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Today I realized just how incredible my dog is.


We met out at local park for my first intro to SAR training, and to try Ido's drive and ability at it. It was kind of a dog/handler initiation session, where we also got to witness them working and practicing their dogs.


First off the bat, Ido was introduced to the other dogs and handlers. She was practically raised in a doggy daycare, so she kind of has that perfect "Oh, hi there dog, person..." attitude where she could kind of care less whether they are there or not. She did just fine. Then came the obedience testing.


Now, I have done a significant amount of training with both my dogs but we never went to training school. What I've taught them has just been out of necessity and what I've learned. I do bring my dogs nearly everywhere I go, so they have breached a lot of desensitization barriers throughout the 2 years of their wee lives.


We passed the down, sit, stay, come with flying colors. We did a figure 8 around two dogs/handlers, no problem. Then they explained to me the need for a "drop on recall"...which, made sense, of course. (Its when you put the dog in a down-stay, walk off a good ways, call the dog to you and as if there were something endangering the dog during a recall, you make them stop about halfway, down, and wait before calling them to you.) But, I'd never trained Ido for this. However, we decided to try it.


It suddenly got more difficult as the trainer drew lines on the ground where I would put my dog in a stay and a 3ft x 3ft area that I was to make her stop inside, all the while standing some 100ft away.


Dogs were barking. Horses were walking by off of a trail. On the other side of the park, people were practicing their shooting, and gunshots echoed in the distance. It was distraction mania. (Keep in mind, Ido is not a horse chaser, nor is she afraid of them, or gunshots, and I wouldn't be caught dead doing something like this with a dog reactive in any way to these stimuli.)


So, i took a deep breath, walked Ido to the 'x' drawn in the dirt, had her sit, told her to 'wait'...and dropped the leash and put my trust in her.


I kept glancing back as I walked away, holding my breath. There she sat, perfectly still, just as I asked. I heard a few 'Ohh's' from the crowd. I reached my distant post, took anoher breath, and called "Ido! Here!"


She sprang forward, eager to reach me. As she got close up on that square box, I called "Ah! Ah! Ido WAIT!" and leaned forward to put some pressure on those words.


OMG SHE STOPPED...and right inside the square!


"Lie down!" I choked out, barely believing my luck. She did. The crowd went nuts, and still she stayed. I glanced to the trainer for my cue to release her, and he nodded. I called Ido to me and threw her a party. I was beaming, and Ido was smug pleased with herself.


Wow. Even the trainer admitted that not even the dogs they had on the team there had ever done that the first time, and that most of them probably couldn't with so many distractions facing them at one time.


We spent the rest of the afternoon watching their practice sessionsa, and at the end of the day I got to do a few puppy runs with Ido, where she had to find me, or another person off the trail. She excelled at both of those, too. They were in love with her focus and drive, and even her petite BC size. She was just amazing. And to think I tried to get SAR to take her a year ago, and no one wanted her. Sheesh.


So, thoroughly giddy about this afternoon's affair, we went home and retired to some good eatin' and a few games of fetch. Our next meeting is Weds. It looks like Ido is on her way to becoming an awesome SAR dog.


Doesn't she look pleased with herself???


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I'm jealous!! Wanna swap dogs? :D It sounds like Ido will be a great dog for you to work in SAR


When I decided to do SAR with Kipp he could have hardly cared less about playing ball or frisbee - along with the attention span of a gnat. Now he's doing short searches and his reward is a frisbee. It was a little weird at first having to teach him how to play and build that drive, but it worked! Now he gets so hyped up that he doesn't stop to think :rolleyes: go figure...


He's still a work in progress, but I'm seeing more and more of a light at the end of the tunnel! I sometimes think if he wasn't quiet as smart it would be easier...

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