I stress the importance of great handling skills in public to my service dog families. Why? Because a dog who is distracted, anxious or improperly trained cannot effectively do his job. The video that follows illustrates appropriate handling skills by 13-year-old Olivia. She worked her year-old Diabetic Alert Dog, Gracie, deftly through and around people. For more than two hours, Gracie was focused, tail wagging - a perfect canine partner.
Bravo to Olivia and all the other great kids I work with. They demonstrate time after time that young people are often the best dog handlers.