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Reflections on the Interview with Tabitha & Relationships with our K9 Partners

Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal reflect on their interview with police K9 officer Tabitha. They discuss their biggest takeaways from the conversation, including the bedrock of engagement and building a relationship with your dog, as well as the power of using imagination as a training tool.

They also talk about the differences between working with a “hard” dog as compared to a “sensitive” dog, practical tips on earning the trust of a difficult dog, avoiding the pitfall of using “the leash as a substitute for the relationship,” and giving your dog enough attention every day.

Building trust mainly comes down to spending an adequate amount of time simply being present with your dog. According to our hosts, “The most important person is the one standing right in front of you. Being with our dog at that moment is probably one of the most important things we can do as trainers.”

Key Topics:

  • Our biggest takeaways (1:47)

  • Building trust between dog and handler (7:26)

  • Working with a “hard” dog versus a “sensitive” dog (15:12)

  • Gaining the trust of a difficult dog (23:30)

  • Giving your dog the right amount of daily attention (39:12)

  • The importance of body language (48:14)

  • Do you have to have a relationship to build engagement? (50:49)

  • Closing thoughts (57:53)


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