Essential Exercise With Your DogEssential Exercise With Your Dog

Keeping your dog healthy, happy and out of  problem with daily exercise provides several benefits .The object of this exercise is for the dog to search an open or bush area for lost persons or hiding.

If possible, more than one dog should be placed in a line facing into the wind with enough space separating them so that they cannot come into contact with one another. A person should be selected to act the part. This person should have an article in his possession with which he can tease them. He should run along the row of dogs teasing them with the article.

The person will then run up wind and hide in long grass a short distance away. A handler who has already been nominated will then call out the challenge in an aggressive tone. "This is the dog come out now or I will send the dog". Following this challenge he should immediately release with the command "find him" and encourage the dog to locate the person.

When the dog has located the person, the handler will encourage  to "speak'. When the dog does 'speak’ the person will throw the article to him and then the handler will play with the dog. It is important for the handler to encourage the dog whilst he is searching and to give good praise when the dog either indicates or locates the person. This should be immediately followed by command 'speak'.

The person plays an extremely important part in this exercise. He must keep the dog's attention on him at all times. When located by the dog the criminal should keep the dog with him by teasing him with the article. If the dog leaves him the person should act as if he is going to escape  or feign fear or aggression (depending on the temperament of the dog). It is very important from the onset of the exercise that the dog is conditioned to stay with the person once he has been located.

As the exercise progresses, it should be made more difficult until eventually the dog does not see the criminal run away and he has to search for a longer time, before locating him. When the dog is better controlled during the latter stages of learning the exercise. A search of the person by the handler should be carried out with the dog sitting off lead, some distance away. The person can then be escorted by the handler and dog away from the scene, with the dog still off lead. Again it is the responsibility of the criminal to keep the dog's attention on him at all times, without causing him to break from his position.

Hiding locations should also be varied, so that the person position is unknown, to both the handler and dog when the exercise commences. Hiding positions must vary as the exercise progress so that the person is hiding high or low, and out of the-e dog's sight when possible.


by David Coax
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