Confidence building

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » September 16th, 2010, 7:59 pm

For me, though, not Inara! I've been told by a few people (on separate occasions), whose opinions I all greatly respect, that I could be a great dog handler if I could get some confidence. It's not that I'm fearful - I'm not: I was at a doggy play group Tuesday night and a GREAT snark broke out with the potential to go very poorly; everybody else stepped back, not sure what to do and I just waded in and grabbed the aggressor (she had a harness on for cripes sake, there wasn't much danger!) and pulled her out of the fray. I just have a tendency to doubt my handling abilities, or Inara's skills.

I know I shouldn't - we did fantastic at this year's DSO, and we've been doing amazingly well in our obedience stuff. But I can't stop myself from thinking, "well, I shouldn't even ask her to try this yet because she won't." And you know what, she will. But that doubt holds us back.

So how do I get the same confidence in my abilities that others seem to think I can have?
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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Postby amazincc » September 16th, 2010, 8:47 pm

What is THE WORST that can happen??? :| :wink:

I just have a tendency to doubt my handling abilities, or Inara's skills.

I totally get that... I often feel that way when it comes to Sepp. I have also realized that he only fails if I fail him first.
Once I dig in my heels and expect certain behaviors the little sh!t tends to pleasantly surprise me, and I have a lot of "aha!" moments afterwards. :D
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 16th, 2010, 9:49 pm

I dunno... :| I don't seem to have this problem...(remember the poor grill and the Wiener). :dance: My dogs are full of TRY because I'm always doing crazy crap with them. Of course they don't always appreciate it...(sprinklers at the DSO). I just tend to have a "why not" approach with everything...I jump in with both feet. They trust me not to let them get hurt, so they're ready willing and able. Stop over-thinking and just do it.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby plebayo » September 17th, 2010, 12:02 am

Ask her to do it! Even if you think she won't do it, it doesn't hurt to ask her to do it anyway. Why aren't you setting expectations for your dog? If she knows how to do it, and you ask her to do it, she should want to do it. What makes you think she won't?

I think you just need to start going for things. My friend is like you when it comes to her horse, she doesn't have faith in her mare to behave/do well and it stops her from doing fun things.

With my dogs and my horse I always look at it as we need to try it. If they're "bad" or do something "wrong" we can always stop, go home, do whatever we need to do to get out of there etc.

I think you need to set yourself up like you would your dog in terms of building confidence. You need to do small things to build your confidence in handling your dog, you need to be put into situations where you won't fail so the more times things go well with you and Inara, the more your confidence raises. Maybe your friends/trainers who know your dog and have faith in your dog could help you find someone situations that you can be put in to help build your confidence too?

I've never really understood people who don't have faith in their dogs/faith in themselves. It's amazing you can simply live with a dog - it's amazing if your dog can sit on command, is house trained, etc. I mean how many dogs do you know who don't even come when called? You should be proud of every little thing you've done with your dog, and be proud of yourself because you've gotten her this far. Even the little things count!

I have no idea if this is remotely helpful but know you can gain confidence in yourself and I hope whatever you end up doing that you are able to gain confidence in yourself and your dog. :hug3:
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Postby furever_pit » September 19th, 2010, 5:36 pm

I get where you are coming from Liz. My trainer helped me a lot by getting on my case for not trusting my dog and not giving him the chance to prove himself to me (I had a mental block with doing some off lead work especially around the decoy). My trainer finally forced me to just see what would happen and I was pleasantly surprised. Since then, I just don't care and I let my dogs go for it. After all, the worst thing that could happen is that they mess up and you turn the whole thing into a training exercise.

Dogs will be dogs. Stop stressing so much about whether or not Inara will do something or do something perfectly. Just have fun. Trust me, you won't be the first or last to be potentially embarrassed by your dog on the field.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » September 19th, 2010, 5:42 pm

LOL Thanks everybody. I actually trusted my dog this weekend and couldn't have been more thrilled with her performance at class on Friday and a big demo on Saturday. Ginger is contemplating having us try some off-lead stuff in a class - I'm not there yet!
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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