Thanks FrenchFemme but there are lots of us about, and so many people doing much more necessary work - it's just such a shame there will always be needy dogs outnumbering the people who want to take them on by hundreds to one
Ugh, teens are hard! A reactive teen and a difficult situation to work on things much more so. Good luck to you, babysteps to the light at the end of the tunnel! Have you got anyone close to support all the work you're doing? There have been times that bit of understanding, outside perspective and moral support saved my sanity for you and your boy.
Of course you're never wrong - we dog-owners are always right, that's the law! I am coping with my first-ever puppy (teenage dog now) and that is hard enough - he is fear aggressive with other dogs as he rarely meets any as we are fairly isolated. Your lovely cocker deserves major respect for her progress so far(as do you for your faith in her and hard work). The world needs more people like you, willing to give a second chance.
She is going to be a very, very nice little cocker indeed. FGS I'm all wibbly lipped again reading your responses how ridiculous is that?! Thank you.
Cazinge - Your pup has fallen on his feet with you, such love and commitment, not easy dogs but very special. I quite agree, I see my op was more gush less realism! We have months of work ahead to see if she can be reliably safe with other dogs, currently keeping her under threashold and working incrementally on calm and responsiveness has yielded results I didn't expect to see for a couple of months yet but she is still very reactive if not managed very closely. But that's fine, she's given a lot to be coming around to people so quickly (she did a walk through town today!!!!). It's not all unicorn glitter and rainbows but nobody could ask more of her and she has really repaid every second of effort and time (a lot), not to mention my faith in her when things were looking ropey (very) and she was accused of being 'not right, that one'. I freely admit I did have one midnight sweat when my bloody minded defence of her corner was the only thing standing between her and the pearly gates - she helped out by getting stuck in between two fence panels trying to get to a passing dog, that didn't go down very well, obviously. But I'm never wrong <waits for internet to explode at such a blatant lie>
Well done you! You have put in so much work and got great results in such a short space of time. Don't get disheartened if the progress doesn't continue at this pace/goes backwards. We are over 18mo down the line with our rescue and still have days when we are almost back to square one. You will get there, she is a v lucky dog.
So just under a fortnight since doggy bag spaniel arrived and I think we may, just may, have got a pretty special wee dog on our hands. Is she perfect? No but she has come so far, so quickly the work still to do is all achievable.
I had a crisis of confidence about a week in when we had uncovered the extent of her problems, she was pushing my boundaries and didn't want to work for us, praise meant very little she clearly didn't trust me. Finding out she was dog aggressive when she launched at a passing Akita was probably a low point. Lunging at a neighbour on day 2 was also fun. Recall was non existent. After being told these things were not issues she had meant I put her in a situation I wouldn't have (normal but busy street walk) if I had known. I was pretty at myself for doing it.
But, but, but - Today we had a totally off lead walk with a responsive, solid dog. She passed other dogs without causing a ruckus and stayed at my heel trying really hard to be calm when another walker stopped for a chat. She doesn't want to play, that's fine, she just needs to not eat anyone. She's learning how to talk dog. She will watch bikes, joggers and other random strangers without fuss. Before she'd lunge or bolt. Now she'll look for a cue. She's listening - this is like first prize, she looks to me and wants to be a little team of her own accord. I thought I was putting too much pressure on her to try and sort everything (for her safety with our lifestyle) but she just kept giving and getting better. It's a pointless gushy post but I'm so, so, so proud of her I accidentally blubbed today on the way home. Only dog people really get why and I haven't been able to elicit the recognition she deserves for being such a courageous little dog and overcoming significant fears and anxiety IRL. She got 2 pig ears today though so she doesn't care!
Sorry for my novel, I don't expect anyone to wade through it. I just want to shout about her They don't know what they gave up.