Techniques for keeping the dog straight and close in the blind - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 01-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Yeah.... mine was clearly avoiding the sleeve, but NOT avoiding the helper. He wanted the helper, and seemed annoyed/confused by the sleeve presentation. I think your comment of working with more seriousness is helpful.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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In either case, I think lessening the significance of the sleeve and/or stick, and refocusing the dog on the helper helps resolve the issue
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I teach the guarding position from the beginning, but I can also modify the behavior if it is not too ingrained with the same method. I have 2 dark brown leather rags. The handler holds the dog on a long line. I have one of the rags in the bib of my helper pants, I leave the second one on the ground. When the dog barks at me, I pull out the rag and grip him and fight.. While he is carrying the rag I pick up the second one, put it in my bib. The dog learns to spit out the rag and bark at me in the eyes whether or not he can see a sleeve or rag and he gets what he wants, the bite/fight. I get to the point where I put the second rag in the bib when the dog is busy carrying, the handler outs the dog and kicks the rag out. I will pick up that rag and stimulate the dog. I then throw that rag away from me and the dog will stay focused and barking on me, bam out comes the second rag and he gets a grip. It is a very low stress exercise and translates over to the blind as the dog learns to sit directly in front of the helper and bark up into their eyes.



It also helps to learn the out without stress, just like the 2 ball game, outing is no problem because the helper has another one ready to go... and the dog does not lose.... :-)





Frank

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Old 01-15-2013, 11:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I guess I look at things from a more holistic angle. Where the dog sits, for me anyway, is an indication of drive level and how balanced he is in the work. When the helper has the dog working at the right drive level, everything seems to come into balance and that includes where the dog sits or stands in front of the helper . If the dog is not in drive, there wil be no fight drive and without fight drive, you will have a less than optimal hold and bark.
People can try to put a band aid on what is wrong at the core, but it doesn't really work , at least not the dogs I have seen. Almost every problem, including the approach of the handler is caused by the dog not being at the right drive level. Most will try to fix the problem in the blind but for me, if the dog is showing these problems, you fix it elsewhere, meaning, you raise the dog's drive, balance the training and then go back to the blind. Also, problems with the approach of the handler, is usually caused by control, ( dog drops in drive and the fight drive goes away), but not just the control itself. Most people come up and command the dog but always seem to forget to tell the dog first, that they like what he is doing. That is called praise, something that I notice many people forget to do in protection. Praise is exceptionally important, especially with the dogs who mean it and are not playing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Over the past few weeks what I've done with 4 dogs, thats worked well with all 4 dogs...

If I'm doing it in a blind or if the dog is very quick in striking, I have the dog on a long line and the handler sends them in. I have the handler (or whoever is holding the line) not keep tension on the line but not so slack they can't immediately keep the dog from making a bite. If the dog gives me the slightest window to escape I do so and run to another blind. I try *not* to give them a miss, i.e. present a bite they can't get, I try to keep the sleeve and myself as neutral/non-attacking as possible. When I get away I have the handler release the dog just as I have enough time to get in another blind where the dog guards again. Alternately, I did it on a big oak tree with a dog pinning me against the tree... whatever side they gave me more room on I'd move and the dog would correct themselves to stop my lateral movement around the tree. I also tried it against a fence in the same manner. I'd escape much less distance, and have the handler re-command as the dog came after me, and before they could get to me or try to gather to bite, I'd lock back up and pin against the fence again (trying to make it as clear as possible to the dog that my arm was still down, this wasn't an escape, and there was no bite coming)

For 2 chronic offenders we saw dramatic improvement after I escaped once or twice. Both dogs always get nutty when the handler approaches, and the dog we tried handler walk-ins with was very away and tracking her in the corner of his eyes, but stopped moving entirely. Interestingly, all dogs I tried it with instantly guarded closer.

I think the issue (at least at our club) has been very good teaching that the dog must bark strong and consistently, but the piece I felt was missing was that the dogs understanding that they were pinning the helper in there with their position just as importantly as with the barking. Watching a dog try to corner a fleeing prey item against a fence is basically what I was trying to replicate. With all the dogs, as soon as I tapped into that instinctive behavior, their guarding changed... any twitch, slight movement, or even shifting my weight from one leg to the other would make the dog actively move to block the direction the perceived I was going to make a run for it.

Whenever possible I try to find a way to leverage a natural behavior or instinct rather than condition a dog to do something. Any thoughts on possible side effects, tweaks, etc?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
I guess I look at things from a more holistic angle. Where the dog sits, for me anyway, is an indication of drive level and how balanced he is in the work. When the helper has the dog working at the right drive level, everything seems to come into balance and that includes where the dog sits or stands in front of the helper . If the dog is not in drive, there wil be no fight drive and without fight drive, you will have a less than optimal hold and bark.
People can try to put a band aid on what is wrong at the core, but it doesn't really work , at least not the dogs I have seen. Almost every problem, including the approach of the handler is caused by the dog not being at the right drive level. Most will try to fix the problem in the blind but for me, if the dog is showing these problems, you fix it elsewhere, meaning, you raise the dog's drive, balance the training and then go back to the blind. Also, problems with the approach of the handler, is usually caused by control, ( dog drops in drive and the fight drive goes away), but not just the control itself. Most people come up and command the dog but always seem to forget to tell the dog first, that they like what he is doing. That is called praise, something that I notice many people forget to do in protection. Praise is exceptionally important, especially with the dogs who mean it and are not playing.
I agree. Up to this point, if I see the dog getting too concerned about me during guarding (and Frank saw Katya do this at her IPO1 trial. Her guarding in the blind was awesome, elsewhere she began to be too concerned with me), I try and up the drive to keep the focus and fight with the helper. The method I just described I think compliments this approach (which I will continue using). The band-aids that I hate doing are conditioning the dog into a behavior, rather than actually teaching it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:05 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Hunter we did something like that with Pan a few times. This was during his first sessions learning a hold and bark, so there weren't any problems, but we wanted him to understand he was "holding" the helper, so the helper would try to run out of the blind sideways. If Pan was close enough during his guarding, he'd automatically get that bite when the helper tried to run out the side. If he wasn't quite close enough, me holding the line (and this was hard for me, to keep him once the helper escaped but not have tension on the line during his guarding) would prevent Pan from getting the bite. We did this twice and he put it together.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Hunter we did something like that with Pan a few times. This was during his first sessions learning a hold and bark, so there weren't any problems, but we wanted him to understand he was "holding" the helper, so the helper would try to run out of the blind sideways. If Pan was close enough during his guarding, he'd automatically get that bite when the helper tried to run out the side. If he wasn't quite close enough, me holding the line (and this was hard for me, to keep him once the helper escaped but not have tension on the line during his guarding) would prevent Pan from getting the bite. We did this twice and he put it together.
I was hesitate to allow any bites... My thinking being, if I ran it was to communicate the dog failed to keep me there, and I was wary about a dog learning to end the guarding by "flushing" the helper out
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
I guess I look at things from a more holistic angle. Where the dog sits, for me anyway, is an indication of drive level and how balanced he is in the work. When the helper has the dog working at the right drive level, everything seems to come into balance and that includes where the dog sits or stands in front of the helper . If the dog is not in drive, there wil be no fight drive and without fight drive, you will have a less than optimal hold and bark.
True.... but you know it is HARD!
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