I admire your patience and determination, and the progress you have made with Mattie sounds lovely.
Sadly, I had to give Dash back to the rescue centre today. The behaviourist I contacted couldn't fit us in until the end of June, and I didn't feel confident in my ability to handle Dash on his walks until then. It was a very difficult decision, but the simplest walk was becoming a bit of an ordeal as it was very hard to predict what would suddenly cause a strong reaction in him with lunging, barking and growling.
I hope that Dash finds a new, more experienced, person who can help to bring out the best in him. When he was calm he was a lovely dog.
Thanks again for all the support and advice.
I totally understand! I have a similar issue with one of mine and it really requires being 100% at the top of your game every second on a walk to prevent the behaviors. Unfortunately, they are self reinforcing, so any success means trying even harder to be a total jerk the next time. Dash really wasn't a good fit for a novice owner. You tried your best. If you really have a heart for rescue, then try working with one that fosters out the dogs. They usually have a better idea about the dog's personality and can better help you find the right dog for your situation.
Gotta love 'em.
Sorry Dash wasn't a good fit for you. I know you will find the perfect dog in time. Rescues can be difficult because we don't always know what has happened in their past.
Keep in touch and let us know when you find the perfect dog for you.
One Border Collie Is Never Enough
I apologize. I was hoping my last post would be helpful but in light of your situation, it wasn't. Mattie is my 6th dog and second Border Collie and I doubt I would be able to handle the issues you had with Dash. Please don't feel like a failure, it sounds like Dash had a lovely home while he was with you.
Sorry to hear how things turned out. Please, please don't feel like a failure because a failure for Dash would have been someone who was too proud to acknowledge their limitations which would contribute to more troubles for him. I think the fostering idea is a great one. Many shelters in Australia will facilitate this and I am sure there will be rescues in your neck of the woods that also do this. In my circles, when a dog is in a foster home who decide to keep the dog, they excitedly announce that the dog is a foster failure. Weird, I know but it doesn't mean the dog was too bad to remain a foster, it means the dog was too good to remain a foster and they can't bare to give the dog back. You sound like you have so very much to offer a dog and I hope you find your match soon.