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Old 10-24-2012, 07:47 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Default Mid-Life crisis?

Summer is 8 1/2 these days. She has always been a higher energy dog, which is a big reason why she ended up with me instead of staying with her breeder. She wanted her to go to a more active home. She's always been a little hyper, a little bit needy. But she's also always been very sensitive. She is a worry wart and always always always wants to be 'good dog'. She's my bombproof little girl who never ever dreams of doing something bad.

Lately, and it has been a gradual change, Summer's turned into something else. Confident, bold, and non stop energy and enthusiasm. Examples:

1. Tonight I hear a dog trying to jump onto my bar repeatedly and looked over my shoulder and it's SUMMER trying to snatch the canned dog food I was setting out.

2. She decided to shred a piece of paper the other day and had a blast with it (all the while looking like 'am I allowed'?)

3. She's started vocalizing in excitement at agility. That's brand new.

4. She played with me today! A very tame version of wrestling but she actually played! And had fun!

5. I have also gotten her to play with toys a few times lately! And some light tugging!

6. Agility, she's a ham. At any opportunity, she throws behaviors at me. No fear at all with anything (as evidenced by her terrifying me by bailing the a-frame)

Honestly, I love it. Is that bad? It seems like a regression in training but I love how much fun she's having. I don't see the worried looks she used to always have every time she acted like a goof. At least not as much.

I wonder what has caused the difference or if it's a combination of things. she's done training classes before but it seems to be tied to the fact I've really ramped up the shaping exercises. I've also started working on her with toys (and it is slow going). I've also been exercising them both more and it's showing. She is really in good shape right now.

Long post short, anyone had a dog go through something like that at an older age?
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:29 PM
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Hey, that's some mid life crisis, lol. My dog is 7, she's full of energy only when someone is paying attention to her, otherwise she just snoozes.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
It seems like a regression in training but I love how much fun she's having. I don't see the worried looks she used to always have every time she acted like a goof.
That's not regression. That's progression. A dog feeling confident enough to try new behaviors is not bad in my book. Minus the counter jumping, sounds like a very much happier Summer with her new-found confidence!
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:37 PM
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I agree, I think since you said it kind of has to do with increasing shaping, I wonder if the shaping has just made her a more confident dog willing to try things. I wouldn't take it as a bad thing at all!
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:55 PM
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Yeah, it sounds like agility and dog sports have really helped her confidence!

The shocking part of this thread was reading that she's 8.5?!?? I thought she was like....5. How old is Mia?? WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:16 PM
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Mia's 3.5 now! I know, time goes too fast!

It's probably pretty bad that the counter jumping made me laugh. I'm not going to encourage it but it was just so unexpected of her. I've really been having a lot of fun with Summer lately. I really think it might have to do with the shaping and training and just teaching her it's okay to try new things.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:48 PM
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Aww, glad to hear she's healthy and happy at 8.5!
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:56 PM
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Liz is the same way! The more she learns, the more she plays lol she's just recently started tugging & grabbing toys.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:40 PM
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I think your training is giving her more confidence! I've noticed similar changes in Sienna gradually, after teaching her things like retrieving and tracking, trying to teach tug, and training with more games and play. She's only 5 though, and it's been in the last year that I've noticed the changes. So I'd bet it's that what your doing is working.

I can totally empathize, I let Sienna get away with murder, I'm just so happy to see her, well...happy. When she first figured out she could chase and fetch a toy, she did it a whole bunch and then looked almost worried, like she had been repressing it for so long and wasn't sure it was ok to have so much fun.

Also maybe Mia is rubbing off on her.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlottMom View Post
Liz is the same way! The more she learns, the more she plays lol she's just recently started tugging & grabbing toys.
Oh wow, for a second there I thought you were talking about me, my name is Liz, lol
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