Basic Obedience Training!
OBEDIENCE: is the first element to be taught. The dogs were taught to "heel" while marching, a lesson which becomes the basis for all orderly movement of the dogs and their Handlers.
HEEL: At the command HEEL, the Dog of his own volition walks at the Handler's left side, with his right shoulder approximately even with the man's left knee, with the leash hanging loose.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOSE HEELING: In walking post, loose heeling is essential as long as the dog does not pull or tugs on the leash.
If close heeling is insisted upon, the dog is apt to concentrate on perfection in heeling. This means, that the dog's full attention will be centered on the Handler, and not concentrated on his duty.
He is apt to forget his main duty ...to be on the Alert at all times, and ready to give alarm at the slightest provocation.
SIT: At the command SIT, the Dog must promptly assume a sitting position from either a standing or lying down position.
DOWN: At the command DOWN, the dog must lie down promptly. The dog is expected to make this response no matter if he is standing, sitting, or heeling. Down is a very depressing exercise, and must not be repeated to often in succession.
STAY: At the command STAY, the dog freezes in the same position held when the command was given. The dog must remain in this position until his Handler returns to him or calls him.
COME: Whenever the dog has learned to obey the command "stay," and is in the stay position, the Handler calls the dog's name, and immediately adding the command COME. The dog must promptly come and sit directly in front of the Handler.
Once the basics are mastered, they are followed by: sit/stay, down/stay both at the handlers side and at the end of a 30-ft. training leash, using both voice and hand signals.
Sometimes It Was A Little
...It Must Have Been Early!
Perfection in each training lesson was gained through having patiences, and repetition! However a dog (or handler) can go stale or loss efficiency by practicing one command to much during any training period. It helps to take a break or change the exercise every so often.
And when the dog successfully executes a command, even though his performance has taken more time than desirable, the Handler must always reward him, with petting and praise him in some obvious way.
If the sentry dog's performance does not warrant any reward, he must be allowed to perform a short exercise, which he knows thoroughly and does well, so that he will earn a reward legitimately.
Dogs are usually anxious to please! But they must be shown how to do so. When the dog is rewarded for his performance, he senses that he has done the right thing, and will do it more readily the next time he is given the same command.
Some Needed More Help, Than
Others! Chuck Voltz and Bob
Later the dogs learnt to crawl under, climb and jump over obstacles ...all of which was necessary for working posts.