Good Qualities in a Dog Handler

A good dog handler is patient. The handler understands that training takes time and is willing to spend time. The handler is intelligent, and he thinks clearly about what effects actions will have upon the dog. Also, The handler has “feeling”, an accurate intuition for what makes dogs do the things that they do. The handler is decisive-fast handed and effective in all that they do. They are not rigid, but flexible-always ready to re-examine their beliefs and methods and adapt them to the particular dog they is handling.

A good dog handler is emotionally disciplined. They are not prone to temper tantrums and can administer both praise and punishment appropriately. When the handler physically punishes the animal, they do so impartially. They punish as the result of a thoughtful decision to use force in order to get results, rather than from wrath and the desire to relieve frustration by taking vengeance upon the dog.

A good dog handler has integrity, in the sense that they are their own person and does not depend upon the dog’s behaviour or performance to give them a sense of worth, identity or importance.

A good dog handler has a thorough understanding of their dog and knows it for a dog and only a dog. The handler realizes that the animal does things for its own reasons and does not necessarily live its whole life in order to please its master. He accepts that sometimes the dog will have “off” days and make mistakes, that the animal has no sense of fair play or honesty, that it does nothing for spite and that its basic nature is that of an opportunistic predator.

A good dog handler has the capacity to self-examine. When his dog makes a mistake or does not understand an exercise, they ask himself, “Where am I at fault here?”

Finally, a good dog handler respects their dog not just as a working tool or possession, or as a way of gaining recognition by showing off, but as a living, breathing creature.

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