Short Set 1: 10/15 RULE

You’ve reached us at our short set. It’s exactly what it says it is. This is our midweek training session for you, where we put together a training short set for you each and every week and release it on Tuesdays. I’m glad you’re able to join us.

I’m AJ Vargas, former law enforcement trainer and handler and CEO of Custom K9 Unlimited.

This is me, my experiences and perspectives. You and just a mic will all record each week and bring you training answers to questions and things you can put to use right now with your working dogs. If you learn one thing, I’ve done my job. . Let’s jump right in to this week’s short set.

I want to start off by giving you some important facts and what I’m going to teach you today is going to [00:01:00] help you to keep your dog safe. It helps you to prevent blow and overheating, which is very important. Now, a lot of people think just because cold weather is coming, or it’s not hot outside that there’s no risk.

To your dog overheating, but in our realm, the working dog realm, every moment that that dog’s on the ground or is in training, there’s a chance for overheating. Talk to any vet, they’ll tell you if they’ve been around for any amount of time that the risk is still present with a dog to overheat, even when it’s cold weather.

So we want to build consistency. We want to build habits that help us to prevent those things. I say knock on wood. I guess, if I had any, wood around that I can knock on right now, I would. We haven’t had any incidents of any dog overheating and draining or on a [00:02:00] deployment that we teach this to thus far.

And this is over 15 years we’ve been teaching this.

So if that’s not important enough for you to start implementing this very simple, yet very effective rule, then I don’t know what is.

Now the great thing about this short set, is that you need very little equipment. All you need is a watch or some type of smartphone that has a timer on it. That’s it. Now, I don’t know many of you guys that wouldn’t have that on you right now. So, we want to build consistencies. We want to build habits.

And this is one of those things that we teach early on in our handler courses and in our trainer courses because it’s so important. This is called the 1015 rule. I’m going to say a couple of times throughout this short set so that it ingrained in your head. And the 1015 rule is very simple. It also builds positive [00:03:00] transfer of learning.

And for those that don’t know what positive transfer of learning is, let me explain that for just a second. Positive transfer of learning.

It’s taking things that you learn now and transferring them over to other areas of your training or your deployments. And this is one of those things that has a tremendous transfer of learning. First and foremost, our handlers and trainers live by their watch or their smartphone. And I say that not in a bad way.

And I don’t mean that because they’re on social media or sending text or reading texts, it’s because they began to watch their watch and their time it becomes so ingrained in them that it’s almost manic. Because we begin to enforce this in many different avenues, in many different ways. And it’s all because it’s so important for a handler and a trainer to keep track of their time at all times. [00:04:00] Let me give you some examples. For one, in training, what time did you start your training?

What time did you end your training? That’s important because you’ve got to do training records. Well, think about when you get out on the road and now you’re deploying your dog, what time did your deployment start? What time did your deployment end? How long have you been training?

How long has your dog been on the ground on a deployment? Those are all vital pieces to what you do every single day as a canine handler. Well, let me give you some other examples. Let’s think about training. How do we begin to build stamina for a dog? If we’re not watching our time and we don’t know how long it takes for that dog to become gassed, how do we know if we’re making progress?

So we need to watch our watch. Well, this rule also enforces that. And it’s a very simple rule. Again, the 10 15 rule. So let me break it down [00:05:00] for you right now. 10 stands for 10 minutes. So every time you put your dog up after a training session or after a deployment, you’re going to pull water and not allow that dog to drink for 10 minutes.

The reason for that is, is that the dog, just like us, when we’re exercising or have exerted ourselves and we’re thirsty, we’re going to overdrink. And I played football coming up, so we used to call that getting waterlogged. So we don’t want the dog to overdrink. And because of that, we’re going to pull the water and allow the dog to calm down a little bit, relax, before we put water back in and make it available for that dog.

And when we do, we’re only going to give them about an inch to two inches. at the bottom of that pail. So again, we’re minimizing and regulating how much that dog drinks. So after you drop water after 10 minutes, you’re going to set another timer and that’s where the 15 [00:06:00] comes in. in the 10 15 rule. The 15 stands for 15 minutes.

15 minutes after you drop water, you can train again or you can deploy again. It generally takes 18 to 20 minutes for a dog’s core temperature to get back to normal. So when the dog is deployed on a deployment or on a training session, that core temperature is going to rise. And because of that, we risk the chance of overheating.

Especially when we put the dog up and at rest, science tells us that the dog’s core temperature is going to peak. Think about that. If you’ve ever ran or begin to exercise, when you stop exercising, you begin to pour and sweat. That’s because your core temperature is rising. With the dogs the same way.

They can maintain their core temperature a lot easier when they’re panting and working than when they’re at rest. So when they’re at rest in that kennel on the back of that [00:07:00] insert of your car, their core temperature is , actually rising. for the next probably 15 to 17 minutes before it begins to decrease and go back to normal.

So it’s important that you then set your next timer after dropping water for 15 minutes because that will put you at the 25 minute mark at the end of those 15 minutes. That means you gave that dog 25 minutes to cool down before starting another training session.

So, the 10 15 rule, for one, prevents the dog from overdrinking. which minimizes bloat and two, it allows that dog’s core temperature to get back to normal before you deploy or before you start another training session. Implement the 10 15 rule into your everyday training life and your deployment life.

Your dog will thank you for it. You will prevent overheating and the potential for bloat by this one simple rule, the [00:08:00] 10 15 rule….

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