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Discussion Starter #21
Do you do any obedience with Shae, like sits and downs? My other dogs will all sit and wait till I say their names before they can come in the house or go through a gate but so far I have just let Izzy come in first.
Yes, we do obedience training with Shae but it did take some time to get there. We have her brother, too, who does not have the same maladjustment problems she does and we started training him immediately whereas we had to wait some for her to be more comfortable. (For whatever it's worth, they were already older puppies, almost 2 when we adopted them.) As far as I understand it, taking into account variation between dogs, obedience training is great for building confidence in anxious and reactive dogs, which has definitely seemed to be the case with Shae. I think having not just another dog but her brother--who she is SO attached to-- around here has helped her catch up more quickly than she would have alone. It's possible she would have never really without him, so it's a complicated dynamic even though it is working out well. She is extremely observant and is always watching. I have no doubt she has learned a lot just by watching us with him.

We started with her around 6 months ago I think, maybe just a little bit of stuff earlier than that, and she knows "sit," "touch" (tap with snout), "settle down" which means both 'quiet' and 'lie down' for her although she knows "down" on its own too, and "shut the door" with her nose, a behavior she was already doing that we just taught her to do on command. And she sort of knows "go to daddy's (my) room" and "come" but neither that well. I think that's the full list right now.

So, short answer yes we have started doing obedience, long answer above and I recognize a lot of what you said in your post. We are currently working on bringing our expectations for her closer in line to what we expect from him, and we are lucky that he is so easygoing and patient.

I would definitely recommend trying some basic obedience with Izzy as soon as she seems ready!

[SNIP] if I'm quietly petting Mikee and he looks out the wind to see he knows walk by - FRIEND!!! right in my face, and I have to get up and walk into the other room to pick up my skin, and step back into it. ;-)

Based on the amazing progress that you've made in a year, I'm sure Baelor and Shae will continue to improve. Plus, I imagine you've had a little more quality time with them in the past few months ;-)
That doesn't sound familiar at all! LOL (Kidding, of course it does, with Baelor. He's a big "friend barker.")

Thank you so much for your ongoing support. I can't believe how long we've been talking on and off now, through Bailey's surgery and passing, Sebastian's epilepsy and passing, Baelor and Shae's adoption... I truly appreciate it!

And thank you, we think she is pretty amazing too :) There is no doubt that the extra bonding time was a silver lining of the last few months. It is almost unquestionable that has helped speed up the process even more.

Apropos of nothing, one notable thing that still happens with her is that if she gets really locked on something and starts woofing, she can't really stop on her own. Normally it's just a few barks and she's fine, but maybe once a day or every other day, something either particularly scares her or there's something that she is perceiving (wrongly) as a real threat. She HOWLS and stands on her back legs against the window and just generally loses her mind. It's almost like she's in a trance. A short, sharp "SHAE!" or "SHAE, SETTLE DOWN!" breaks it every time and thankfully she doesn't seem overly sensitive to the brief outburst, but we can't just let her do that for so many reasons (her own safety up against that window very much included, although she doesn't throw herself at it, just props herself up) and at the moment that's all that gets her to stop. She gets heaps of treats and praise as soon as she's down.

Do you have any opinions on whether there's a better way to handle that? Gentle redirection doesn't really work when she's like that although like I said, once we get her attention she gets treats and lots of praise for breaking from the window and being quiet... but it's like the one thing we can't figure out how to do completely positively, she almost seems to need some kind of sharp noise to snap out of it. Is that a thing with a dog like her or could we be doing the entire thing more kindly? Any thoughts?

Thank you again for everything.
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