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TSA Dog Handler Goes Viral For Being Clueless and Aggressive- Here's What He Did Wrong

This video has been going around and for good reason. It's amazing to me the kind of dog handling that is seen in the wild. 

For those who don't know, I spent 9 years as a military working dog handler and trainer. My last Marine Corps job was as the chief Marine working dog instructor. I've trained and supervised the training of dozens of dogs. From bomb dogs to drug dogs to attack dogs to tracking dogs and on and on. I've certified both military working dogs as well as civilian police department dogs.

Over the years I've seen some realllly shitty handling techniques and nearly all of them can be seen in this video. I won't get into the super technical aspects that you see here but let me just say that they are trash. Everything he's doing managed to be wrong. Everything. 

1. When the video starts, at the first turn, he goes way too wide with his hand and nearly throws the dog to make that turn. There are times to do wide turns, but this isn't it. He has his left hand pulling back with the leash taut and his right hand is loose. When the leash is tight and back, the dog's natural instinct is to go forward. It's called the oppositional reflex.

Opposition reflex is a term used in animal behavior to describe the automatic, instinctive response of an animal to resist pressure applied to one part of its body by pushing or pulling in the opposite direction.

For example, if you push down on a dog's hindquarters, the dog will automatically push back with its hind legs. If you try to pull a cat's paw away from a surface, the cat will instinctively resist by flexing its claws and pushing back with its paw.

The opposition reflex is a protective mechanism that helps animals maintain balance and stability. The reflex is often used in animal training to teach behaviors such as walking on a leash, standing still for grooming, or standing on a platform. By understanding and working with an animal's opposition reflex, trainers can encourage cooperation and reduce stress for the animal.

This handler is working against the reflex which is working against the dog. 

2. The idea of his tossing the dog around in a wide loop is to teach the dog to go around an object that he's looking for. They go up and down rows of luggage or whatever. When they are going around, you want a little bit of a wider swing so that the scent cone is right in the dog's face from either direction. 

A scent cone is a three-dimensional area of scent that is spread out by an animal as it moves and releases scent molecules from its body. This cone-shaped plume of scents can be used by animals such as dogs, cats, and many other animals to track and locate prey or other animals. 

For animals with a well-developed sense of smell, such as dogs, the scent cone can be a powerful tool for locating prey or other animals. By following the scent cone, an animal can track the direction and distance of the animal it is following, even if it cannot see it. In some cases, animals can even use the scent cone to track an animal that has moved through the area hours or even days earlier, depending on the age and strength of the scent. When manipulated, this natural instinct is what helps find bombs, drugs, or people. It's honestly insane how these dogs work. 

When I did demonstrations for kids at school, I would always compare finding scents to finding colors. If you can teach a dog to find blue and yellow, he will find green. If you can teach yellow and red, orange will be known too. Yellow is weed. So the dog can find orange hash too. There are 9 main types of explosives, if you teach them to find those nine, they can basically find any type of explosives, even homemade explosives. 

3. He pulls back on the leash to let the people go by. The dog shouldn't be out there if it can't listen to basic commands like heel or stop. It's the basics of the basics. 

4. Lots of dogs hate walking on shiny and slippery floors. You make that worse by sliding them around all over the joint. 

5. Switching hands, spinning, and pulling the dog in. The dog is getting so many mixed cues that its gotta be beyond frustrating. He can't do what he was trained to do because the handler is too incompetent to hold a leash and confusing him on top of it. 

There's way more that is wrong in this video but you get the point. 

Luckily, the TSA has pulled the guy from dog-handling duties while they conduct the investigation which should be just watching the video. I know several of the K9 lead trainers and they are fucking pissed this happened. I would be too. It's embarrassing when videos of people doing dumb shit comes out. 

My first response was "Jesus Christ. What in the fuck is he doing" and Id imagine that was his soon-to-be ex-bosses thought too.