Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Dog Training Tips: 4 Things this Mastiff Handler is Doing Right


Dog training tips imageHere is a picture from a dog show I attended over the weekend in San Antonio, TX. This is a handler waiting for her dog’s class to start. I really like what she did here, so thought I would share some savvy dog training tips demonstrated in this picture.

1) Tucked him out of traffic

When you have to wait in a busy place, find a quiet spot to tuck your dog away. I had a client pup at the ER a few months back and we sat near the vending machines, away from the chaos of the seating area.

I was not worried about my charge’s actions but am always alert to other dogs whose people may not have them quite under control yet.

My guess is this handler can see where the mastiff’s class will be from her vantage spot and her dog can rest with no risk of being bumped, jostled, intruded upon, sniffed, tripped over, etc while they wait. Well done!

Caveat: If you have an active, not-yet-trained dog with poor impulse control, don’t park him near things that can tip over – like these signs.

2) Trained him

 We know he is trained by how thin the leash is – she can control him with that – and because she could park him in that spot. Dog training = dog freedom; in this case freedom of location. He can now rest quietly because he understands what she wants and is willing to do it. Well done!

3) Parked herself

 She is standing still. She is not fidgeting, shifting, turning or moving. When your dog is trained and you two work as a team, when you stand still, your dog will stop moving. When you start to move, so will your dog.

Her physical quietness allows him to rest. Her message is clearly: We’re waiting here. He believes her 100%. Well done!

4) Has a slack (but not too slack) leash

 There is no tension on the leash. No tugging or shifting for the dog to either alert to or learn to ignore. It hangs motionless and is yet another way she is allowing him to truly take a break.

But, it isn’t hanging down to the ground either. If she needed to communicate something to him, she could do so quickly. And she will feel him shifting before he even gets up. Again, well done!

This is a thoughtful, experienced handler taking care of her dog in a calm, professional and effective way. I enjoyed seeing it and I hope you enjoyed hearing my thoughts about this picture.


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