Fourteen commandments

Fourteen Commandments of the Royal Canadian Police Dog Training Academy

1) Make sure the dog is always pleased to see you. All future training depends on this.

2) Don’t ever scold the dog unnecessarily. When you do, do so the exact instant the dog makes a mistake – it is the only way for the dog to know what you want from him.

3) Deliberate disobedience must be addressed immediately.

4) Take note that the dog cannot ask any questions, nor can it understand what you say (as you yourself also cannot understand all foreign languages.)

5) The success of a trainer depends on his/her skill to get a dog to understand what is required and to imprint this on its memory in a way that it becomes an instinctive response.

6) Always handle your dog kindly, unless you are sure that an occasional swift and harsh correction will be beneficial in the long run.

7) Be decisive and to the point and (most important) make sure you yourself know what you want, and how it should be done.

8) Don’t experiment with your dog if you are unsure of how to put something across to him. Do so only when you yourself have a mental picture of the elements that will produce a good end result.

9) Try never to make a mistake. Also, don’t let the dog make mistakes. If this does happen, don’t let it pass. One mistake that is not corrected could result in hours of irritating corrective training for dog and handler, with the possibility of not being able to fix it entirely.

10) Reward everything that is well done!

11) End every training session on a ‘high’ note. Never ever stop a training session the instant a dog does something wrong.

12) Never train so long that it becomes boring to the dog. If this does happen, you have wasted your time. Rather then end promptly with something the dog loves to do.

13) As far as possible, always keep your dog with you. It is not possible to train him constantly, but in this way he will take in much of your habits, words and surroundings, which will all help to make training easier for both.

14) Patience – patience – patience.