One of the first things I learned when I started working with dogs was to Decoy This is probably because back then Dog training was almost a form of obscure art and there were so few real handlers. So we needed all to chip in as decoy in order to fulfill that gap.
Playing decoy seems to be like playing goalie in soccer, its an indispensable position but few people seem interested in filling it. This is more true now than ever before, most new handlers just want to be on the ''safe'' side of the leash
I'd like to make a case for this noble activity by pointing out some key elements:
1.- Great exercise, you wont believe the amount of energy one can spend running around with the full bitesuit on a hot summer day
2.- While it has its dangers (I've had more live bites than I care to admit), with the proper training and equipment, REAL accidents are virtually impossible to happen.
3.- It takes one to know another one; the only real way to correctly asses the work of your decoy is to have played decoy before. Otherwise, you'll have to rely 100% on the opinion of the decoy.
4.- You can get more input if you know what exactly is the decoy doing and how the dog is reacting to it.
Also you get some peace of mind knowing the dog is not being harmed (am a bit overprotective with my bay so this is just me probably :crazy:)