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Great expectations

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When we ask a future dog owner, who stands in front of the newly acquired/adopted dog,  “what do you expect of living with this dog?” the answer is full of wonderful things, including company, affection, team work , long walks, stunning sunsets running on the beach, a lot of play with KONG toys etc. These and many more are the reasons why we have chosen to live, work and eventually make those amazing animals, called dogs, part of our families.

Have you ever thought what a dog expects from the future owner who stands in front of it? Without making things too complicated, by taking into consideration other factors (previous owners, how the dog was treated by other humans and animals etc which are crucial but far away from the scope of this article and we will talk about on a later time), the answer is… nothing. No expectations at all! And that is wonderful.

Imagine yourself as a kinder garden educator and the dog as a child whose trust you have to gently earn, fulfill the needs of sheltering, good food, rest, play, exercise, affection. Implementing to the dog’s mind the idea that you are the source of everything good and at the same time setting the limits of what is permitted and what is not. It is the beginning of the beautiful journey of preparing the dog for more demanding tasks by your side.        

Creating positive expectations, first and foremost on you and then on the process of learning and doing things together, is the cornerstone of what we call fundamental training. It builds a bond which is used as an anchor point on which you and the dog can rely later in your training, solving or (even better) not allowing issues to come up , for example, It’s mine!!!

By acquiring the knowledge of effectively creating the right expectations according to the training needs and desired outcome, you have made a major step deep into the magical journey of canine team training. A journey that leads to achieving the impossible, bonding two species in such a unique way, capable to carry through with even the most dangerous and demanding tasks such as mine & explosive detection and protection operations.

Author: Petros Alevizatos

Petros Alevizatos is a professional canine team’s instructor in the field of product scent detection. He started his career as an explosives detection dog handler in 2012. In 2014 was certified by European Border and Coastguard Agency (FRONTEX) as a product scent (narcotics, explosives, etc.) canine team’s instructor. Since 2016 delivers to European Union’s Law Enforcement Agencies dog handlers and canine team’s instructor’s training courses.

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