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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Shyla's Growing Confidence

A picture of intensity...
When I first met Shyla, she wasn't passionate or intense about anything. She has changed profoundly in the past 1.5 years. She loves her mountain life and plays with incredible intensity. She's truly a "Rocky Mountain Dog", as she adores clambering up on boulders and standing tall to survey her world.
Shyla's confidence with others outside our family is growing. During our hike this morning, we saw our friend and his dog. His dog likes to posture, showing that she's the boss with other dogs. Confident dogs, like R, seem to barely notice this dog's posturing. However, Shyla has always been scared by it.

This morning, the two met. You can see the piloerection of Shyla's fur just above her tail. You can also see her ears pinned back and how she's almost leaning backward away from the other dog. Clearly, Shyla was not the boss in this meeting.
This was actually a good meeting for the two of them, compared to many of their encounters over the past year. There was no groveling by Shyla, and the other dog moved away without any growls or other overt bossy behaviors. Their recent meetings have been greatly improved, like this one. It makes me happy to see it.

In this encounter, the tough part was that the other dog moved so that she was between me and Shyla after they'd sniffed each other. Shyla was scared to come past the other dog to rejoin me.

After a stalemate for a short time, the other human, who has won Shyla's affection and trust over the past year, escorted her over to me. Actually, that is rather remarkable - Shyla trusted another human to help her go past the dog who she is afraid of! If you realize how terrified Shyla was of most people a year ago, that's an amazing event.
It's fascinating to watch Shyla continue to change. I wonder what she'll be like in another year.
I dream that she'll continue to learn how to cope with "scary" situations. I doubt that her fears will ever go away - but learning to cope with them is a huge accomplishment.


  1. This is news of the greatest joy, to see Shyla with another dog, and standing tall, maybe her ears give away what she really feels, but a huge milestone. Happiness all round for you. Cheers, Jean.

  2. How awesome!,love to see the progress and the wonderful job/ connection between you & sShyla. :-)
    Barb, etnie, snd the furkids. :-)

  3. That is an amazing day and amazing photos!

  4. how very sweet. i love your 'other human' dog person, too.

  5. Shyla is an example for all of us- to learn how to cope sometimes

  6. I love reading this. Such wonderful progress.

  7. That is huge! Good for you, Shyla.

  8. Shyla has come a long way in a year and a half, your patience and love has helped her so much..well done!

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  9. I think the big Colorado sky is the limit to what Shyla is capable of becoming, and it's because you see it, and she is starting to feel it. It's an amazing feeling when you help to ignite the potential of a dog, isn't it?

  10. She is gonna be just fine, my personal prediction!

    You have done so splendidly with her and will continue I am sure.

    Cheers and hugs,


  11. Shyla has been such an amazing pup!

    DK just saw your photos for the first time and said you're a great photographer! :)

  12. Shyla will learn more and more. She has done a very great improvment with all

  13. I'm always amazed by how different dogs react to our pups. Sam, who never believed he was a dog, always seemed to have dogs go after him. After that initial meeting they would be fine with him. Monty is reactive - he is always trying to punk other dogs. Harlow on the other hand, with the exception of one very bad dog, seems to disarm any dog she meets. She doesn't cower or act dominate, she just is herself and every dog seems to love her for it.

    Monty and Harlow

  14. SO great to see her confidence grow. We are experiencing the same with our Maggie and it warms my heart to see her be a dog.

  15. We are so very proud of you, Shyla! Good job!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  16. What a great post! Go, Shyla!
    Play bows,

  17. Shyla, I'm sending you a special rottie kiss for bravery!!

    Your friend,



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