As the teams prepare for their evaluations, we see not only the progress but their absolute pride and joy. You must never forget the joy. If the animal or handler is not having fun and enjoying the interaction with the people they visit, it has no meaning.
The Pet Partners Evaluators look for more than obedience. They look for the relationship at both ends of the leash. The handler is as important, if not more, than the animal being tested.
Do they communicate calmly, smoothly, kindly?
Does the handler and animal seem in sync and always aware of one another?
Does the animal walk calmly at the pace of the handler, with a looped loose leash between them?
Does the handler always put his/her animal first, watching for subtle signs of stress or the need for a break?
Is the handler confident enough I his/her animal’s behaviors to interact with people at the same time?
Is the animal happy, secure, and genuinely comfortable with new people and circumstances?
Is this a team you would want visiting your own family?
New teams are testing this weekend – let’s wish them great success.