We search out experts and expect them to tell us how to fix our dogs. We look for someone to tell us how to change behaviors, overcome problems, and transform our dogs. We look for pre-set formulas and actions. We want that “magic pill”, or course of action to make everything better.
And of course, it is wise to learn and absorb knowledge from others who have dealt with similar situations to ours. No sense in reinventing the wheel. We should seek to learn from the experiences of others.
But all dogs are not the same. The path to where they are right now, and their travels to get there are unique to them. The reasons for behaviors such as separation anxiety, reactivity, excessive barking, are not exactly the same. You can apply general rules and processes to a problem. But the dogs are individuals. Might not the best course of action for each situation/problem, be somewhat different then? Might it not benefit from something like an IEP (Individualized Education Program) similar to what the schools come up with for different kids? I suspect that this is so. This is the approach I am taking in my trials to help Zeke. I have tried many of the recommended courses of action without success. So I am formulating an IEP.
Zeke truly is a loving dog so we are not giving up on him. We have had him for over a year now and even with the trials, he has managed to endear himself. He is one of the pack. He gets on well with the other dogs. They have bonded. And so our journey continues.