With full contact with the host
Those who have read the rules for testing police dogs, probably know that one of the price graphs is called “STAGING”. The highest score for the production is ten. And to earn the highest score, the dog must demonstrate (read from the same rules) ” independent correct behavior throughout the entire set of tests, especially in relation to the shot without unnecessary signals, in full contact with the leader.” Here is about this “full contact” between leading and dog I and want to talk to the in its article.
There is no definition of “contact” in the test rules, so we will use a Large Encyclopedic Dictionary in which one of the definitions of this concept is described as follows:
CONTACT – Communication, interaction; consistency in work; mutual understanding.
And it seems that at the level of the subconscious we all understand what contact is. Perhaps this is why there is so little information in books and articles about the development of this very contact. But given the fact that the contact between the hunter and the COP is incredibly important, we can say fundamental, we just need to carefully understand how the invisible connection between the hunter and his dog is formed.
One of the highest manifestations of contact is the ANNOUNCEMENT. A passionate fan of cops, the author of many books Zvorykin Nikolai Anatolyevich wrote in his book “training a COP”: “It is useful to start educating the makings of an announcement in a dog from an early puppy age, paying attention to those exercises that develop this valuable quality for this purpose.” I agree with the classic!
In General, I am sure that any actions and exercises aimed at developing contact, first of all, teach the owner to better understand his dog. You need to accept the fact that your ability and desire to understand your dog as a puppy is an investment. You will get” interest ” from this investment very soon, just in a few months, and they will be expressed in excellent interaction between you and your dog in everyday life, on walks, on hunting.
In the meantime, this is a 2-3-month-old puppy that wants to play. His attempts to involve his master in this process are the beginning of interaction and communication. If you respond to his call to play, then the link is there, if not, then the puppy will stop trying after a while and learn to entertain himself. So do not be lazy, be responsive to the calls of the puppy to the game. In the game, without straining at all, you can learn each other, teach the puppy something new, because learning through the game is most effective.
Just a few days after the puppy got to your house, I strongly recommend that you start training the dog. Of course, you need to take into account the age of the puppy, its ability to concentrate, and motivation to learn. From my experience, I can say that classes at an early age quickly develop the mental abilities of the puppy and, thanks to this, in his spare time, he sleeps more often than he is engaged in destroying something you need (wires, furniture, office equipment). As soon as the puppy learns to sit, you can start performing the eye contact exercise. The first stage of this exercise is to explain to the puppy that if you want something, look me in the eye and you will get it. How is the exercise performed?
You sit down on a chair, the puppy is located in front of you, it is desirable to put the puppy. You hold a treat in both hands and put your fists in front of the puppy, as in the game “guess which hand”. At first, the puppy will try to pull out the treat with its nose, tongue, and paws (it may even get up from the fifth point). You sit, silently, and only wait for the puppy to look you in the eye. As soon as your eyes meet for a split second, you sound ” well done!”, and simultaneously opens a fist with a treat. It’s simple, you encouraged the puppy to contact you. After several promotions, the puppy will quickly understand that to get a piece of the cherished treat, you just need to look at the owner, and the fist will open. This understanding is what we wanted to put in the puppy’s head. Do this exercise for 5-7 days several times a day, but do not overload the puppy, do not wait for him to lose interest in the exercise.
Then everything is very simple. After executing a command, you simply add a silent demand “look in the eyes”, and only after this requirement is met, the dog gets the coveted treat.
Try to always look at the dog and always encourage a look in your direction. It is the look initiated by the dog, not when you called yourself. This is very important! Your positive response to such contact is a joy for the dog. “The owner was happy, I was praised,” she thinks. So, in the future, the dog will certainly try to repeat what he has done. That is why it is important to always look at the dog on walks and not be distracted by anything. After all, if the dog looks at you and does not get a response, then the frequency of its contact with you will begin to decrease, since the very meaning of contact is interaction with the owner, and it just did not exist.
If you missed a moment somewhere, and today contact with your dog is lost, then try to restore it. In the form of encouragement can be both praise and joy on your part, and pieces of Goodies. Caught the dog’s eye – ” well Done!”If the dog ran up, then give it a treat. But in any case, do not call the dog yourself, wait for contact from her side.
The thing is that each dog has its own “frequency of contact” with its owner. One dog needs to make sure three times a minute that the owner is in sight, another dog five times, the third one is enough. This does not mean that the dog should approach you, it can maintain contact at a distance. It is very easy to check this. Wait for eye contact with your dog while walking, and start counting (or turn on the stopwatch). As soon as you have the opportunity, hide, and watch the dog from cover. If the dog started looking for you after 30 seconds, this means that the frequency of its contact is about 2 times per minute. Of course, you can not draw conclusions from one experiment, but the approximate frequency of contact can be estimated after two or three of these “hide-and-seek”.
Whenever you call the dog yourself (you restore contact yourself), you release it from these duties. If I may say so, your dog becomes lazy to restore contact with you. She does not see the need, because the owner will do everything himself. Therefore, do not frequent with constant calls of the dog, everything should be in moderation.
Another exercise that promotes interaction is searching for something that the dog can’t get without your help. Here everything is simple, if your dog perfectly submits a diarrhea, then at one point hide it so that the dog could not get it. You can hide an item on a hill or under a sofa, where the dog can’t get it. Send the dog to search, and sit in another room with an innocent look. If after a while the dog will come running to you in an excited state, and its look will read a call for help, then you with the words ” what is there, show?”move to the ponoska. Look at the dog and its behavior, repeat the question ” show me where?”. In the eyes of the dog should read “master, can’t you see, here it is”. Be sure to praise the dog and let it complete the execution of the “Aport” command. Throw off the tray on the floor and return to your seat, let the dog proudly carry the item to you.
After a little thought, you can come up with more than a dozen games for interaction. The most important thing in raising a dog is to love it and what you do. I am sure that your classes and games for developing contact will bring joy to both of you, bringing you closer and closer.
The next step in strengthening your interaction will be working together in a field that has its own characteristics. Their correct understanding and application strengthens the contact between the leader and the dog, but this will be discussed another time.