Terriers–and dogs in general–are much more “plastic” than we are.
A speaker at a semi-recent national veterinary conference reported that canine personality (and related behavioural issues) is fixed by about three years of age. The implication was: if you haven’t ‘fixed’ your dog’s issues by then, forget about it. Time to despair? I don’t think so.
Bossy changed a lot between three and four. So I, for one, conclude this assertion is “bunk!”, to quote my colourful first-year sociology prof, Kunkel. Of course, if I’d stayed stuck so would have Bossy.
What’s more, if I could’ve figured out faster what I was doing–or not doing– in the situations that stressed and challenged her, I could’ve helped her find her softness and stillness sooner than she did.
Freeing ourselves with the idea that behaviour is malleable is a key to improving all our relationships. After all, isn’t change–and not stasis–the real way of life? Let’s be tenacious on that thought.
Let’s be open to having a terrier teach us.