"Brae" for short. He's a Dutch shepherd from a very reputable breeder - Vrijheid Kennels. Brae launched into my life full of pizazz. When I met him at his breeder's house, he was around 8 weeks of age and he was already dragging fully loaded backpacks across the ground with his mouth. I knew I was in for it. Brae is a classic 'working line dog' in that he is always ready, always 110% there. He was actually very hard to live with for the first year because he did not settle, no matter how much exercise he got. Imagine being a professional trainer, spending 3-4 hours a day on training/exercise/socialization with an infant puppy, and that puppy STILL refusing to take a nap unless he was physically crated. That's Brae.
As a trainer, Brae is perfect for me. He is my go-to dog for group classes and helping with reactive dog clients. When he is on the job, he is completely stable and focused on me. Off the job... He is a bit neurotic, a bit too pushy, a bit too... everything! But I say that with complete love and adoration. Brae is the best example of how training with a dog and living with a dog can be two separate things. And also how "high drive dogs" can be extremely well trained yet still require constant vigilance in life. Brae is the kind of dog who still wants to play fetch after a 16 mile bike ride. He will wake from a dead sleep if I chuckle during a movie, and think that something exciting is about to happen.
Brae is a special dog, a once-in-a-lifetime dog. He is completely in tune with me and devoted. I love all of my dogs equally but I trust Brae like I trust no other. I am endlessly grateful to his breeder for giving me a dog that exceeds my personal and professional expectations.