Okay so, when trying to understand Bastas, I had read several times that wolfdogs are "single event learners". They're super smart at figuring things out, however in practical terms, this usually results in trouble for their humans. For example, they only need to figure out how to escape containment once; after that, it's easy as pie to get out again, and it becomes a dance of staying one step ahead of them.
In Bast's case, single event learning has the consequence that Bast only needs to have something bad happen to him once in order to develop a deep-seated, lingering emotional complex about it. I have to be very careful not to accidentally startle him, or else it requires weeks of positive conditioning to get him okay with something again.
When we're in the car, Bast almost invariably has his head out the window.
|Free as the wind blows.|
Last month, Bast and I were arriving home after an outing. I can normally tell him, "Hey, get your head in the window," and he will respond to my voice and come back in the car. On this night, though, after checking to make sure his head was out of the window, I turned forward again as the window rolled up. While my back was turned, Bast snuck back to the window and jammed his head in it just in time to get caught as it rolled up.
Although he had only time for one wheeze and buck before I quickly unrolled the window, it was enough to put the fear of God into him. He doesn't worry about having his head out of the window while driving - that joy was not taken from him. However, now when I arrive at a destination with him, you can guarantee you'll find him sitting on the other side of the seat, eye-balling the window mistrustfully and staying perfectly still while the window rolls up.
It's been 3 weeks now and he still does this every time.