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Shortly after Pierce came to live with me, he started exhibiting fearful behaviors.  As he was only a few months old, I attributed this to a normal puppy fear period and just kept socializing him.  As time went on, however, his fear became worse, with an aggressive edge to it.  I had him neutered and stepped up his obedience training and socialization.  We also enrolled in an agility class to build his confidence.  What might not have been such a serious problem in itself, I believe was compounded by Misha's illness and passing.  This was a very difficult time for both Pierce and I.

Recently we have been reaping the rewards of all our hard work.  Pierce passed his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog tests and to date has over 150 documented visits.  This means so much to me because of all the time and effort (and yes, aggravation) spent along the way.  I am so proud of Pierce!  My confidence as a trainer, which Pierce shook badly, has been restored, as well.

Pierce earned his AKC Novice Agility and Novice Agility Jumpers titles this years with multiple placements and also has just earned his AKC Open Jumpers Agility title and 2 legs towards his AKC Open Standard title.

We competed in a couple of pre-novice obedience trials and Pierce earned a second and third place.  Today was our first Novice Obedience trial and Pierce qualified with a very nice score and a 4th place.  This is such a big accomplishment for us.  I couldn't be more proud.

Lately, many friends have commented on how much friendlier Pierce has become.  This is so great to hear, as many times along the way, I was frustrated to the point of giving up on him - I am so glad I didn't.

For those of you with "Socially Challenged" pups, I urge you to please hang in there.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!  Recently, a friend said to me that there is a special bond you form with a "difficult" dog that is unlike any other - I find this to be so true.

THANKS to all our friends and trainers who were there for us along the way - we couldn't have made it this far without your help and support!

Updated 6/27/02

 

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