There are bugs- in here!
Barked: Thu Dec 28, '06 3:50pm PST 
Our first Belgian Sheepdog, Cinder was a rescue. She was living on a horse farm with her previous owner. She was accused of killing a sheep and of running horses into fences. She was unruly and dangerous on the farm. She was locked in a barn as punishment and we feared other mistreatment based on certain personality traits.

Cinder was willful, defiant and fierce. We were told that some of these traits came from being raised with a pack of Jack Russells who kept after her night and day.

One of the things that made my relationship with Cinder special was that I was able to connect with her through that feral fog. She was loving, affectionate and protective of me. But she was always willful.

I used to think that once Cinder was rehabilitated, and shown affection that her distrust and rebelliousness would end. It didn't. That girl had a mind of her own and the heart of a warrior. Still, we were able to break through. My wife Kelly taught her to swim and love the water although she initially feared and avoided it. Cinder learned games like fetch and fribee and loved to work.

When we lost Cinder to cancer, we quickly selected Bunny from a breeder in Georgia. She was the joy after the pain. It has been fascinating to see what characteristics Bunny has that are similar to Cinder. It lets me know what things about Cinder were symptoms of neglect and what things about Cinder were just Belgian. Willfullness sure seems to be one of them.

Bunny is more trainable and more trusting. Her sweetness makes her seem naiive and silly compared to the seriousness and fierceness of Cinder. But when confronted with unfamiliar surroundings or new experiences, her first reaction is to take a powder.

Is your Belgian stubborn? What other personality traits have you found to be uniquely Belgian?