It doesn’t look like there’s much going on in this photo… but actually Igor is learning a very important lesson.

Igor’s been asked to stay and it’s important he does until his handlers next command. He’s not tethered, no one is holding the lead and he’s on a busy street with cars going past and people walking past.

And then a little hand…. it could be a hand he knows or a hand he doesn’t but either way he needs to stay, he needs to accept that contact and not move. And he needs to keep his focus on the job at hand.

Whether we want it or not people are going to touch our working dogs (and to be honest as a program we encourage it because we want our kids to learn how to communicate and we want them to feel the power of connection) so we focus on teaching our dogs to accept any contact.

But it’s important not to pat working dogs… at least ask if you feel the pull! Sometimes you might get a yes and sometimes you’ll get a no.

Black dog on floor

Author Kim Michod

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