I would be remiss if I didn’t start this article by giving credit where credit is due. Everything I talk about in this article, I learned from Dr. Stephen A. Mackenzie, either through discussion with him or having read about it in his book Decoys and Aggression 2nd edition, which is available through Amazon. I highly recommend reading this book. Dr. Mackenzie is a professor of animal science and a North American Police Work Dog Association, Master Trainer. I believe that a
TWO STYLES OF DECOYING; Decoying for Certification & Decoying for Real life (Street Training)
For certification, it's pretty simple, train for your routine (False start, Recall, Verbal out, Handler protection etc). It doesn’t matter what certification standards you follow, many have the same aspects with small variances. Whether people want to say it or not, certification training and decoying for certification is a rehearsed "dance" that the K9 becomes accustomed too. Th
The world around us is full of stereotypes and the ongoing battle of “My breed of choice is better than your Breed of choice”. Unfortunately, this mentality has slowly found its way into the working dog world, creating The Battle of the Breeds. The American Kennel Club currently registers 189 dog breeds which is just a drop in the “Breed Bucket” when compared to the United Kennel Club which is an international registry that currently recognizes over 300 separate dog breeds.
"The more you challenge your K9, the better they will be when you need it the most."- Paul Ludwig Finding the correct balance and maintaining it while you expose the K9 to new environmentals is KEY to the success and performance of your K9 Partner. Too many trainers and handlers go from A to Z too quickly, while others begin way below what their K9's can handle. While training and exposing your K9 to new environmental challenges, focus on the K9's success, not tactics, until
As trailing handlers progress in their craft and the trails become longer and more arduous – not only in length, but in age and complexity – it is very easy to succumb to the temptation to ease the workload.
“This really begins to happen when handlers form training groups and they have a limited amount of time and subject resources. The temptation is to double-lay trails and add distance for the next handler. What I am describing here is common practice, and I see it in almo
“The best way I can explain how a dog breaks up a scent is by using the “Spaghetti” analogy. Dogs smell components, where as the handler smells items as a completed whole. Example: Someone is making Spaghetti, the K9 comes in and smells all the ingredients that are involved. The handler may be able to pick out a few potent ingredients, but still smells it as a completed whole.” Says Ron Barton, Phantom K9s Master Trainer/Instructor. Barton has trained hundreds of dogs during
When considering the mistakes we as handlers/trainers make, I immediately thought of handling/training skills, which are obviously important to our success in the field. I will address some of the mistakes that I make myself and that I see other handlers make. However, there are mistakes made off the training field and streets that adversely affect our training and street skills. These mistakes must be addressed first if we are to succeed in training and real world applicat