Shyla has reached that magical age when she is so agile and fast that it awes me. When we were high in the mountains this summer, she'd often choose the toughest routes to get from one place to another. Who else but a 2-year-old dog would choose to go over (instead of around) these boulders?
She's also been making huge strides with her confidence. Just recently, she had a great day in town with me, doing some shopping in dog-friendly stores that would have been too nerve-wracking for her just a short time ago. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that one observant gentleman quietly said "she's a tiny bit nervous for a Lab, isn't she?" He was right.) However, in almost every way, her burgeoning confidence is wonderful.
I think that Shyla used to obey me partly because she was afraid of the rest of the world. Now, that she feels invincible, I need to work on other sources of motivation.
I am forcing myself to go back to basics. We are practicing recalls and off-leash heeling
intensively. I remind myself that Shyla's world view has changed dramatically - so I need to "re-teach" the basics so that she's motivated to do them within her new, more confident, world view.