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Old 12-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Bite Sleeve

My dog qualified for schutzhund a few months ago and I left it at that. My son didn't want to work that sport with her, so I put her in agility and she is doing well. She loves to play tug, chase the flirt pole, and has a pretty high prey drive. My son plays rough with her and she immediately stops when told to. So my question is, is it alright to get a bite sleeve and use it strictly for play sessions? I know that if training is done wrong it can hurt the dog more then help the dog, but I don't want to use it for training, I want to use it to burn off some of her energy. I just wrapped a towel around my arm, put her in a sit 20 feet away, told her to stay, then ok...she ran right for the sleeve like she should, shook it, I tell her off and she is done..we repeated this a few times and she enjoyed herself..she is now laying down chewing a bone. I just want to hear from people that do this as a sport..is it okay to do it every now and then for play or am I damaging her? If I'm damaging her I won't do it anymore, but she really enjoys it
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not get a bite pillow? Cheaper and won't put your young dog in the position to bite you. Also you can do the same thing with the pillow as you would with a sleeve, it's just not on your arm. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think letting a dog grip a sleeve while it is on the owner/handler's arm depends on the dog's personality but I don't believe many people actually do that with any dog.


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Old 12-10-2012, 10:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would get a pillow or even a wedge with handles. Sleeves are expensive and you also have to buy the jute covers (and replace them). If the dog is taking running bites and you don't know how to "present" the sleeve you can really jam and injure your dog. If you just need something for tug, these are probably a much cheaper, easier options:
K9 Bite Pillows: Police K9, Military K9 and Schutzhund Working Dog Equipment
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Simple tugs are a lot of fun, cheap, and easy to use. You can get them at EliteK9, HallmarkK9, Leerburg, etc. for about $6-20. You can get handles or no handles, large or small, hard or soft. Lots of different kinds for whatever your dog prefers.

I wouldn't do the sleeve. Too expensive, and way too many opportunities to accidentally injure the dog, or yourself. There's a reason why people train for a lot time to become a decoy. The dogs neck can get jammed and dogs have died on the sleeve from injuries. Not common, but does happen. Also, if you did decide later on to work her in Schutzhund, you don't want her really looking to you for the sleeve. We have a girl at training that did just that and now her dog will turn and try to bite her instead when she attempts bite work. It's not hard, or even being serious... the dog is just looking to play the game with her, not the decoy since that's what he's used to. Her dog only does OB now. Just in case you want to leave that opportunity open.... go for just the tug.

Plus, you can definitely integrate the tug games into any sport/activity you do with her. It's a great reward and lots of fun for both.
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