Unit One – What is it?

What is Proactive Handling ?

Proactive handling is where you learn as a handler to become observant of all behaviours. We are programmed to focus on negatives, it is called the negativity bias. This enables us to survive, well it would have many years ago, its not so necessary now.

So when we are with our dogs we often end up focusing on the negatives and seeing all the problems, we can become so focused on it that we begin to miss everything else that is going on.

So what happens if the negatives get all our attention and the positives get ignored?

The dogs negative behaviours increase because they get attention, rewards and the positives decrease because they get ignored or not rewarded.

Proactive Handling involves looking for the positives and every time you see one, reward it.

Look at every situation and think about what is happening and what could be happening.

If it’s good behaviour reward it.

Proactive Handling is to be used all, day, everyday and in every situation and you don’t need to have a clicker and treats on you for it to work. If you have treats on your then great, use them , but if you haven’t just use attention, affection or play. Just saying ‘wow what a good puppy’ is much better than saying nothing at all.

‘What gets rewarded gets repeated’

What will you get?

  1. This will cause all the positive behaviours to increase
  2. Negative behaviours to decrease
  3. Have a puppy that clearly understands what you expect of it
  4. Build appropriate behaviours for attention seeking
  5. Patience and Politeness

Training the dog takes effort from you, it easier to get it right first time, than let it go wrong and try to fix it later.


Copyright Jane Ardern 2019

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