Are you familiar with the seven handling elements? Do you know how they work and how they affect your dog?
All OneMind Dogs handling techniques include elements of seven key factors to support the dog’s movement on an agility course and make it as easy and effective as possible. In every handling technique we try to get all the elements to support the same thing. The handler should be consistent with the training and never give mixed signals to the dog.
Out of all seven handling elements, hands and voice are of least importance to the dogs, unless they are specifically trained to follow these elements. The rhythm of your movement, your position, and the direction of your gaze, chest and feet are much more meaningful to your dog. You could actually handle most of the techniques without using your arms at all.
Some dogs are easily distracted by handlers waving their arms at every obstacle, and they might drop bars just because of that. You can teach your dog to tolerate distractions while jumping, by doing distraction exercises on jumps.
The handler mainly needs to use the arms either to get the dog closer by lowering a hand, or sending the dog farther away, by extending the arm. In some handling techniques, you can use the hand to create a connection with the dog. You can make your hand more interesting to your dog by holding your fingers as if you have a treat or a toy in your hand, or by moving your hand.
Understanding the influence of different elements has enabled us to demonstrate what is, from the dog´s point of view, a good way to execute the techniques. On the OneMind Dogs handling technique videos the use and the influence of all seven elements are always presented individually. We also introduce the most common mistakes in execution of the techniques shown in the videos. The goal is to give the viewer a complete understanding of how each element works, and to demonstrate what impact variations have on the dog´s performance.