Ewok seems to be doing better, for the most part. Whether that’s because he’s finally getting a sense of his place in the pecking order or because he’s too exhausted to act out, I can’t tell. “Submissive” and “tired” look fairly similar from my point of view.
We’ve started him on the basic tricks, things like “come,” “sit,” “lie down,” and “stay.” That last one is still a bit iffy, but it is coming along. Luckily we can motivate him with basic kibble, so we don’t really have to worry about him getting too many treats; the simple fact that we’re giving it to him often seems to be enough. He’ll come over for the occasional pet, but for the most part he just lies there and sleeps. I guess the mile-plus walks we’ve been taking him on seem to be doing their job.
But while he’s doing better with us, he seems to be doing a little worse with others. He’s actually gotten a bit nippy and growly with some of our coworkers, even ones he was fairly okay with last week. Maybe he’s too tired? Maybe he’s latched onto us as “his people” and doesn’t like intruders? Maybe it’s nothing and we’re just grasping at straws? I don’t know.
I do know that I’m almost certainly over-analyzing things, but I can’t help myself. It’s what I do. Since we’re no longer sure how he’ll react, we’ve been keeping him relatively isolated; avoiding other dogs while on walks, keeping him leashed and close to us while at work, et cetera. I’ve staggered the days I take him in so that he doesn’t have to encounter the dog he had isues with, but even the other, more naturally-submissive dog seems to avoid him. We’ll probably have to do a reintroduction once Ewok’s a little better mannered.
We’ve got our first training session on Thursday, so hopefully he gets along alright with his other classmates. I think part of my anxiety is from basic lack of knowledge: I know I don’t know, so I’m worried about Doing Something Wrong. But I’m hopeful that whatever issues we’re having we can work through, and Ewok will be able to be a productive member of our social circle.