Limitations

If you've not done your "parenting"

• job well, you will not have a very close companion. Your friendship will be weak and you run the risk of your dog having little respect for you. You can develop close companionship by continuing to invest time in the relationship with your dog. Go back in and retune or polish any "weak links" in your relationship before going forward.

When the "learning loop" closes, and the circle is complete, your dog may not have drawn her circle around her family; rather, she will probably have drawn her circle around herself or other dogs. She may remain independent and/or self-serving. If you need to "open her up" and rebuild concepts, do so gently and patiently.

Tolerance breakdown of the situa-

• tion can occur. If your dog has been without leadership mentally or socially for too long, her tolerance for social isolation can break and major behavioral problems can occur due to her inability to cope with the situation. You can change this pattern if you see it before tolerance breakdown happens or correct it when it does happen.

If there are any unresolved behavior • problems that exist from the previous stages, chances are they will not be able to be resolved completely. At this point, behavior problems may be about management instead of solution. Problems may dissipate to a large degree, but their core may remain. Use your best management "skills" to ease your stress and your dog's if this is the case.

^^ Any unpolished skills left from the # ^L • previous stages may remain weak or "rusty" in adulthood. Some skills like off-leash training may be compromised if the proper attention to detail was not given in the formative stages.

1*7 ^ Any misconceptions about her role # • in the family or her perspective of herself that has not been clarified in adolescence may remain an issue in adulthood. If many inconsistencies and mixed messages have existed in her upbringing, then they will set in adulthood. Un-mix any mixed messages to remedy this.

"We don't talk anymore." A common • pitfall in marriages is forgetting to talk to your spouse and spend quality time together. Likewise, your adult dog became your friend through the time you spent raising her. Continue to give her quality time each day. Having a positive training session together can be like having a very special conversation together. Stop everything for just ten to fifteen minutes and train your dog. A little one-on-one focused attention goes a long way in reminding your dog that she's important to you.

Not only will continued training practice keep your relationship healthy, but it will also keep both you and your dog's skills polished and in good working order for all of the fun adventures upon which you will be embarking!

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