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We went to the behaviorist today...

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That's right; all my fruit is doing a happy dance.

The behaviorist (who is wonderful, by the way; I now have a great referral for this area) agreed with me that this is a sound, nice puppy who got three months of wrong signals and is on her way to recovery. She had some great suggestions and good criticism for what I'm doing wrong (oh, the shame!). Cricket loved her and came out of the session 100% more willing to greet strangers, which is WONDERFUL. She still has issues with men, but we're going to start a group class there and will be conditioning her with the men in the class. And I now have some good tools/responses to get her working with strangers and family members.

I now consider Cricket 100% sound to be off-leash in the house with the kids--she is great with them. Doug is still a problem, but she's getting much better. The behaviorist said that my bonding techniques (tethering her to me, etc.) are now working a little bit TOO well, since Cricket sees me as the be all and end all of her world, so we're moving to crating and separation training and letting the bonding take care of itself. The behaviorist OKed her to be placed at any time as long as she went to a dog-savvy household who would continue her training, and she's safe for a class as well (we'll start Aug 1, if she's not been placed by then).

Whew! I am so glad that I was vibing the right things about this dog, and I came home so empowered to be confident and relaxed about her and her future. I can start opening up her world now, bringing her places and conditioning her for social interaction, with the knowledge that she's fundamentally OK and ready to get back to life as a great dog.
 

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Wonderful!! I'm so glad to hear that Cricket is doing well.
 

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arty
 

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yay!!!!!!!!! i am still in awe of people like you who are SO devoted to their pups. good breeders rock!

cant wait to hear more updates on Miss Cricket.
 
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