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I've been away for a while. Pretty much decided Sonic is not a border collie in the traditional pure-blooded, or even part blooded sense. Pretty much think he's a border-collie-ish dog from the Dominican Republic, so I'm saying he's a Dominican Street Collie for fun and accuracy.

 

It's been more than a year. He's come a long way in some respects and same old same old in others.

 

He still gets mysterious sudden onset hand-shy, which lately manifests at the nursing home we visit (counter conditioning with treats is VERY tricky for obvious reasons).

 

He no longer growls/wakes up with nightmares on the couch. He used to suddenly jump up and growl and look completely dazed or jump up and growl and fly off the couch and into his crate. Over the year, without us noticing, it has faded. He never growled at us so considered it a non-problem (as far as behaviours go, though we felt sorry for him, he obviously was feeling bad). We basically just left him alone or petted him to reassure, and spoke his name before moving. Well, I can't remember the last time this happened now and never lost his desire to be cuddly.

 

He came to us without any understanding or desire to play with us, and I've had to train this 'from scratch' using a tug-and-treat frisbee toy (frisbee with food inside). Since January, I've been making a serious effort to get him playing on his walks (which are mostly too exciting for him to want to play, so this is a difficult task even if it sounds fun (okay, I hate the rejection when he's just not that into me, I admit).

 

He was horrible to walk on leash in the beginning, just completely reactive to everything and upset and nervous too. He is now a joy to walk when it's just me and him, but if I walk with my husband or ignore him he goes right back to horrible (bark and whirl is still his default behaviour when given 6' of leash), but he does very well when I'm minding him.

 

Here's a video of one of our play sessions (and this is right before we get to pass a howling husky dog that upsets him so I'm thrilled he will play here).

 

 

And here's a mini training session at the start of a walk. It's pretty crappy as he's 'just not into it' here, possibly because what he really wants is to continue the great adventure that a walk represents, he really just wants to sniff. I like the location because of space, no cars, close to home, and a barrier to mount the camera. But he just wants to sniff pee and move on, but it's a peak at what things are like in the 'real world'.

 

 

And here he is in his 6th week of agility.

 

 

He was awesome there, loved it. Will be back next fall for sure if not sooner. For now just continuing with the basic necessities (it would be sooooo nice to be able to walk with husband and dog and have an uninterrupted conversation with my husband), and 'fun' & 'engagement' with Sonic, with a focus on 'learning to learn' over actually acquiring a new behaviour/command.

 

So that's it. And as usually, breed mix guesses are forever welcome. It's impossible not to wonder & speculate.

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