While being slightly hesitant to say anything because I have a grand paranoia over jinxing myself.... I think Diva may be making progress. I see more and more of a fun loving personality everyday. She still gets worried. She's still extremely high energy. She still tests me. She's still a slightly "off" dog who is most definitely lacking in social skills and in reading social situations. However, the negative occurrences are steadily decreasing.
She is recalling 110% better and more consistently. Her recall in a park, or stressful situation (man walking down road while we're loose in yard) is 100%. Her recall in the yard when she knows I want to go back into the house is at about 80% which is better than the 10% it was 2 months ago. It's 100% in the yard if I have the toy. 0% in the yard if she has the toy...
She regularly engages in play with me. She's still not perfect on the rules of the game. For example, she may fetch the toy in the house but deposit it on the couch across the room, then whine and make little head bobbing motions towards me. When I'm playing with both Ryder and her she reverts back to the Watcher. She hides beside the couch, under a table or desk or does her impression of a statue while outside. When in the house (and with Ryder in the X-pen) she'll play fetch or tug pretty happily with consistent and longer returns.
I've been letting her sleep loose in my bedroom at night. She periodically will hop up and sleep on the bed. I find it interesting that she wants to shove her body as close to me as she can. I also periodically put her in her crate to sleep at night. I need to buy a super size one or another X-pen for night.
She had started being a bit of a rotter in the morning. When it was time for me to load my truck and move the dogs from the house to the garage for the day, she had taken to hiding. She'd hide under my bed or we'd play ring around the rosie with the couch. (Toys and food my friends, toys and food...) This got me to wondering if Ryder and Diva were having issues while I was away at work. Or did Diva just want to stay in the comfort of the house? (That's tongue in cheek - they have a "dog" couch in the garage to hang out on.) Today, while I went shopping for groceries I put Diva in the house X-pen and Ryder in the garage. I'm not sure how it worked but she was pretty content when I came home. Ryder seemed a bit more ruffled than normal. I'll have to feel it out.
The big excitement today was on the return portion of my run, one of the neighbors had their dogs in the yard (3). They began doing normal dog like things such as barking and running to the property line fence. I stopped, took Diva's snout and made her focus on me. She had locked onto the dogs with laser beam eyes. Ryder, was a good boy. He just got bouncier. Resuming my running pace I made small talk with the barking dogs, and used Diva's name very intensely. She got excited with her tail up and a tense body but she didn't bark, growl or lunge towards the barking dogs. This made me pretty darn happy! Ryder just leaped beside me. I say leaped because he was leaping into the air, eyes on my face, periodically bouncing off me with his front feet. I think the "Dee, dee, dee" made him a wee bit excited. Once we passed the yard I told them how impressed I was with them. "Yessssss!!!!!!" "Gooooooodddddd Dogs!"
Can it be true? Can my dog babies be growing up and beginning to act like trained well adjusted dogs?? Or am in store for a major dog disappointment? Time will tell.