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About Gypsy

Gypsy is a 3-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. She was born and raised by a breeder who has a lot of experience with corgis. She was adopted as a puppy but then returned to the breeder at 1 year of age. She remained with the breeder for 3 weeks before I came along. I adopted her at 13 months. She was intact when I got her, but was promptly spayed within 2 weeks.

I was told by the breeder she was returned because the original owner had other corgis and Gypsy (who had a different name at the time) was picked on a lot (picked on? that’s probably an understatement now that I know more about dog behavior and aggression). Gypsy spent a lot of time in a crate so she wasn’t hurt.

I know she went to puppy class because I have some paperwork on it. I don’t know how she did.

I also know that during the time dogs develop their social skills, she was in a home that wasn’t a good experience.

Consequently, Gypsy never learned how to handle her anxiety. All of her reactive behavior is fear-related (as most is).  So a lot of what Gypsy is going through is because she doesn’t know what to do. She had no leadership or trust in her first home. She has a much better home now, but I didn’t know, until a few months ago, really what to do to help her.

This is Gypsy (well, she had another name then) at 11 weeks old. Look carefully at her right ear. Bite marks. She started "learning" at 11 weeks or sooner that she could get attacked. No wonder she doesn't know what to do with her anxiety.

Gypsy doesn’t need a strong leader per se. She needs what Dr. Yin calls a leader like in a dance. She needs to be able to follow the leader’s advice and support and know that leader is always going to sway her in the right direction. This will help her anxiety and reactiveness because she’ll know that I will be there for her. Her behavior will become habit and she will learn what to do instead of misdirecting aggression because of not knowing.

This is a journey. This is growing our relationship. This is not easy, physically or emotionally. This is worth it. Gypsy is worth it.

Gypsy and me, January 2012

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