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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Building confidence

Any of the SAR folks here have suggestions for building confidence in a young dog, especially when working away from the handler? This is what I would like to work on with Holly this summer.

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:24 PM
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Re: Building confidence

You know I imagine the dog either is or is not going to be confident and not much you can do about that.

In terms of ranging. All I can say is a lot of folks spoil their pups by putting too much obedience on them too young so the dog depends on the handler for guidance.

Lots of offlead walks in the woods, let the puppy explore to the range of what will be your working comfort zone in the future. Do it at night too - that zone tightens up in the dark. Well that is what I did with my one pup [and I did use the ecollar in the woods but never on SAR training] and she would range WAY out - 1/2 mile at one point while on scent and worked a nice permiter around me while not. My other adult dog acquired as an adult naturally ranges - I actually wish he worked more tightly for cadaver work.

Nancy



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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:29 PM
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Re: Building confidence

First off congrats on your recent certification from Holly's little brother Jethro.

I actually cheated by having two dogs at once. One matured more quickly and learned every lesson rapidly. These two dogs always got a long GREAT and had a healthy, good nature, competitive relationship. I started taking the two of them (Phoenix and Tika) to the wood line behind my house and just chucking a kong as far as I could into the brush. They both went looking and I would guess the first 30 times or so Phoenix ALWAYS came back with the kong. But the first time Tika came back with it you could SEE everything I had worked on with both of them for 3 years just CLICK with Tika. She was SO proud of her accomplishment. I did this for two reason. To work on her focus for the task at hand and also to work getting her to use the hunt drive I knew she had. After her first "victory" she steadily built up her average in successes to where she was almost 50/50 with Phoenix.

Just overall confidence training like perhaps an agility class would help to.



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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:33 PM
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Re: Building confidence

I guess I should also state that Tika was slower to mature and would loose focus and return to me. Working these drills with Phoenix really did seem to boost her confidence and make everything click.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:37 PM
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Re: Building confidence

Funny did not think about it but on our walks we always took a toy and chucked into the woods as far as I could throw.

Nancy



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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:39 PM
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Re: Building confidence

That does sound like a good idea.

Congratulations again on a job well done Emily!!

Angela

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:50 PM
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Re: Building confidence

So was this the recent test in Florida? Knew some folks who were there. Have the NAPWDA cert but not the NNDDA. Congrats.

Nancy



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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 02:51 PM
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Re: Building confidence

It was in Texas.

Angela

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Building confidence

Thanks everyone for the congrats! I have been wanting to post a bragg but the problem is finding time to get a picture of Holly with her certificate

Nancy, our certification test was Sunday in Beaumont, Tx. I was really pleased with how well she did given the totally new environment. I've never thought about throwing a toy into the woods, that's pretty cool. Someone else told me to set out a single source, let her find it, then have BIG party. I know handler reaction has a lot to do with a dog's confidence, so I'll probably try this too, even though I'll look like a nerd clapping and dancing around all crazy-like

Ruq, I have been laughing my head off at Jethro's adventures! What a character he is! I have to ask how you manage your whole brood...I thought having three dogs was a challenge! Can't wait to see the J litter progress as they grow up...especially Jet!

~Emily~

Bella — 4 year old black Lab mix
Jaga — 4 year old GSD, CGC, TDI
Hollandia vom Landholz (Holly) — 2 year old GSD, CGC, NNDDA SAR (land cadaver)
Oliver — crazy cat
Jake — ball python
and the fishies

Kodak, 3 year old Chihuahua/terrier mix, RIP
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 03:16 PM
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Re: Building confidence

Emily, like Amaruq said, Agility gives a dog a lot of confidence. Maybe do some Agility classes with Holly if you have time?

Carolina Johnson

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