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I am so very happy! My boy Jack is 15 months old. We have gone through all of the normal stages and faced some challenges. Lease reactive issues, fearfulness in certain circumstances (at the Vet). When it began I was horrified, embarrassed, frustrated, scared and worried. It became difficult for me to take him out for socializing. I knew we would have a big problem if we didn't work through our issues. This issue bled into our Vet visits as you can imagine. I wanted to practice going in and out of the vet but I was scared, and I found it hard to deal with the faces of the people horrified by my dog lack of manners... how dare he bark lol.

I found myself an experienced trainer and we went to work. I learned many lessons. Jack and I both worked hard to manage our nerves. I worked to address the anxiety signals I was sending down the leash and directly to Jack. I have to admit I did shed some tears feeling that it was my responsibility to identify if I was not up to being a good GSD owner and find the best home for Jack. Cut to today, we successfully walk around the park passing, people, kids dogs, etc. I stay aware of Jack and try to always set us up for success whatever we do.

Now we have to go to the Vet. no waiting no practicing .. it is time to go to the annual vet visit. I talked to my trainer and was going to set a time she could go with me. I had been practicing with a muzzle for months and Jack has become comfortable with it. Yesterday, I just decided. I am gonna do it without my trainer. It took us 20 minutes to get into the building and I could see he was nervous but I could also see he was checking in with me and trusting me. All went really well! Only barked once at a Vet assistant, but hey she didn't even knock .. I don't blame him. She busted into the exam room and she hustled right back out. The vet knocked came in we talked she looked him over and gave the shots .. it was much ado about nothing. They even forgot to draw blood for the heartworm test, and I was able to hand the leash to the vet and as he walked he looked at me briefly, I gave a nod and he went and got his blood drawn and they said he was perfect!

It is no big deal I am sure, but I am so high off the feeling of our success. I have been so filled with self-doubt. I suddenly feel like anything is possible. Jack and Jenn can do it together! If he is gonna trust me I also need to trust him and our training. It is all paying off, the time and effort all of it worth it to share my life with this amazing dog.
 

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Excellent!Your hard work is really paying off!A big congrats to you and Jack:)
 

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Congratulations!!! Managing our own nerves and anxiety is harder than training our dogs, IMO. It is a big deal, totally awesome!!!
 

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I love success stories and this one is a winner. Congratulations to both of you! I've got a big smile thinking now about all of the exciting and everyday things you two will do and enjoy. Nice!
 

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That is a wonderful success. Congratulations! I took a trainer to the vet to show them how to interact with mine, who wasn’t aggressive but was vet phobic. He saw nothing bad happened and he got a lot of attention. Now, I take him alone or take both dogs together. I always tell the vet please don’t knock on the door. The only reason they knock is so they don’t hit a dog with the door so I keep mine away from it. Mine are both trained to bark at knocking, which means my WL will be in drive mode when the vet comes in. Instead, I want him calm and relaxed. So she walks in and talks to me, totally ignores him and he immediately wants all the attention.
 

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This is a great story and it is a big deal. You used the term we. And the more you think in terms of the “we” factor, the stronger the bond and the trust that flows between you and Jack.

Congrats and keep at it.
 

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That is a huge success, for both you and Jack! Totally agree with Aly, the we is what makes it work. Good on you and Jack!
 

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It is a big deal!!You should be very proud of your resolve and your progress. Keep up the good work and please keep us posted.Sharing journeys like this is very valuable to others struggling. Many come and just read, so thanks for sharing!
 
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