What Makes A Good K9 Handler?


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The family-friendly 2019 K9 Event was a great success. The participants were there on time and with the appropriate equipment and uniform needed for the competition. The courses, like fence and window jump, bus, scent boxes, etc. were so exciting to see, especially the mystery course, which was one of the most-awaited. The K-9s and their respective police handlers demonstrated incredible skill, obedience, and talent throughout the obedience tests, suspect apprehension, and other events. It was indeed a showcase of extensive training of the police handlers and their K-9s.

So what makes a good K-9 handler?

He must be patient. He knows that training takes a lot of time, and he is dedicated to making time for it. He is smart and has the presence of mind when it comes to his actions and its effects on the dog. Being patient also means that although he is experienced and knowledgeable, he knows when to be flexible and to reevaluate his methods to adapt to his particular student.

He must have a fair disposition and should be emotionally disciplined. He knows that temper tantrums have no place in good and successful dog training. He needs to learn when to punish and praise his trainees appropriately. He punishes not because of anger but because he wants to get results. The punishment is carefully thought of, not something that he wants to release because he is stressed or wants to take vengeance.

He must possess good morals and confidence in himself. A great dog handler should not be influenced by his dog’s performance or behavior to give him an identity or relevance in what he does. He has to be his own person.

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He must have a clear understanding of his K9 student and is aware that what he teaches the dog is for the dog alone. An animal, or a dog for that matter, does things because of what and how they are naturally. It does not necessarily live to make the dog handler happy or pleased. Sometimes, dogs can be scared too, and sometimes they don’t play fair, and an experienced dog handler knows this and understands this. It is, after all, an opportunistic predator.

He must have respect for his trainee. He respects and sees his dog as a living thing, not a possession, or as a way of receiving acknowledgments or trophies. He must treat his dog as a distinct product of nature that deserves to be loved and appreciated.



Socializing While Social Distancing

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Life has been trying for a lot of teenagers ever since the governors have coaxed us to stay at home. But I don’t mean to imply that these big kids have had to start working early or drop out of school. It is challenging, in the sense that they can no longer socialize with everyone they know from school.

I have seen this dilemma first-hand with my 16-year-old daughter. She is one of the most outgoing people I know. She is a member of the dance troop, debate club, and softball team. She is smart and athletic and does not conform to the status quo, so everyone adores her.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, I used to only see my daughter on weekends at night. She always either had a dance practice or softball match. When it’s offseason, she would have a slumber party at one of her best friends’ house. It was only a few houses down the street, but it still meant that I could not see her. Nevertheless, I accepted early that my daughter needed all these experiences to become a sensible and reliable adult in the future.

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Now that the stay-at-home order is in place, my daughter has not seen the sun in weeks. She attends online classes on weekdays, but that’s all she can do. No matter how much she insists that it’s safe to go to her friend’s place, I put my foot down and say no. It’s not that I think there’s a virus in that house, but we can never be too sure these days.

To appease my restless child, I told her to do the same things that I’m about to say to you to continue socializing while social distancing.

Host A Netflix Party

The most effortless thing you can do is host a Netflix party. It should not be impossible, considering every household has access to this video-streaming platform. You can prepare a list of movies and then ask your friends to vote on which ones you will watch on that day.

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For a better viewing experience, you may all install the Netflix Party app on your laptops or computers. Doing so allows you to share a link of whatever’s playing on your account to your friends. This way, you can watch a movie at the same time.

Hold Online Games

Do you miss playing board games with friends? Well, you should know that you need not be physically present to play against each other. There are plenty of online versions of board games—from Scrabble to Bankrupt to Snakes & Ladders—that you may try as a group.

The experience should not be as bizarre as you may assume. You are playing with your best friends; you can either encourage or trash-talk each other as the game continues. Yes, you may not see their faces, but you can express your glee through chats.

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Try Video Conferencing For Hours

Perhaps not all parents will condone to this idea, but I have given my daughter permission to video conference with her friends all day long. Whether they are eating or watching TV, the kids can see one another. They do not talk about much; it’s as if they merely enjoy the company of each other.

Final Thoughts

If social distancing is a pain for adults like us, it must be more frustrating for teenagers. Their free spirits have been forced to stay in the house for weeks and avoid meeting their friends. They may not be exaggerating if you hear them exclaim, “Is this what prison feels like?!”

Despite how badly your child is taking the situation, though, you should remind them how lucky they are for having a comfortable living space. Some families have to stay cramped in a tiny room in third-world countries; others have no choice but to depend on the rations from the local government units. That’s what prison feels like, not what many of us experience here.

Instead of whining, let’s find ways to make quarantine bearable, okay?

Help Your Teen Learn How To Save

(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee)

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Financial literacy was the main topic at the 2017 Teens Workshop, where credit union speakers were invited to share pertinent knowledge on how to teach teens to save before they even reach college. The CEO of the Kingston Credit Union graced the event and spoke about how the literacy program is committed to educating the youth about the value of money, ways to earn, ways of saving money. Teens were also provided with tools on how, in the future, they can make better financial decisions.

As a parent, you, too, can help your teen learn how to save for their future. Here are some things you can try.

Make A Rule About Saving. Your teen is still under 18, so naturally, you get to make the house rules that they need to follow. Make saving part of those rules by asking him to set aside a small amount of his income and put it in the bank. You can start small and then eventually increase the amount, especially if he gets cash gifts from work. He may not like this at first, but after a few months, we’ll bet he’ll be ecstatic to see how much he has saved.

Emphasize The Importance Of Budget. When they start young, it won’t be too hard for them in the future to know which ones to prioritize and which ones to give up for the meantime. This will teach him to be aware of his financial obligations and his wants. He then will be able to formulate a budget for everything, even the not-so-important ones but ones that he’s been dreaming of getting. Also, encourage them to pay their bills by themselves.

Teenager With Money

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Provide Incentives For Him. You can entice your teen to be interested in saving money by matching the amount of money that you are asking him to save in his account. You can match maybe 50% for the first few months and then increase it to 100%. This will encourage him to save more month after month. Another incentive you can give is paying for half the price of their first car. The rest will be his responsibility.



Signs That You Are In An Unhealthy Relationship

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The 2017 Washington DC Conference was a much-talked-about event especially for teens and adults who either wanted to learn how to strengthen their current relationships with their partners, or how to find one in the first place. The main topic revolved around February being the Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The relationship education included a discussion on unhealthy relationships and warning signs that you are in one. Positive dating behaviors were also imparted by professional speakers who were there to share their expertise and, one way or another, be able to help reduce the incidence of teenage violence in the country.

Warning Signs

Showing very intense feelings. When your partner shows extreme feelings and unusually erratic behavior, it may feel overwhelming. You’ll know when he makes you feel pushed because he’s rushing to speed up the pace of your relationship. He may become obsessive about you and will demand to see you more often or call you to ask what you’re doing or who you’re with.

Jealousy. If your partner gets too envious that he tries to control your time with friends and family members, then this is definitely a sign that you might want to think twice about getting the relationship to the next level. Jealousy is quite a normal feeling but it becomes unhealthy when your partner is too controlling of you.

He Isolates You. This behavior may not be obvious initially, as he starts this by asking for more alone time with you. But eventually, you will feel that he is intentionally trying to isolate you from your family, friends, and significant others. He will want you to be dependent on him for your needs and wants.

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Ruining Your Reputation. Someone usually does this by talking about you behind your back or even creating a rumor about you because you may have hurt him or he got jealous, or you broke up with him. Sabotage is one of the most dangerous signs of an unhealthy relationship.


Why You Should Talk About Marriage And Relationships With Your Teen

Many parents tend to brush off the topic of marriage and relationships as something that can be discussed later with their teens. But, in actuality, teens are already entering into relationships and even committing to marriage with their partners. Parents need to realize that the sex talk isn’t enough; it’s time to have the relationship talk. And here are the reasons why:


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Continue reading “Why You Should Talk About Marriage And Relationships With Your Teen” »

Handling Disrespectful Teenagers

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You might have noticed that recently, you and your teen might be having strangely confrontational conversations. For example, you might be curious about how your teen is doing in school, and you want to show your teen that you are interested in his or her life. So you might ask a simple question such as how they are doing in their school project that you know they are working on. But instead of giving you an update of their school project, your teen belligerently asks why you are checking up on them and accuses you of not trusting them. Naturally, you would feel worried and hurt.

Continue reading “Handling Disrespectful Teenagers” »