How to Learn to be a Better Handler

Juha O. Kares

Handling dogs is most of all a gift. Best handlers have a natural gift. This gift is often the connection which is very difficult to explain. You either have the straight connection with dogs and animals or not. Most dog people off course have some kind of connection with dogs and therefore they do have dogs. However not all become good handlers. What are the secrets of good handler? How to learn to become a better handler?

Handler must know the dogs. Often handler is without a doubt authority who had a strong will. Dogs want to please this leader. This means a good handler has a firm and steady touch. Dog respect this kind of handler and feel secure. Dogs know who is the boss. Getting to ring is safe and pleasing experience for the dog as he knows at all the occasions they are there together with a leader. This leader has a connection with dog. This is non verbal strong connection that the dog can sense in middle of judging. This all means a good handler has a strong will. Handler feels natural to be a leader. Spent time with dogs and people. Social skills helps to build up own personal will and authority.

Handler must know his dogs. He knows how to take control over them. Handler knows the weak and strong points of his dogs temperaments. Handler is a personal trainer who try to build up a good self-esteem for his dogs. Playing is the key. Palyful dogs are often happy dogs. To challenge and to play with a dog is a must. Development is the key. More the hander can challenge the dog the better.  With small catches or acts the dog knows it is a playtime. This is fun and this is good quality time with a special person. This special person is a handler and playtime is getting to showring. It must be fun and energetic if we want to see a great performance. This all emans that a handler do spent time with his dogs. Qaulity time builds up a stronger connection.

Small details, stacking and movemnets have been trained at home. This training should be done often and in small pieces so that dog never gets tired.  Before and after the training there should be layful good time with the dog. However when stacked and when in action the handler knows what to do. Stackinf front of the mirror is good. Filming and pictures do help. The idea is to make a picture perfect. This picture perfect has two steps. Great handler and great dog must make picture perfect in free stand and in firm hand stacked by his handler. Both of these standings takes time and training. Bite or a toy is often the best way to create motivation. Motivation must be there to create the best possiple picture. Good handler knows how to motivate his dog the most.

Good handler gives lot of room for his dog. The dog is a star. Judges and people around the ring can sense  and see the respect toward dog. The very best is presented from this dog. Weak points are hidden or do not stand out because outstanding qualities are standing out so strongly. Every dog has faults. Great dogs do carry them less obvious than bad dogs. This is because performance is so strong that we pay attention most of all to the great qualities. This is the purpose of a good handling. Let the dog be a star, stay behind and bring out the very best. Enjoy and show that this is fun. Positive energy and good spirit stands out. Ask people and friends how do they see you and your dog in the ring. Learn about what you hear. Use feedback and do not close your mind from that. Feedback is a must for the development.

Dress well and behave well. A good sportmnaship is respected in all occasions. Rumors and eyes are all over the place. Good handler can´t do many mistakes. Handler should not be highly opionated but cool.  A good handler knows how to behave. The political games seems to be a must now a days. It will not harm if handler knows what to say and where. How to advertise and where. All this seems to be in bigger role in modern times than earlier. Good handler must know how to play the game.

Development and studies are a must in every person in every field of life if aiming to the very best. The knowledge of anatomy and movement is good. Listen and read all the information available. See the other good handlers in action. Always see the groups and BIS-Finlas. Try to learn from the very best. This is very important if you want to be a better handler yourself.

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