Recently, people asked me about our dog Maia. I haven’t written about her in a while, mostly because all is well and there isn’t really all that much to say.
A short recap: We got her from a shelter a bit over a year ago. She came to a shelter in spain when she was six months old. At about a year old, she came to Germany, but in that first shelter here, she got bitten and mobbed badly by other dogs. She lacks good communication skills with other dogs. At a year and a half the shelter where we found her took her over from the other shelter. We found her when she was about two years old.
Maia is a very reactive dog, people, animals, other dogs–it makes her lunge and bark. It took us a while to figure out that much of that behaviour was based on fear, and we’ve been working since on overcoming that fear. I always remind myself of what she’s gone through, that helps with not getting angry when my arms get stretched.
I’m happy to say that most of her fearful behaviour towards us has gone away. When I earlier couldn’t take a clothes hanger, or frying pan, or cutting board and carry it around without her cringing, now she doesn’t even bat an eye. Her lunging and barking is still there, but less extreme, and I can quiet her down reasonably fast. Where, a year ago, I would spin around ten times with a wild dervish on the other end of the leash until I had her in control, it now takes a few words, and getting her close–depending on the cause there’s perhaps one spin around myself involved. In the beginning she managed to drag me off my feet, now I feel a lot more secure (although I wouldn’t say it couldn’t happen). She lets herself handle freely without snapping. She listens, is alert, and grins a lot when we are outside. I can’t take pictures, because I need to be alert and have both hands, just in case.
She’s still chasing the cat, I won’t let them alone together, but when I say something, she immediately stops. She is a loving dog, and likes nothing more than to cuddle. My SO is her everything, but she likes me well enough, too.