I’m Not Lying

Risa amongst dogs in a very crowded building.

I think people are starting to think I’m a liar. I’m honest with everyone about my dog’s issues. It’s only fair they’re warned and prepared. Not to mention it often explains some of her strange quirks and weird things that might pop up. However, I think more and more people think I’m making it up.

When I started our rally class in the fall, I remember our instructor giving me a look when I told her Risa was fearful. A look of disbelief. I was a bit taken aback by it and a bit upset. It’s not a lie; this is a fearful dog.

She’s a reactive dog too. Though you’d barely know it lately. I had her at a fun match over the weekend and she showed little interest in the other dogs. She did get a bit upset when a crated dog growled at her but it was minor (and I think I was the only one who saw it). We went on a walk today and saw more dogs in an hour then we’ve seen all winter. Risa was growled at, barked at, reacted to, and attempts were made to play with her. She barely batted an eye and she never lost her cool.

I’m not a liar. She is still all of these things. The only difference is that I have helped her learn to cope. I have spent years showing her she can trust me to keep her safe. I listen to her when she’s overwhelmed and I try and change her perception of things. That’s why I can walk into a strange place with her and she doesn’t look like she’s waiting for me to accidentally drop the leash so she can get outta there. That’s why she doesn’t always snarl and lunge at the sight of another dog. These things don’t frighten her the way they used to. I know she’s still a little afraid. But her confidence is growing and that fear doesn’t show itself like it used to. 🙂

About Jamie

I'm just a traditionally-trained artist with interests in dog training. I currently teach classes at the local obedience training club (tricks, freestyle, and Rally-FrEe) and I also teach classes professionally for an organization who helps veterans train their own service dogs.
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