This past weekend I taught one of our most popular workshops here at AYP Miami: Get Control Now! My students always leave my class feeling more confident handling their dogs, inspired to get home and start providing more consistent daily training. Just 15 minutes a day makes all the difference!
Most students who enroll in our get control now course are struggling with dogs who:
- jump/lunge at other dogs and people (playfully!)
- pull on the leash
- are easily distracted
- don’t listen to known obedience commands they’d otherwise listen to at the house
Yes, obedience training (sit, down, stay, place etc.) is extremely valuable to have a well-mannered family dog, but the importance of handling is often overlooked. So what exactly is handling?
Dog handling refers to the act of interacting with and managing dogs in various situations, such as training, grooming, showing, or working with them in a professional capacity. Dog handling can involve a variety of skills, including physical management techniques, as well as an understanding of dog behavior and psychology. Effective dog handling requires patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of the individual dog’s personality, needs, and preferences. Dog handling can be done by anyone who interacts with dogs, from pet owners to professional handlers, trainers, and law enforcement officers. The goal of dog handling is to ensure the safety, well-being, and happiness of the dog, while also achieving specific goals related to training and performance.
You can have the most well-trained dog at home, but without great handling skills it typicalky all falls apart once you step outside your front door. I’ve realized in my 20 year career of training dogs, dog training classes in Miami and our surrounding South Florida area simply aren’t teaching their students exclusively about handling! And it’s a must. Without good handling, dog owners don’t have the confidence required to get out there and put their obedience training into effect.
Here’s a few of the handling technique I covered in my class this past weekend:
- Proper position for holding a leash (anchor hand vs steering hand)
- How to quicky manage a dog who is distracted, jumping, pulling
- Enforcing known behaviors using gentle leash guidance
- Which training collars (head collars, martingales, etc) are the most effective and why
- Walking with confidence to instill confidence in your dog that you are his partner and advocate
- Quickly identifying life rewards in your surroundings and using them to your advantage
If you need help with your handling skills because your dog already knows the basics but you just haven’t been able to tie it all together, come pay us a visit! I’d be happy to help you learn how to be the absolute best handler for your dog so that all of your adventures outside of the house are genuinely fun and always go as planned.