Sometimes being a decoy is a thankless job and sometimes.... - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 03-08-2014, 10:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sometimes being a decoy is a thankless job and sometimes....

Sometimes being a decoy is a thankless job and sometimes very rewarding. Besides the satisfaction of seeing the dogs you work improve and achieve their titles. I work my tail off for the dogs at my group. A lot of times I get too warn out to even work my own dogs or there isn't another decoy there to work my dogs. As a decoy we sometimes get yelled at or told we've done something wrong. It can be very frustrating at times. It is definately something you have to do for yourself because you love it and not something you do out of necessity.

I train at basically a "pay to play" type facility. Well, this last week my trainers bought all of us decoys new custom bite suits as a thank you for our hard work. We love being decoys and have been talking about buying new suits ourselves. The trainers decided we do a lot as it is and decided to buy them for us. It was very unexpected. I'm so lucky to be with a group that truly appreciates us.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup getting yelled at while being abused by dogs is par for the course. Takes a special kind of crazy.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have noticed the suits don't cover hands. Do the dogs blow a bite and gets hands....ever? Disfiguring comes to mind.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have noticed the suits don't cover hands. Do the dogs blow a bite and gets hands....ever? Disfiguring comes to mind.
Yes that sometimes happens. I have always been told, if you're afraid to get bit, don't be a decoy.

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Yup getting yelled at while being abused by dogs is par for the course. Takes a special kind of crazy.
It really does. It's my addiction. I can go weeks/months without handling a dog but I can't go more than a couple days without catching one. It's a stress reliever.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm guessing that since I don't see a lot of one handed GSD owners, the dogs back off pretty quick when they realize they have flesh rather than cloth?
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not always, but most dogs want more of the man than the hand. If the dogs are going for the hand that often then the dog is either in avoidance or the decoy is not presenting/placing the bite correctly. So it's usually an oops by someone. If the dog gets human, hopefully the handler is on their game and outs the dog right away. One of my dogs actually bit one of our decoy's in the leg about a month ago. She has never been taught legs, but something about the way he moved made his leg her target. He wasn't wearing suit pants, just scratch pants. The blood dripping down his leg was are cue that she got him good. I outed her as soon as I saw her hit there and she then redirected onto his arm. It was a weird incident but it does happen.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Some do. I've taken live bites to the hand, forehead, flank twice, and thigh. Most dogs I've worked were not dirty so if they got skin they release pretty quick. The worst injuries I've taken were actually through the suit on a dog that was also responsible for the most live bites on me. He let's go fairly fast when he gets skin. He doesn't want to hurt me anywhere but through the suit.

Hand hits for me have either been from readjusting the dog on the bite and it rebiting and getting a finger or one decides to get me for forcing him through a barrage. The forehead one was the dog pecking during a search and escort when I was coming out of one of those police k9'search boxes. The flank was through the gap of the suit jacket and pants on a flee attack. The thigh was while wearing leg sleeves the tops of which had come down a bit.

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Old 03-09-2014, 12:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I used to really get my old guy amped up when I wore a busted up track suit(leather), wrestling around. The suit prevented punctures pretty well and had carbon fiber inserts in places that one would slide on. Banjo gave my arms a good gnawing and shaking, but when he'd get two slabs of the CF between his teeth he would seriously clamp down. Painful pressure that had it been just the leather would have done me real harm.

Is the idea/nature/instinct built into GSDs to subdue with minimal skin damage or just their inherent intelligence at work? I could see it being bred in so as to not shred the animals they herd when they nipped or directed a herd. All it took from me was a yelp and he let go, but was back on my arm/leg in a flash. I gained a whole new respect for a powerful dog with that suit. I could have probably survived an encounter were he for real attacking me, but I KNOW the hospital and lots of morphine would have been the next stop.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This is two canines through a demanet semi-comp and a neoprene gauntlet from a dog I worked a lot. This dog is now a deputy with the local Sheriff department.

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Old 03-09-2014, 12:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is a very eye opening post...thanks
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