A rant... from a helper... to novice handlers - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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A rant... from a helper... to novice handlers

Handlers... hold your freaking leash tight and *consistently* tight. I can't do my job if you don't do yours. Tonight I got a punch in the eye by a muzzle, and a crappy bite after crappy bite by another dog b/c the handler wouldn't just hold the leash firmly. Makes it very *very* hard to work a dog when they have 6 feet of wiggle room at the end of the leash. Nor do I like being charged and rammed by a dog b/c you let go of your lead by accident. me you!

Also, tonight one dog decided instead of the bark and hold we've been working on for months, he was just gonna fully on ram me in the crotchal region for reasons none of us understand. First time I wish I had a cup.

There, I'm done

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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 06:36 AM
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When I first started protection work nobody explained to me why I should be a post and when I should be a post. I wasn't told when the helper is working on grip (with pulling / pressure from the harness), when the helper is reading the dog and needs to know where the edge of the leash is, etc etc etc. It was only until I was told what the purpose of these exercises were that I started to figure out when I should let go of the leash, when I should be a post, etc.

Just saying, some of the handlers may not know what they are supposed to do and when. It always helps to maybe explain these things to them _before_ they bring the dog out. Neither the dog nor the handler is using their head while working in the beginning - everything is probably moving too fast for both. Try to explain to them, or maybe even tell them "when I say post you hold the leash, don't move, don't let the leash move, when I say give you give a little room and when I say go you let go of the leash" - or something like that, just a form of communication for the beginning - obviously you dont want the handler or dog to use these words as crutches but it might help put you both on the same page...

Also, sorry about your crutch hurts me just thinking about it...
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:10 AM
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That's true, but many times you are constantly telling people to be a post and they get so caught up in watching their dog that they inadvertently start moving again or better yet, holding the leash in closer and extending their arms when the dog launches like that is going to give the dog some extra oomp! More close calls or bites come from bad handlers than all the bad dogs combined.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:14 AM
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Have seen the clueless look on many a face - many novices need to have explanations on WHAT something means...they dont come to the field knowing the venacular....they also need to watch and listen so that they learn what goes on on the field - not spend the whole time dragging their puppy around looking for admiration of same! or getting their time in and leaving to watch football!! That being said - BACK TIE !!!!!!!!! Puts it all in the helper's control!!

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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:48 AM
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sounds like you really got beat up tonite!!! I feel your rant

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:52 AM
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Maybe you should channel Steve House's personality on for a bit, get your handlers in line! JK...
Hope your not too broken, and you let the handlers know how important their end of the leash is.

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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 07:59 AM
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Agree on explain and if you see they are not watching, stop and explain again. If they do not get it, stop the exercise. Work with them with no dog 1st.

This is what I have seen new helpers do at a few clubs.


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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 08:42 AM
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yes explanation can help, but come one. Most can't handle hold the leash and don't move! How are you expecting them to grasp anything else . It makes me laugh all the times I've heard it myself and have said it to others, POST, DON"T MOVE and as soon as you start working, their feet are moving.

It would be more funny it it wasn't more dangerous.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 08:49 AM
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I also think it's safer to back-tie until the handler can fully understand the concept on how to work the line during protection. That way neither the helper or the dog gets screwed over in the work because it's all in the control of the helper.

I had no idea what I was doing when I first started and no one ever explained to me how I (a 17 year old girl) was supposed to correctly post myself to hold back my 85 pound dog. Needless to say, I moved around quite a bit, because its awful difficult to not move when you're holding the leash with two hands completely extended

The first time I was ever told otherwise was at my last club's fall trial almost a year after I had started in Schutzhund. The judge was doing some helper work after the trial had ended and I brought my dog out. He told me to be a post or he'd whip me.

Guess who got whipped. But seriously he was the first one to explain to me a better way to hold my leash, and had me wrap around and pretty much sit on it, and it made a world of difference (obviously). Three years later, I will approach any stranger working their dog who is holding the leash incorrectly At at club, trial, etc, and I'll show them how I was told to hold the leash. If I can hold back my dog, then they can definitely hold theirs. And all the time, I'm told that they were never given that advice before.

So just make sure you're not assuming that the handlers all know exactly what to do. It's scary enough already, being new to the sport, and a lot of people aren't being properly informed before they start.

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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 08:52 AM
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nobody here is allowed to leash their dog and just come on the field for protection work without some instruction
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