But she has become very growly about the front door, along with her usual shyness around strangers, and I wanted to get her past this anxiety before it became a habit. So I hired a local dog trainer to come to our house, evaluate Tesla, and come up with a training plan. I was completely prepared to hire this person and work with her to help reduce Tesla's anxieties, so imagine my outrage when the plan she gave us included muzzling Tesla in the house and keeping her on a drag-line leash (Tesla has never snapped at, much less bitten, any of us, even in play) and putting her on medication. My impression, honestly, was that the trainer disapproved of our adopted dog's "unknown history" and was generally not comfortable with her.
So, against the trainer's advice, we took Tesla to her first Adult 1 training session at Petco, where we practiced "Look," "Sit," and "Come." Tesla was the only dog there who didn't bark like a maniac; she greeted the other dogs enthusiastically (she loves other dogs) and even let their people greet her (and even pet her!). Several people, both in the class and watching customers, commented how pretty she is (she is!) and how well-behaved she was. And she really was.
So, please, don't be afraid of my big girl. She has a head like an anvil because she was bred to fight bears and bulls, but her heart is even bigger. She's my good girl.