k9 training equipment. k9 rescue search training

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  • Choice of Voice K9 training. Care should be taken in the choice of the obedience training commands so that none of the search commands sound like the word used with punishment ('No!') or the correction command ('Ah!'). Rescue equipment for example, in the utility 'send away' some handlers use 'Go!' which, of course, can be confused by the dog with the punishment word 'No!', particularly if the handler is nervous and his/her voice sounds shrill. By choosing only one correction command the chance of this occurring is greatly reduced. For the same reasons, the voice command should not sound like any other judge's orders, eg 'Down', 'Halt', 'Call', 'Send'.
  • Number of Voice K9 training. Keep the number of voice commands down to a minimum. My dogs understand the meaning of many words but I use only the following basic voice commands in the Novice, Open and Utility trial rings ie, 'Stand', 'Drop', 'Close', 'Stay', 'Come', 'Over', 'Box', 'Fetch' and 'Free'. In training, I add the correction command 'Ah!' and the following adjustment commands: 'Front', 'Close', 'Quickly', 'Back', 'Up', 'Look', 'Hold' and 'Give'. When my dogs hear any of these commands they know they are 'working' until they hear the release command 'Free'.
  • Trial Voice training. If you, the handler, cannot explain what the command means in a few words, how do you expect your dog to understand it? See the Wait vs Stay Commands below. Before I can describe what my commands mean, I must first define the Heel position. The obedience rules state: 'The dog is at the Handler's left side as close as practicable to the Handler'. For most judges that means: The dog is positioned no more than six inches (150mm) from the handler's left side nor close enough to cause interference, with the dog's collar adjacent to the handler's left knee, hip or shin. To be straight at Heel, the dog's front and rear right legs parallel to an imaginary line that passes midway between the handler's feet. Here is what my commands mean to my dogs:
  • Stand. 'Stand' means: 'Stand still (steadily) in the heel position'. This is the only command that I use that is the same or sounds like the judge's command for the exercise. I taught my first dog the 'Stand' and 'Sit' in obedience classes long before I knew that obedience trials existed and I have not had reason to break the habit since.
  • Drop. 'Drop' means: 'Drop in the heel position, remain still' or 'Drop in your present position, remain still'.
  • Close. 'Close' is used for my heel and finish commands, it is also an adjustment command - this is deliberate. As the heel command, 'Close' means: 'Move to or remain in the heeling position'. As an adjustment command, 'Close' means: 'Move closer!'. Each time I use the word in the trial ring both meanings are deliberately reinforced.
  • Stay. 'Stay' means: 'Remain as still as practical in your present position until I give you another voice or signal command'. The other commands could be, for example: 'Come' (recalls), 'Fetch' (retrieves), 'Over' (broad jump) or 'Free' (end of group exercises) or the signal command only 'Drop' (signals only).
  • Come. Come means: 'Come briskly to my front or until I give you another command.' The other command would be: 'Drop' on the open recall.
  • Over. 'Over' means: 'Jump straight over the obstacle in front of you and then 'Come' to the front position' or 'Jump straight over the obstacle I indicate and then 'Come' to the front position'.
  • Box. 'Box' means: 'Go out directly to and 'Sit' within the prescribed area and wait for my next command'.
  • Fetch. 'Fetch' means: 'Retrieve the thrown, lost or hidden object, with my scent on it and return it to the sit in front position'.
  • 'OK'. 'OK' is my release command.

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