Every dog owner/handler/trainer should do ongoing training. Unfortunately well versed instructors are rare, therefore I was very lucky to meet Bob Eden on the occasion of the CSDA’s annual seminar.
Bob Eden has been a police officer since 1981 working with the Delta Police Department in BC. He is the author of two books, various articles and columns in several police magazines, and has been involved in the development of a number of video productions for law enforcement K9 training.
Not only did I learn two new techniques for my portfolio, but as an advocate for bonding and team work, I very much appreciated his approach in training canines. Here is what he said about bonding:
“Feeding, grooming, and play are also important in this socialization process. In playing with the pup, let him win once in a while. Whether it be tug of war, or just wrestling around. This allows him to build and maintain his confidence as well as cement a strong bond between dog and handler.
The importance of this bond cannot be stressed enough. Particularly in the PSD [Police Service Dog]. It takes many hours of work, play and just plain old constant association and companionship to build up that bond.
To be a successful trainer, you must have a genuine love for your dog and he must be allowed to display the same affection towards you. He will do this by playing, staying close, or even by working harder. A well bonded dog lives to hear praise from his master and will do anything to obtain it. This is the key to training and can only be obtained if you are dedicated to working with your dog consistently and taking the time to understand him.
If you take the time to study your partners behavior and work on the bonding process it won’t be long before you will be able to read and anticipate what your partner is going to do, and understand why, even before he does it because the two of you are communicating.”