> The Bond Between Handler and Dog

> B - Believe in the dog
> O -Observe the dog
> N - Nurture (educate) the dog
> D - Depend on one another
> B - Believe in the dog is of prime importance.
> Many actual cases illustrate this point. If the handler has the tendency to
> lead the dog while tracking, they will never become a proficient team since
> the dog will soon become discouraged and refuse to work properly. It is the
> duty of every dog handler to follow and investigate indications made by the
> dog, no matter how impossible it may seem.
> Example of an actual case:
> A police service dog indicates a garbage can. The dog handler considers
> chastising the dog. Mentally alert, the dog handler lifts the lid of the
> garbage can and finds the stolen goods inside. The dog handler stakes out
> the area and a short time later arrests the subject when they return for the
> loot.
> If the dog handler believes in the dog, greater success and appreciation
> will follow. It is not intended that the handler should follow blindly
> behind the dog. One must remember that it is a team effort and that the
> handler must be mentally alert and assist when necessary; however, he should
> not doubt the ability of his charge.
> O - Observe the dog.
> Each dog must be treated with individual consideration, the reason being
> that each dog communicates or indicates through actions in a different
> manner. The dog handler must observe in order to interpret the actions of
> the dog. If the dog handler is not mentally alert, he may miss the
> indication of the dog or he may misinterpret an indication and this could
> mean the difference between success and failure.
> N - Nurture (educate) the dog.
> The word "nurture" pertains not only to diet, but also to the education of
> the dog. Some people feel that there is no limit to what a dog can be
> taught. Thanks to the use of imagination and hard work, a dog can become a
> very effective instrument. Here again, it is the duty of the dog handler to
> contribute as much as possible to the education of his charge. If actual
> working conditions are simulated, the dog will become very proficient and
> confident. The more time one spends with the dog, the closer the union will
> become between handler and dog. One must remember that the dog is learning
> all the time he is with the handler.
> D - Depend on one another.
> The dog must depend on the handler for its very existence. It is the duty of
> the handler to care for the dog in all respects and in the best possible
> way. On the other hand, the handler must depend on the dog, hence a mutual
> feeling of dependence. The dog is the handler's so called "bread and
> butter". If the handler has followed all the instructions he received,
> passed the knowledge on to his dog through training and completed his
> responsibilities, then the handler has a proficient helper, one proficient
> enough on whom he can depend. Therefore the dependence is mutual.
> Proficient Working Team
> The bond between handler and dog may be described as one of "feeling for one
> another"; however, it should be explored much more deeply since without a
> bond, one does not have a proficient working team.
> The motivation of the handler is one point that must be considered. If a
> handler's motive for working with a dog is that of personal gain or
> prestige, then there will be a gap in the bond. On the other hand, if their
> motive is the pleasure and satisfaction attained in working with the dog,
> then there is a better chance of the bond forming.
> The bond between handler and dog does not come about immediately, but is a
> gradual process which takes time, in some teams longer than in others. One
> prime factor is that the handler must like the dog. Throughout, mention has
> been made of dogs being individuals and as such have certain traits that are
> reflected. These may be referred to as personality traits which are taken up
> by the prospective handler. If the handler does not like the personality of
> a certain dog, it is his duty to make his feelings known to his superior.
> Dislike of the dog on the part of the handler will reflect on the dog and
> the feeling will be mutual, resulting in no bond.
> It is imperative that a bond is formed in order for a successful team to be
> produced. The handler and the dog are the only two that will know when the
> bond has been formed, but an experienced trainer can see the rapport between
> the two.
> "To a Dog" - A story that illustrates how faithful a dog is.