Kazh’s training is progressing well. He’s super-responsive, wants to please his humans and hasn’t shown any signs of aggression. Based on observing him in many situations, our biggest obstacles are going to be building his confidence and working to moderate his tendency towards excited dominance behaviors.
Yesterday, we loaded him up with a weighted pack and brought him to a local park to walk the trail before we approached the off-leash dog area.
Almost immediately, we encountered another dog on the trail that had the excited energy that seems to trigger Kazh to respond with a similar intensity. We didn’t remove Kazh from the situation, rather we deliberately approached it. Brock immediately corrected and redirected Kazh’s attention until he was again calm in the presence of that other dog. A short time later, we again crossed paths with that dog on the circular path. “Oh, good,” I said when I saw the dog approaching, “Another opportunity for Kazh to learn.”
And he is learning. In the ten short days he has been with us, he has improved in almost every dimension.
It would be easy for us to simply avoid the situations where he struggles. We could keep him away from excited dogs on the trail and refuse him entry to the dog park when the energy is too high. He would still be a perfectly awesome dog.
Yet he would also be limited by the challenges that we refused to allow him to master. And without those opportunities to learn from his mistakes, he would never have the chance to become better.
How often do we do similar in our lives? How frequently do we approach those situations that we struggle with instead of merely avoiding them?
Yes, you can a perfectly amazing person even if you never approach those things that challenge you. Yet by meeting them head-on, you are giving yourself an opportunity to overcome them.
And you never know what you’re capable of until you try.