Communicating with the Leash
A big part of being a good handler is learning to communicate through the leash. The service dog is taught to walk on the left side of the handler, and the hand holding the leash should be relaxed and facing forward (like riding a bike). As you turn and change positions, the subtle changes in your hand position communicate to the dog. For instance, to stop, you cock your wrist back, and once stopped you relax it. Turning your hand (along with your body) into the dog tells them to turn left. Take a look at the video below to see Vera and her new family learning each other's body language and getting used to communicating with the leash!