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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not new to the forum, but I've never introduced our other dog Maverick and I'm sure you've noticed him in some of my pictures. He's not a golden, but I'm active on the forums with my dog Goose (who is a golden) and I love the community here so I really hope it's okay to post this!

Maverick is our rescue dog (Chocolate Lab x Doberman) who had a rough start to life. He grew up with an abusive male figure and spent most of his first 8 months locked in a crate, left alone for hours at a time, and being hit by the male. From what I was told the woman divorced the abusive male and decided to give Maverick up to a high kill shelter. Luckily- Maverick was snatched up by a rescue group and placed in a foster home. We adopted him in 2013 and since then he has lived a pampered life.

Maverick is currently 5 years old and due to his past he is a very nervous dog and has issues barking at men. For the longest time I've been afraid to take him to training because my worst fear is that he will react and bite someone (even though he has never done this). I recently earned a CGC title with our other dog and after seeing a reactive rescue dog in that class do a 360 in 6 weeks and pass the CGC- I decided it's time to face my fear and work on making Maverick a well rounded dog. It's not fair to him for me to avoid doing things just because he is more complex to work with.

My goal is for Maverick to ultimately pass the CGC, earn some trick dog titles (he's got the smarts of a doberman and could honestly probably earn TKN and TKI at this moment), and build his confidence enough to participate in Dock Dogs! Swimming is his favorite thing but he needs to be able to hold his composure around a crowd.

We've signed up for our first obedience class in April and I'm so excited/nervous. I plan to create a training thread for Maverick so that you can (hopefully) see his progress!
 

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I am glad Maverick has found a good home with you. Maverick and Goose look very cute together.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm glad we found him too! I thank god for that everyday because he's honestly the sweetest thing despite his issues with men. Goose and Maverick are two peas in a pod and it just felt weird that I had never introduced him on the forums! I'm going to need all the support and tips I can get to help him build his confidence.
 

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Maverick

Bless you for adopting Maverick. What a sweet looking boy!
Looks like he and Goose love one another! I love RESCUE dogs! He is lucky to have you and vice versa!!
Ask away for tips here, people are great about it.
 

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You are wonderful for taking in Maverick - he looks really happy to be part of your family. Hope Maverick and you bring each other lots of joy!

Back stories like this break my heart but its wonderful to see how resilient and loving dogs can be. There are many members on this forum who have taken in rescue dogs and can help. Here is a great thread on wonderful sweet Charlie:

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-youve-adopted-rescued/402170-charlie.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It truly is amazing how much love he has to give. He is a 90 pound snuggle bug and he is so smart that it's scary. I swear he knows what I'm saying sometimes!

We have a lot to work through though. The poor thing is scared of his shadow and he has terrible separation anxiety! The entire reason we actually got Goose is because if Maverick is with another dog at home he calms down and can be left out when we leave instead of being crated. And from his past you can imagine what it's like for him to be crated. Training him to understand that crates weren't bad was VERY interesting when we first got him, and he still isn't crazy about going in it- he merely tolerates it.

He can currently take walks in places like a park and down a non-crowded side walk where there is plenty of space between him and men. But I'm certain that keeping him calm at the Dock Dogs crowd would be a challenge.

We go to an event each year that benefits the rescue group he was adopted from where dogs can swim in a local pool for a donation. That event is SUPER crowded but he loves the water so much that in that moment the crowd doesn't matter. This attitude would probably translate to Dock Dogs but *I* need to be confident that he won't react inappropriately so I figured CGC is a good place for me to start!

Thanks for the thread on Charlie! I'll have to give it a read.
 

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Update 5/27/18

Hey everyone! I just wanted to post an update here. The CGC class I had originally signed Maverick up for in March was cancelled due to a lack of others enrolling. I currently have Maverick signed up for a class starting at the end of June- so here's to hoping that we can get into that one!

There have been some improvements since March though! Today Maverick went and tested for his Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Trick dog titles. I know 3 at once is a lot, but Maverick is a really, REALLY smart dog. I've only been putting off testing because of how nervous he gets in certain situations. I was taking my golden (Goose) in for his advanced title and I figured I'd bring Maverick too since he is usually calmer if he is around Goose.

Luckily enough, he was! He was rattled at first since this facility is at a kennel and he didn't like the sound of all the dogs barking. We let Goose go first while Maverick sat there with my husband to settle in a bit. Maverick did 25 different tricks and he blazed through all the trick dog titles! We are going to be sending in his performer application as well so I attached a YouTube link below with his video that we made. I also added Goose's too in case you want to watch both of them. Enjoy!

Maverick's Trick Dog Performer Video:
Goose's Trick Dog Performer Video:

Next time I post hopefully we will be in a CGC class.
 

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