So the BF and I are both back from deployments and in a new house with just us and our new routine. I have taken Titan out of SAR for personal reasons to include some of what this thread is about.. with that part being said we now have more time to do things with Mr. Titan outside the home. Titan is amazing outside the house. We frequent restaurants (on leash), a small dog beach (off leash), and some shopping locations (on leash) and he is just perfect. We also do a lot around my property off leash.. yard work out front, playing out front, training out front, etc. all off leash there.
There has only ever been one time he has acted out of the ordinary... and here are the threads that talk about that..
Was this Aggression, and/or is it fixable? (moved from Gen Info)
(Update) Our one on one with a trainer! (moved from general info)
Basically.. to sum that up if you don't want to read (it is a lot, lol). During SAR Training he was off leash as we'd just finished a scenario, as we turned a corner to an open field there was a man walking toward us a distance away, went to grab his collar to leash and he escaped my hands, went after this guy barking the entire way, nipped him in the hip and once the guy stopped moving, I'd gotten there already, and he stopped and sat next to me. Hasn't happen before that or since then. I took him out of SAR to work on it and essentially haven't gone back. I took him to a trainer and she said, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was not aggression and believes it was solely because he startled me, the guy would stop moving, and he was protecting. She said the fact that he didn't bite through skin nor continue after I had gotten over there was her reasoning. She and I worked for a few sessions and we basically just did fun stuff because she said I didn't have anything to work on with him. Just that I needed to be in control more with him because I was getting lax.. which was true.
I have, since then, had this hidden anxiety about taking him anywhere.. Also, since then, I have done a lot more work on things, trying to get him back to be solid on a few things. After months, he is fantastic. Like I said before we really do go a lot of places with him and I have been working with him more in public. I have virtually no worries about him on leash at all.. but how do I gain my confidence back in him on off leash times. We have gone to the off leash dog beach since then, and again.. did perfect. We go to the dog park and again, perfect, comes when called, leave things when told, etc. From an observer's perspective he is very well behaved and has no issues... but for me I have this like anxiety that the one incident will repeat itself, because he'd been great up to that point too.
How do I get back to the place where we can hike on trails off leash and I can relax andd not be on edge the entire time anticipating someone coming around the corner??
Any advice, maybe from some who have had to build back their own confidence in their dog??