Don't get me wrong- Leo has been improving by leaps and bounds. He is relaxed in new places, is interested in meeting new people, will accept petting and even ask for it sometimes, and most importantly is happy!
But there are some things that are not really going away, in fact it is quite the opposite. I'm thinking more and more that it is going to have to be someone pretty special for this guy!
Before I air all his dirty little secrets lets' talk more about the good stuff. :)
- He is learning about the clicker, and cookies, and how he can make both happen by doing stuff like lying down, and putting his feet on a perch...
- He has mastered "off" and no longer uses me as a trampoline when he is excited.
- People mean food. Or at the very least soft pets and kind words.
- Toys are fun! Kind of. Sort of. Okay, only when there are no people or other dogs are present. But he definitely is showing interest!
- Trust is not as hard anymore. He recovers much faster after being spooked by something.
- His recall is amazing.
- He loves the water and is a decent swimmer.
- Great on the leash- doesn't pull much at all.
- No means no. He gets that pretty well now- from people and from dogs.
- Still quiet as a mouse. He barks only when the others do, or if he is very excited.
- SO Snuggly!! He loves to touch, and be cuddled.
- He has phenomenal dog skills- likes most dogs and is very sociable.
- Ignores Cats
- LOVES sheep. He is quite talented according to my trainer.
And now for the things he still has troubles with.
He is obsessed with dogs. Running. Stopping. Lying down. Sleeping. It doesn't matter. If there is a dog he is content to stare at it. He has been spending more time crated now, or in a seperate yard from my dogs. And is now being walked seperately as well. I know all too well that obsession like this can be impossible to get rid of. So I'm trying to stop it before it's bad. He will break off and engage with me if I call him or am playing with him but the chasing/stalking leads to biting...
Speaking of Biting. Leo has nipped four times since I've had him. All of them have been quick and hard, but not clothes ripping or resulting in blood. Just a quick dart in and run away. Total chicken- always from the side or behind. And always related to motion or excitment. Thankfully the two people that he nipped this past weekend were understanding. Dog people are great. One was a hug gone bad. lol. Someone I hadn't seen in a while came up to give me a hug and Leo darted behind her and nipped her leg. And then that night in the hotel he nipped at my friend who was roughing up her own dog. Again her back was to him and he nipped her arm. Both times were preventable had I been paying better attention to him. The rest of the weekend I only had him out when I could focus 110% on him. He was great- met tons of people and was a perfect gentleman. He will be adopted to an Adult Only home though- it is too risky to place him with kids, or even where he may be around them....Kids move fast and Leo is a bit of a control freak. ;)
And that's the worst of it. He really is a good good boy. Easy to live with (minus the managing for the obsessiveness over the other dogs). Happy and friendly. Loves to go for walks, great in the car, quiet in a crate and is just a nice dog. We have lots of work to do still- the nipping concerns me. For a herding dog saavy home it will be easy, but that home may take a long time to come foward. He is a project dog for sure! Good thing he's so handsome. And sweet.