HAND - HOME PAGE
Hand is a Dog-Game that involves a dog retrieving an article 51ft/15.3m away and coming back through the start/finish poles to place it in the handler's hand. The retrieve article can be a tennis ball, a toy, a gundog dummy, plastic bottles - in fact anything that the dog enjoys retrieving (see Equipment needed). In the interests of simplicity, the retrieve article will be called a "ball" throughout the Hand section of the website, but please feel free to use any object you wish.
Two people are needed to train and play Hand - the handler and a trainer or helper (who stands behind the black rubber mat throughout the Game, and places the "ball" on the mat just before the dog is due to run). A complete Hand run would be for the dog to be sent by its handler through the start/finish poles, pick up the "ball" off a black rubber mat that was 51ft/15.3m past the poles, and return through the poles to place the "ball" in the handler's hands in return for it's motivator.
|WHERE& WHEN TO TRAIN|
|ROLL OF HONOUR|
The handler learns -
- Although some dogs naturally seem able to retrieve articles for their handlers, other dogs do not have this instinctive drive. Starters and Problems with retrieve describe a variety of methods of how to teach dogs to overcome their reluctance to retrieve in positive and enjoyable ways.
- Dogs have a "critical distance" (ie a distance at which the dog is reluctant to venture further away from its handler). As the training of Hand progresses and the distance between the object and the handler increases, the dog will suddenly become reluctant to run that far away and further positive and rewarding training will be needed to overcome these fears.
- Any article can be used to retrieve in Hand as long as it is not too noisy and does not distract other dogs that are training nearby (eg squeaky toys are not suitable).
The dog learns -
- To retrieve static rather than moving objects. Many dogs only retrieve articles that they have seen thrown and then want to chased after. It is this strong chase instinct that makes them return the object to the handler in order that it can be thrown and chased after once more. In the Hand, these types of dogs are taught how to enjoy bringing back objects that they have not seen thrown.
- That the object is always placed in exactly the same position each time it runs to get it (ie on a black rubber car mat). As the distance in training is increased the handler moves further from the mat, yet the dog still knows where the mat is as it has not moved.
The training is broken down in to 5 separate Stages - Starters, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum - which are non-competitive and have no restrictions on the speed of the dog. Every Stage has certificates, rosettes, and at Platinum a trophy, which are given in recognition of the achievements of both dog and handler.
Always begin training at Starters and progress from there. It is not compulsory for dogs to do all these Stages - they have been provided so that each dog can train to its own ability. Dogs must not be pushed into situations that they cannot cope with (eg running too close to other dogs in Silver) and handlers and trainers must respect the dog's imitations. Some dogs and handlers work steadily through most or all of the Stages of Hand before trying a new Game, while others reach Bronze or Silver Stages of this Game and then try another Game (returning to the higher Stages of Hand when the dog is more confident, experienced or older).
The Material contained herein may not be reproduced without the prior written approval of Dog Games Ltd. © 2000-2005 All Rights Reserved.