Ally’s Series – Rebuilding Confidence and Trust

During the month of November I am working on a content creating challenge, so for every day this month there will be a new blog post, video, or podcast! I am very excited to create so much new content for everyone this month! Its going to be great! 

My first day of content creation was yesterday and started with Episode 2 of my podcast, talking about Goals.  You can check it out at this link:  Fluid Motion Podcast – Episode 2 – Goals

The first blog for November is going to be part of a series, and it will be covering how I will be helping to bring back Ally’s confidence and connection with me.  

Connection, Confidence, and Trust between me and my dogs is the foundation to of my training with my dogs. And last year some of that was lost between Ally and I, so my goals over this winter is to try and rebuild it. 

2019 was hard for Ally and I, and I made mistakes that eroded away some of the trust her and I had between us.  When the pandemic hit and forced us to take the rest of the year off, this was not completely a bad thing for her and I.  

I probably would not have taken the time off like I have if it was not forced upon me. With staying at home and no trials, Ally has pretty much just been hanging out all year just being a dog.  I have noticed huge changes to her personality and general attitude, and I credit the months of doing nothing for that. 

I also needed a break, I knew that our relationship was not in a good place, but I was not sure how to even begin to fix it. I had planned on just stopping training her, which I did, and that helped, but I think it helped because it was giving her the break she needed. I needed some down time to give myself time to think, and I also have realized that I need to reorganize and reprioritize my life. 

So how has Ally changed? 

She engages in play now, she wants to run and play with the other dogs, and me. She wants to cuddle and be around me much more than she used to. I took her out last week to play around on a small sequences I had built and much of her frantic, over aroused, and frustrated barks were gone. She will always bark, that is who she is, but I noticed she was much more “at ease” when we were working. 

Same goes for me, I felt less stressed and pressured while training her. The goals I had for her are gone and I didn’t feel them weighing on me anymore. My goals for her were wrong and she desperately tried to tell me that, but I did not listen. 

The year off gave us both time to heal, and figure out what we each needed. And while all this can sound odd when talking about a dog, I have learned so much from her, and I hope I can help others with her lessons. 

The first lesson being that my dog will always choose their path in agility. And the second is that I need to listen. 

In the next part of this series I will talk about some of the non agility things Ally and I are doing to reconnect, and what I am working with her on in agility to build back her confidence. 

This picture is my new goal for Ally, for us to both feel like this again.

Published by Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is well known for her distance handling skills, and she has been traveling the country and teaching seminars for 20+ years. She has traveled around the world to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, England, Switzerland and the Philippines teaching all levels of agility, with nearly all dog breeds. Amanda focuses on teaching teamwork as well as how to create a strong connection between dog and handler. She works with all styles of handling, from running with your dog to distance handling. Amanda tailors each training session, large or small, to the dog and handler to help bring out the best in the team. Her training techniques consist of a large amounts of targeting, food rewards, and toy rewards. Creating a fun learning environment for the dog encourages a fast, fun, and motivated dog in the agility ring. Amanda uses a combination of Upper Body Cues, Lower Body Cues, and Verbal Cues. This system was derived from the natural cues that most dogs read and pick up quickly. Handlers are taught how to use all of these cues, together, to create a customized handling system that can be tailored to their unique dog. All of these techniques have resulted in Amanda earning numerous titles with her dogs including the MOD SQUAD award, Purple Achievement Cup, and over 40 NADAC Championship titles. She has won the NADAC Championships multiple times, including winning the Super Stakes and Starter Stakes division. She has also been Top Bonus Dog, Top Purple Dog, and Top Dog of the Year several times in NADAC.

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