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.
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.