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Discussion Starter #1
I'm putting this in "general" as I'm asking those who do any sport with their dog.

While in that sport have you ever experienced a breakdown of you being able to read your dog and/or of your dog reading you?

It's not a question of his and my bond or our ability and enjoyment of each other in every day things, it seems to have degraded in our Nose works together. It feels like we got disconnected. I know that my confidence level isn't up to snuff and that has a big effect on him. NW2 was a miss and no title. That was disappointing but not devastating. And even though we didn't title, overall placement wasn't bad.

What is getting me is where I was able to read him quite well seems to have flown the coup. There are some life distractions and I know my weakest trait is jumping the gun and calling it before he's made a decision (I worked hard to gain control of that but seems I'm reverting to it again)

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this, taken a breather to regroup?
 

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In my experience, whenever I run into struggles like this, it's usually one of two things. 1) My head isn't in the game and my dog is reading that. Or of I'm just going through the motions. My dogs pick up on that. I usually put them away and try again when I can pull my head out my butt lol. I have also when I know I'm tired, grumpy, and don't have the patience I need, take a break or don't work my dogs. I still go to training, but I don't take my dogs.
2) My dog is getting somewhat bored. Since you brought up nose work, I'll use that. Kimber when doing an open field article search will sometimes go right to the article, literally stand on it, and look around as if she can't find it. She screws with me. This is usually on an easier search. Her search characteristics are very distinct, and it's obvious when she's in hunt or not. I will usually have to change things up at this point.
Remember to keep things fun. Release some pressure. Sometimes we get too carried away with getting to that next title that we forget to just have fun with our dogs. Just like us, dogs need some free time to have some fun and be dogs as well.
 

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Often after a "breather" things go much better. Did you practice too much maybe? When my elementary students needed to perform n a school play I stopped practicing two days before the performance, no matter how the last practice went. Then their minds were rested at the big day. Worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
" literally stand on it, and look around as if she can't find it". @mycobraracr thank you for the chuckle. My boy has done some silly things while practicing and knows full well that I know he knows he is doing it and we both laugh the get back to work. But in the first trial he was all business we really worked as a team and in this trial he was all business but there was a look of question on his face when he false alerted that I didn't catch. The rest of the trial for us was a bit sloppy but he worked hard and got through it.

With the two trials that I've done ,I kept practices light and easy a few days prior just to keep the odors fresh in his nose so to speak.

I've since done a couple sniff throughs with not great results and me doing things that just are not my normal self. My guy deserves my best with fun on top. Lol

I think I will go back to foundation exercises and just have fun with it for now.

Thanks for all the input.
 

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I’ll second (or third) going back and doing more foundation work. Also, look at how you are approaching a search. Are you thinking in your head, “he is going to miss this” (or some variant of that)? I would approach each search thinking about one thing he has consistently done well, and focusing on how that will help you succeed in the search at hand. I know this sounds a little woo-woo, but I’ve found managing the mental aspect of the game in my own head greatly impacts how my girl searches.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There was a bit of doubt rolling round in my brain this time around, but as a whole, I'm usually upbeat with a we can do this attitude. I do have a short affirmation that I had written a while back to help with my mindset and it does help, no woo woos about that. Come to think of it, I didn't read it much prior to this one as I had the last one.

Seeing this in black and white helps. Thanks.
 
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