training centre watching geoff and sasha. all OFF of her turf. the two nemesis dogs we see while we are in the yard, one has run up to us in the yard off-leash, the other has walked by and shown attitude. i mentioned i noticed after moving that teagan was becoming territorial (never having the chance in the apartment before). we did a lot of work, and she's no longer growling/barking at people going by (was able to fix that pretty well immediately, it's dogs going by that's been difficult). so i've been working on having her stay calm in the yard while the one of the hated dogs goes past.

i've also noticed, luc a few times alerts to the one nemesis dog first, and will give a soft bark while staring in the direction it's coming from, and that immediately alerts teagan. i tell him shush, but while teagan knows it means the dog is coming, so do i now, so i can immediately start working with her.

i just wanted to update on that, b/c while we've got lots more work to do, i'm so pleased!

and in terms of sunday, everything went really well. the dogs both initially pulled my brother around, but they started to listen to him and behaved a lot better, especially once i left. steve did take off teagan's muzzle to give her a drink (it has holes, but whatever) and he didn't put it back on b/c she'd been well-behaved (i saw them at around the 29k mark, and all i could think after petting them was 'one more kilometre....was it just me or was teagan not wearing her muzzle....almost done this stupid race'). she apparently tried to go at one dog, but steve kept them away from other dogs and immediately reigned her in and took her away from the situation and refocused her. he had a lot of fun, and i think the dogs did too.

while i'm not going to be doing the long race in alberta - this year anyways, i'm trying to be financially responsible, and i can do long races here for less $ - i'm going away w/my bf in early june to montreal - i asked him if he wanted to go watch some french ring trials....he said he was hoping to go to montreal that weekend to watch the grand prix! clearly his priorities are all skewed that he'd rather watch an F1 race than a FR trial....LOL. anyways, i don't want to take the dogs if i'm going to be watching trials sat/sun, so steve will take care of them, and i think he will do a great job. we'll keep having him work w/them in the meantime.
 

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Forget the jogging and stay home, read the replies to the Intermittant Aggression post and go from there. In many respects your dog sounds a bit like one I know named Timber.

The dog needs your leadership, now.
 

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i don't know teagan's history and only read through the thread quickly, but the situation does sound kind of risky and possibly you will have to make a choice about whether to continue the jogging, at least for now. is this a case of 'better to be safe than sorry'? just a thought and mho. wishing you good luck with this dilema.
 

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okay, to complain....i don't jog
but that's off-topic.

timber1, i have been following that thread w/interest. i did write, that i am not doing the race in alberta.

i did not want her muzzle off, i thought that was clear. i've spoken w/my brother about it.

we've made huge progress w/teagan's aggression. i've had her for 5 months, and the longer i have her, the more i cement myself as leader, and the more she respects and listens to me. i spend a huge amount of time working w/her, and working w/her in situations that challenge her. i'm really proud that she can be around some strange dogs now, and go past dogs without reacting.
 

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I have been following your posts regarding Teagan. I think you are doing a great job with her.

You have a trainer, you are constantly looking for advise and you are DOING the work.

Teagan will probably never be perfect, (are any of them?lol) but you have had her such a short amount of time and come such a long way, I think she will make great strides.

Jean said that she sounds fun in her own way, which I have to agree with lol she sounds a bit like my Echo, who is difficult, but has taught me SO much about dog behavior and unconditional love.

I'm very interested in the results you will get with the e-collar, would you mind letting me know how that goes for you?
 

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thanks threedogs.

teagan's had a lot thrown at her in the last 5 months....if you count the last 6 months, you can include her family getting evicted, her being brought into animal services, then being adopted by me - and i think she went through a depressed 'WTH is going on, where is my family?' period. she became friends with luc, discovered she lived with a number of prey items (no no no!), got attacked by an ex-police dog and a police dog-washout while away at a cabin over xmas (handled it quite well, i thought....the mal breeder we went to see said 'i don't know, i don't think it was bad judgement she went for the owner of those dogs when he moved towards her and your mother' and b/c i'm grumpy about that man, i don't disagree). we went through the process of getting her diagnosed w/hip dysplasia and a bone chip in her left hip, started her going to a dog pool for rehab, we moved to a bungalow with a yard for her so she doesn't have stairs (and luc, with the yard), she's watched french ring dogs work in montreal, and we've thrown in a bit of training there too


i've done groundwork and NILIF with her since i've gotten her. i've given her more freedoms, seen how she responds, and left them or moved back as necessary.

while she is an aggressive dog - i'm not in denial about that - most people who meet her refuse to believe it b/c she is so well-mannered and nice (now, after a lot of work). at the dog pool on sunday, we went up to the pool while there was a dog directly below the pool next to us, and she didn't react at all to it being in clsoe proximity. last week, she sat in the side yard for close to 10 minutes while we watched a woman across the street struggle with her at least 80lb dog, who was freaking out and barking at us, and she wasn't strong enough to move it away. left to her own devices, would teagan have attacked? i have no doubt she would've. she wanted to. but she was with me, and she knows what i expect, which is for her to sit quietly. sometimes that's harder than other times, but she's learning it, and doing it.

i keep her under very tight control. i do so, b/c i don't want anything to happen. i've recognized her issues, and i work on them with her, but i dictate her behaviour and control her strongly. i have a friend w/2 dogs, that i've posted about - three dogs, you would probably remember - she was pregnant, though she lost the babies, so i never gave her the book, as it seem inopportune. her lab cross has bitten 4 people that i know of, 3 sent to the hospital. the dog punctured the esophagus of a cat that is now in my keeping for safety reasons (despite the fact she was bitten over food aggression, which is easily manageable, and i now have a dog that would kill her simply for the joy of killing, but again, i manage teagan well). she has another, younger dog, who has bitten 3 people, twice in the same circumstances. both dogs have been quarantined and the younger dog is now under a muzzle order province wide when off private property (they've said they will not follow it). they're actually being sued by the man who the younger dog first bit. that friend says quite strongly that teagan is more dangerous than either of her dogs, and i don't entirely disagree with her. teagan certainly has the potential to be more dangerous than her dogs - she's harder, smarter, and doesn't back down easily (she does with me now, but that took a lot of work).

the difference is, i control her and manage her, and i set out expectations of behaviour, i keep to them, and i require her to keep to them as well. i am consistent with her and i am her leader. we're not perfect, but the work is paying off, and she's improving in leaps and bounds. i know what her triggers are - dogs entering her territory, and anything that challenges her (dogs or human).

what i'm trying to do is see if it is possible to have someone else be able to be her leader and manage her like i do, so i can go away. having her be with my brother for a few hours on sunday morning was a way for them to get used to each other, and i built in safety devices, and my brother knew what to expect. when she went for the other dog, she wasn't within range of it (i expect she was being hopeful, particular w/someone different handling her), and my brother immediately brought her back and removed her. he didn't hesitate or wonder what to do, he handled it very well.

i will let you know how the e-collar goes. i'm getting myself nervous about using it b/c she shows such little warning. i don't know if that's b/c of how she was corrected (aka improperly) before, as she was like that when i got her, or if she's simply put two and two together and reasoned attacks will be more successful if they are not accompanied by warning.
 

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Originally Posted By: jarni keep her under very tight control. i do so, b/c i don't want anything to happen. i've recognized her issues, and i work on them with her, but i dictate her behaviour and control her strongly.
That is why I posted, I wanted you to know that I admire your commitment to her. She has come such a long way and can you just imagine how great she will be doing in another 6 months?

And because she sounds so much like my Echo!! Except my dog hates ALL strangers....But can be handled by those who know her.

You I'm sure in time, will get this with Teagan. Because your correcting past mistakes with a dog that is as prey driven as she seems to be, I honestly hadn't expected such great progress from her. You make me realize I need to go home and work on my dog


Even though I don't always post in your threads, I am keeping up with you guys
 

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awww, thanks


it's funny with her....it's like i work with her, and work with her, and just when i'm starting to get really frustrated - something clicks. i remember, for about the first month i had her, i thought she didn't know any commands, and i couldn't figure out why i'd been able to teach luc commands, and teagan just wouldn't do a thing. and then one day, i saw her looking at me - a considering sort of look - and then she sat. and she downed. it was almost like a 'fine lady, you can tell me what to do' moment....like i'd proved worthy


and with the aggression stuff - a month ago, maybe a little bit more - oh, i was despairing of her. such small improvements. then, we went to montreal - she did great around the mals while we were at the french ring club - at the breeders - some of the GSDs were out (they have both) - no reaction. she's getting really good on walks. it's like there's a little switch that got flipped. she's definitely not perfect, she has her moments (two dogs went past our sideyard the other day while we were out front and she took off like a silent missile for them, though she was not able to reach them on the line which was attached to the front steps next to me, and i reeled her back immediately anyways) - but she's doing better.

the one thing that drives me crazy with her - she jumps up on people! she knows she's not allowed to jump up on me, and not on my mother, or my brother - she's learning it with my bf - but she's never learnt a 'don't jump up on people ', she learns 'don't jump up on X individual '. it's both annoying and interesting to see that's how she learns, and that's, i suppose, indicative of how she views herself vis a vis others.
(though, since still i'm learning tonnes about dogs and have a lot more to learn, i could just be imagining what i think her behaviour is and be looking at it all wrong)

thanks for your encouragement!

you know, luc has taught me a lot, but they're such different dogs, i'm learning so much with her. a completely different set of issues, personalities, polar opposites - and there's been an amazing change in luc in terms of him being confident in these little things that he picks up from her. though i find his alerting softly to the nemesis dogs just fascinating, as i've no doubt he's doing it to tell teagan. it's silly, but i've seen dogs act as a pack in other situations, it's sort of the first regular indication i've seen of luc and teagan acting together against an outsider (they did run at the guy in the mask together, very shortly after i got her). maybe i'm reading too much into it, but interests me. i do shush luc though and put him in a sit, and since he's alerting me as well, i know what he's communicating, i've actually been able use it for my own ends to work on teagan's behaviour.
 
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