I'm on the team but Hector isn't.
Our team gives a 6-month prospective member period, at the end of which the dog's and handler's progress are evaluated and it's decided whether they'll become full members. I'm doing well apparently
, but Hector's progress just hasn't been steady enough.
It's a little frustrating for me because I feel like he's finally hitting his stride and starting to progress consistently (it's just too little too late). I also feel like most of his early faltering was my fault, because of my inexperience in SAR. I don't know if that's quite fair to me because he would be a more difficult dog to train anyway because of his lack of early socialization (rescue dog), but I know I wasn't helping him.
At the same time, it's a totally reasonable decision and one that I completely expected. He's still going to be my hiking and camping buddy, and I'm looking into sports to do with him.
I'm also still going to remain active on the team. My plan is to stay on in a support role for 6 months to a year, then start to look for a puppy specifically for SAR work. Speaking of which, I know this is a GSD forum, but any of you guys know of Australian Cattle Dogs working in SAR? I've met a lot of Border Collies who do well. Anyway, ACDs are my breed of choice (as a look at the dogs in my signature might suggest
) and I'd love to get another one of them. Otherwise, I will probably opt for another shepherd-type dog.
Anyway, that's a ways off. I want to learn as much as I can first and try to do it right this time around...I only have so many chances before my boyfriend puts his foot down and says, "No more dogs!" LOL Plus, my team is very much in need of field support for the dog handlers so it is a very necessary role, and one I really enjoy.
So yeah, I know I haven't been posting here very long, but I'd made a couple of threads about my dog so I figured I'd let y'all know. Plus, I don't have too many people (other than team members) to talk to about it, who can really understand it. Either they're like, "so what?" or they think it's some completely devastating thing (which I guess it might be for some people, but I'm a professional horse trainer so I'm actually very realistic about even my personal animals and am very aware that not all animals are suited for all work), so I wanted to process it a bit I guess.
Also, I'm still going to be following this forum and probably asking questions periodically so don't think you've gotten rid of me that easily.