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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all. It's not my first post (I posted last night about an issue and already received some great help, and am still open to insight & experience), but I figured I'd do the formal introductions.

I work at a university in Texas, live right near a river, compete in bicycle races, runs & triathlons, am an avid backpacker, a slack reader, and a general animal lover.

After an honorable discharge from the military, I began a career as a literature student. While pursuing that goal, I adopted a cat named Kilgore--who is still as hilarious as ever. I also became the resident pet rat foster for North Texas for some independent shelters through the ASPCA.

When I moved south, I found myself in the wonderful position of having a lot more time to myself, a large-ish backyard, and room in the budget for another companion.

So, I adopted Sydney! Sydney is a year and a half old black lab/australian shepherd mix whose friendly demeanor, youthful exuberance, and willingness to learn new talents won me over instantly. We're working--with a vet--through a bizarre exercise related health issue, but other than that everything is going swimmingly (really, he absolutely loves it!).

So far I've worked through How to be Your Dog's Best Friend by the Monks of New Skeet , have started The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, have Don't Shoot the Dog & Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor, as well as The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Millar on Deck.

While I don't have any feelings either way towards dominance theory or dichotomic training techniques, I do come from a cat & rat background (as well as military leadership, which reenforced a firm belief in positive reenforcement as the most effective means of training and leadership, but did instill a respect for timely correction) and lean naturally towards positive training methods, natural energy/tendency outlets, and exercise therapy.

That being said, I'm very open to advice, research, & experience from a variety of backgrounds and will be very receptive to reading/watching/research suggestions that you think will help me become a better, more knowledgeable guardian for my new pal, Sydney.
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