I am angry and bitter we got the seemingly one dog in the litter with problems, but we love him and are committed to him now. I believe I can get to a point where I can run with Sagan. This is important to me. I cannot keep a border collie holed up at home. When we are moving, it is better.
I do not think I will ever be competing with this dog in agility or otherwise. Possible that rally obedience might be calm enough for him to handle. I would love to at least be able to do agility classes with him, but I also think that is years away. Must accept this.
I do think I can continue to make progress with him, but I've begun to accept this is not the bulletproof dog I expected/wanted/hoped him to be. I am an informed person. I know what triggers are, what thresholds are, and I knew what this all meant years ago with Winnie.
Sagan is an extremely sensitive dog. Whether we have "done this" to him or not is a mystery, but genetics has some say. His fear is widespread and ingrained and affects all of his new exposures...noises, sights, dogs, people.I think I need to be realistic and hope for behavior management...... His fear, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being minimal and 10 being debilitating, I would rank a 7. 50% of the time, he is debilitated by his fear. Unable to listen, respond, or cope. He will be joining our dysfunctional pack at home. :-) We will continue to work with him and help him to be confident. But after 3 months of this, I am convinced our impact will be minimal, and I have to accept this and stop blaming myself. From Day one, hour zero, he has been fearful of new stimuli.
High point #1: He loves Doppler and understands his pack order in our house of 3. Winnie is Alpha, and Sagan is not challenging this. Winnie > Doppler > Sagan
He can test the waters with Doppler and get corrected without bleeding. Plus.
He loves almost all dogs he meets appropriately. This precludes normal dog park visits, but at least tells me if I need to him to love a particular dog, it is possible.
- to run with Sagan without him barking and lunging at strangers and dogs (Think there is an 8/10 chance at this)
- to be to take him to the vet without muzzling (5/10... will see after neuter appt.)
- to be able to walk him in most neutral environments (7/10)
- to take him to agility classes (2/10...not without a lot of calming on his part)
- to take him to continued obedience classes (7/10)
There is still a chance he will outgrow this, but I need to be realistic so that I can love and not resent my dog. He is a sweet lovey guy, who wants to please, and loves most people. Hoping things get better than where they are now. Constant vigilance of environment is exhausting, demeaning, and confidence-shattering. I hope I can give him what he needs.