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Old 11-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I find that with Nikon the trust is more reversed. I don't know if he trusts me or not but in the past year or so we've gotten to the point where I trust him. If he alerts or reacts to something, I take notice and check it out. I've made a lot of training mistakes with him and yet he is still ready and willing to go out and work. He has proven that he will put himself between me and a serious physical threat. Given that I only ask myself if I can be more trusting of him, and not the other way around. I know he deserves my trust but I don't know if I deserve his! When it comes to training I do ask for a high level of compliance and I get it, but I'm not sure if it's "trust" (assuming that trust is something I have gained) or simply training a dog that has always been an eager worker and compliant, biddable dog. I don't really know how to tell the difference.

I also place more value in a dog's instinct than being able to train my dog to do whatever I say, and I see instinct as something that is inherently there or not whereas trust is something that would have to be built and earned over time. I know this is is probably different than what Willy is getting at, but I do not value a dog that would jump off a cliff if I told him to do it. My dog is better than I am at everything we do and if anything, there needs to be checks and balances on *my* training, not his, lol. He needs to be able to hesitate or outright refuse and be correct, to me that is only fair.

I think our working partnership is more about feeding off of each others' confidence than trust. Dogs work more in the "here and now" than in consideration of the past, I think. If I as a handler work with confidence in myself, I get a higher level of drive and compliance out of the dog whether I "trust" him or not. When I see Nikon working really well, say doing super tight passes in flyball with good speed and not paying any attention to the other dogs, that boosts my confidence in him and I no longer worry about whether I trust him not to react to another dog. If I walk out onto the protection field with confidence in my own handling I find Nikon is more likely to outperform himself than when I am fretting and over analyzing every little behavior or what could happen. No matter what activity we're doing I find that if I just worry about *myself* and remember to tell Nikon he's a great dog, then he does what is expected and beyond. I guess I think "trust" takes too much past and future into account and that how my dog works with me is more about the attitude and partnership in the "here and now". Hopefully that makes sense...

If I think back to doing gymnastics and learning a new skill, something scary and potentially dangerous, I will say that being able to trust in myself was more important to me than trusting in my coach/spotter. If I wasn't confident about the training, it didn't matter whether or not I trusted my spotter to catch me, I couldn't do it right. If I was confident in myself I was willing to take risks above and beyond whether I thought my spotter could make the catch or not. How this relates to dogs....well I guess I could say that I think a dog that has good instincts and a high degree of confidence in himself might appear more "trusting" of his handler in training whether there is actual trust or not. It doesn't really matter to me though. As long as we are both having fun, developing a bond, and learning together I don't really care the dog's motivation.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Halo will try anything I ask of her, but I don't know if that's due to her trust in ME, or her high level of confidence in HERSELF, lol! I suspect it's more the latter, as Lies talked about with gymnastics.

Keefer lives and breathes for me, I am his world. But he's less likely in general to try things that Halo wouldn't think twice about. She's also 20 pounds smaller than he is, quicker and more agile, and 3 years younger, so that may have something to do with it too - she is simply more physically capable.

If I point to a big rock and say "up" Keefer will put his front paws on it. Halo will jump up on it if it's even remotely possible to do so. In this picture Halo is perched on a sand dune ledge - you can see how high off the ground it is, and how small the platform she's sitting on:



There's no way Keefer would fit up there even if I could get him to jump up! And then diving off with her usual gusto:



There's no way I would have gotten Keefer up here either - it's not that high off the ground, but he'd have to jump onto a platform that's not only fairly small for him to get all four feet on, it's also angled rather than flat:



Halo? No problem.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Happy Birthday Halo!


I know what Willy is getting at. I had that deep trust with my Labrador. My previous shepherd was awesome, and he trusted me in many ways, but it was different with the lab. There was something DEEP there. I get what Lies said about not being sure about a dog that would jump off a cliff if you asked, but here's an example, I think:

DH and I went backpacking in September to a high alpine lake, and we wanted to skirt around to this pass and see if we could get up to the top of it. There were several glacier moraine fields we had to pass through, and the last of them consisted of ginormous granite boulders--like 6-8'. Of course they're on edge, all tumbled about, and it was difficult navigation for us, let alone Rocket. He made it about 1/3 of the way, and then he started to freeze up. I suspect it was a combo of his feet hurting, because he was just learning the art of jumping and not landing right on an edge, but I also think it was because he couldn't quite visualize where he should go, or what was on the other side of each jump. He is young, was only 14 months old on that trip. He did what I asked him to do, but then he started hesitating. I tried to encourage him on a particularly bad part, but I could tell he just wasn't going to do it. I've "forced" him before, when I know it will boost his confidence. But this one was just a really sharp, jumbled area and I really didn't know how successful he would be, so I ended up going back and lifting him down--ooof-- and we turned back. Sigh. I figured we needed a bit more time together for him to trust me enough to jump exactly where I pointed. He did hold very still while I was lifting him down, which I've never practiced or taught him, so either he totally trusts me to hold him, or he somehow picked up on the fact that I was precariously perched myself and we would both fall if he didn't.

Now my labrador, would've potentially thought I was crazy, insane, and needed to be taken care of, but if I'd asked him to fly to the moon, he'd have done it in a heartbeat. That dog held himself back if I asked, he put himself out there if I asked, he even tolerated the cats laying with him on his bed if I asked him too (which he hated---they LOVED him but he really could've gone his whole life without them, heh). These are not extreme examples, but I don't really know how to explain it. I just look back at some of the things I asked him to do, to live with, and realize how faithful and tolerant he was. He did every single thing I ever asked of him, and he did it with his whole heart. He never questioned me once. And he was quite protective. We had some country road workers once call my house because my kids were playing out front and they needed to come down the driveway and my lab was standing in front of them, tail straight out, no growling, but everytime they'd take a step, he did too. (He never did the immediate "run up and be friends", unless it was to people he knew.) It freaked them out, lol. Also once, he stood in front of a subsitute-UPS guy 8 years ago, again, when my kids were playing out front and this time he did growl at the guy (one of the only times I ever heard him growl), who yelled at my kids. I found out this summer from a friend who is a UPS guy, that that sub driver was fired because he was charged with trying to burn down his house --WITH HIS WIFE AND KIDS IN IT-- after she filed for divorce. I trusted his judgement completely, and I was glad to see it validated, even after he was gone.

I'm not doing a very good job explaining it, but it was just this deep, deep bond that develops with time and the right chemistry. I think he was far more protective than many labs, because of that deep trust we had together. I look forward to developing that with Rocket, but I wonder if it will be the same, or if it's truly a matter of chemistry and each dog is different.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I think mine trusts me completely.she will do anything I ask and she can be trusted, but I back off some stuff. Her mentality in agility is she sees it, I tell her to do it, she does it, she excels in it. She never seen an a frame or a dog walk and she had no problems with either on the first try...of course I was praising her the whole time. The trainer says she is a very confident dog and I need to trust that she will do what I ask. When she got sick, I could see the trust in her eyes....she put up with lots of poking and prodding and I truly believe she trusted me to know that no one would hurt her.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I can get Kyleigh to do anything ... but she also has the desire to do MORE!

I wanted a GSD for so long but knew that there were A LOT of dog. So, I gained LOADS of experience working with dogs, studied dogs, raised dogs, etc, then got Ky.

I KNEW what I needed to do to have the dog that I wanted. I had to change some ideas along the way ... toss out some, bring in new ones, but I was prepared!!!

With Kyleigh, I started really young with getting her to trust me.

First lesson - 10 weeks old. It's pouring rain outside and she doesn't want to go out. Put the collar and leash on her, walk her down the stairs to the yard, plop her on the ground, and gently lead her around the yard. 5 minutes later she's having a field day.

Second lesson - 13 weeks old, on the road in the pouring rain ... same idea, put the collar / leash on her and just tugged lightly on the leash to get her to follow. 5 minutes later she's running through puddles, having the time of her life

Third lesson - metal bleachers at the baseball field. (this is where SHE comes in LOL). She's about 4-5 months old and I have her walking the length of the metal bleachers - the LOW ones, just to get used to the feel of something different under her paws. She hesitated, gentle tugging on the leash, a couple of minutes later, she's running back and forth. Decided to practice a sit / stay on the grass. I ran up to the top of the bleachers ... she breaks her stay and joins me at the top EEK!

Fourth lesson - out on a hike in the woods (about 7-8 months) I see a fallen tree (it's about a foot off the ground), a small tree, not a very big trunk. Call her up onto it - no problem, and then get her to walk it ... she hesitated for about 5 seconds - you could literally see the wheels turning - then BAM she walked it like a pro

Fifth lesson - (again, this is where SHE comes in) I'm in a huge field of big round bales of hay. I get her to jump up on one of them ... piece of cake she says ... we're just walking in the farmer's field (with my friend and her dogs) when Ky spots 5 bales of hay - three on the bottom, then two, then one of the top. She looked at me, I said GO TO THE TOP ... and BAM she was up at the top of the bales in about 5 seconds!

Absolutely awesome to be with a dog that trusts you implicitly, but certainly makes you more cautious because you know she'll do ANYTHING.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Great pics Cassidy's Mom! Havoc is like that too, uber confident will generally try anything and can leap and balance on stuff that you wouldn't think he is physically capable of.

I don't think I give Havoc enough credit, I have been looking through some pics and came across some of the first mountain he went up. He was pretty worried and this was literally the first time I had ever seen him scared, he had just turned 1. It was SUPER windy on the top and although he was a little uncomfortable he didn't think twice about getting up onto this helicopter pad. And afterwards he a had a big confident grin on his face, I think he was pretty proud of himself

The times where I have had to "force" my dogs to do stuff, needed to be done in order for us to get off the side of a mountain. I won't force something unless it's totally safe and I see value in it (cinfidence building) or unless I have to.
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Does your dog trust you? REALLY trust you?-moose-mountain-031small.jpg   Does your dog trust you? REALLY trust you?-moose-mountain-033small.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I find that with Nikon the trust is more reversed. I don't know if he trusts me or not but in the past year or so we've gotten to the point where I trust him. If he alerts or reacts to something, I take notice and check it out. I've made a lot of training mistakes with him and yet he is still ready and willing to go out and work. He has proven that he will put himself between me and a serious physical threat. Given that I only ask myself if I can be more trusting of him, and not the other way around. I know he deserves my trust but I don't know if I deserve his! When it comes to training I do ask for a high level of compliance and I get it, but I'm not sure if it's "trust" (assuming that trust is something I have gained) or simply training a dog that has always been an eager worker and compliant, biddable dog. I don't really know how to tell the difference.

I also place more value in a dog's instinct than being able to train my dog to do whatever I say, and I see instinct as something that is inherently there or not whereas trust is something that would have to be built and earned over time. I know this is is probably different than what Willy is getting at, but I do not value a dog that would jump off a cliff if I told him to do it. My dog is better than I am at everything we do and if anything, there needs to be checks and balances on *my* training, not his, lol. He needs to be able to hesitate or outright refuse and be correct, to me that is only fair.

I think our working partnership is more about feeding off of each others' confidence than trust. Dogs work more in the "here and now" than in consideration of the past, I think. If I as a handler work with confidence in myself, I get a higher level of drive and compliance out of the dog whether I "trust" him or not. When I see Nikon working really well, say doing super tight passes in flyball with good speed and not paying any attention to the other dogs, that boosts my confidence in him and I no longer worry about whether I trust him not to react to another dog. If I walk out onto the protection field with confidence in my own handling I find Nikon is more likely to outperform himself than when I am fretting and over analyzing every little behavior or what could happen. No matter what activity we're doing I find that if I just worry about *myself* and remember to tell Nikon he's a great dog, then he does what is expected and beyond. I guess I think "trust" takes too much past and future into account and that how my dog works with me is more about the attitude and partnership in the "here and now". Hopefully that makes sense...

If I think back to doing gymnastics and learning a new skill, something scary and potentially dangerous, I will say that being able to trust in myself was more important to me than trusting in my coach/spotter. If I wasn't confident about the training, it didn't matter whether or not I trusted my spotter to catch me, I couldn't do it right. If I was confident in myself I was willing to take risks above and beyond whether I thought my spotter could make the catch or not. How this relates to dogs....well I guess I could say that I think a dog that has good instincts and a high degree of confidence in himself might appear more "trusting" of his handler in training whether there is actual trust or not. It doesn't really matter to me though. As long as we are both having fun, developing a bond, and learning together I don't really care the dog's motivation.
The bolded paragraph here defines my relationship with Aiden. The more I think about his 'sensitivity', the more I think that in reality, he is just so in tune with me and my emotions that he can feed directly off them and it can effect his performance drastically. If I go out to club and act almost cocky, like I know exactly what he is going to do and what I am supposed to do, then he is spot on. If I waiver with doubt even just a little bit, he will too.

I spent over a year sending Aiden into the blind for a bark and hold with a long line on him so that he couldn't get dirty and I could 'check' him with the line if I needed to. It was a 50/50 shot at that point for him to actually come in without punching the helper/sleeve. Then Sean Rivera came up for a seminar and asked me if he knew what a bark and hold was. Obviously I replied yes, and he told me that I need to be more confident in him and trust that he knows what he's doing. So I took the leash off and there hasn't been a day since then that Aiden hasn't done a beautifully clean bark and hold.

I was just talking to my club members the other day about how I remember sending Aiden in and asking the helper each time if he came in clean. I doubted him every single time. Now it's a question that I never even think about because I believe that he will go in clean every time, so he does.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well my experiences aren't exciting as the rest of yours,but I believe my dog does trust me,but she also knows her limitations. She will attempt to do anything I ask of her,but at 9 years old her mobility is a little limited at times.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorDog View Post
The bolded paragraph here defines my relationship with Aiden. The more I think about his 'sensitivity', the more I think that in reality, he is just so in tune with me and my emotions that he can feed directly off them and it can effect his performance drastically. If I go out to club and act almost cocky, like I know exactly what he is going to do and what I am supposed to do, then he is spot on. If I waiver with doubt even just a little bit, he will too.

I spent over a year sending Aiden into the blind for a bark and hold with a long line on him so that he couldn't get dirty and I could 'check' him with the line if I needed to. It was a 50/50 shot at that point for him to actually come in without punching the helper/sleeve. Then Sean Rivera came up for a seminar and asked me if he knew what a bark and hold was. Obviously I replied yes, and he told me that I need to be more confident in him and trust that he knows what he's doing. So I took the leash off and there hasn't been a day since then that Aiden hasn't done a beautifully clean bark and hold.

I was just talking to my club members the other day about how I remember sending Aiden in and asking the helper each time if he came in clean. I doubted him every single time. Now it's a question that I never even think about because I believe that he will go in clean every time, so he does.
I most definitely think that we project our feelings even if we think we don't. Often I think my dog was so awesome because I totally trusted him. There was no 'net then (well, not like now) and I wasn't on any forums to make me doubt myself or my dog, either. I acted like I had complete confidence and trust in him (which I did) and I have no doubt that made a difference.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think I have a story I can relay here. Smokey once got in a fight with a rottie who was twice as big as him. The rottie bit him on the bum and he released his bowels. He cried for a bit as he came running to me and hid behind me...

Does that count as trust? c:

But I really do think you've got a special bond with your pup. Neither of mine come close to the type of bond you've described...
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