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Old 08-15-2014, 06:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 2 y/o male Chunk recently passed his BH and did OK but not great. We went to another club's field where he had occasionally worked out for the test. My question is that when we got back to our field it seemed as though he took several giant steps backwards. He is a nervy dog to begin with and he went from doing IPO 2-3 level protection exercises back to avoiding the stick.
To be sure we have worked on that issue and it seemed to be fixed for 4-5 months and now it has popped up again. He has done all sorts of environmental work, off site biting and suit work and now that we are going back to IPO prep training he gets nervy.
Has anyone dealt with this and how did they deal with it...? I came home from the BH trials thinking Great, all I have to do now is get him to learn dumb bells, the send out and finish tracking.. I was hoping for an IPO1 winter trial but now who knows??
Thanks for your input, drive by bombs not needed, positive constructive criticism welcome..
Phil
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old is he? Truly if a dog shows nerve at a stick hit, I personally don't think the dog is enjoying the sport(protection phase). My dog powers up at the stick hits.

If your dog has been rushed and isn't mature mentally then I'd excuse the behavior somewhat. But.....I think the dog is showing what is in his heart. You need to decide how to procede. At the end of the day, the genetics always trump the training and foundation.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is hard to analyze something like this online, nobody can see exactly how your dog reacts and make a proper recommendation. I don't know who you train with or where, but I think it would be worth it to have an experienced helper/competitor work with you to try and figure out what the issue is and how to try and overcome it. Maybe attend a seminar with a trainer who may specialize in building confidence or working with dogs that have less than ideal nerves? Hopefully this issue can be resolved for you and you can get your IPO1 with him. IF he was taking stick hits before, I don't see why you can't get him back to that level with some hard work?

Lots of IPO competitors have problems to solve and overcome, you just gotta keep training and try to figure out how to help your dog overcome this particular hurdle. Sometimes genetics work against you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and do your best. As long as you aren't stressing your dog out and making him miserable, of course. I know several people on the forum here have competed with "less than ideal" dogs successfully, so hopefully they can chime in with some good advice for you!

Congratulations on your successful BH, and good luck in your future IPO endeavors!
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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O.Girl.. Thanks for the input... I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can.
In the case of genetics, he has one side that is all work and the other that is mostly all sport. He's always up for the fight but is just now really showing signs of being the "Butt Head" stubbornness that comes out in real working dogs. Is he showing signs of pronounced hardness that sch dogs are supposed to show.. He takes on the challenge of stick hit other things along that line but it was pretty discouraging to see him not necessarily flinch but direct the fight away from the stick which my trainer says is avoidance. He really loves to go to the field to do his protection work.. He isn't fearful and has begun to show a lot of dominant traits that are necessary for IPO.
The day he flaked I had to really correct him because he growled at a friend at work. (The dog is no longer welcome at my work now.) Fortunately he was on the leash, he has never really liked this guy (one of the two at work). He didn't bite him but growled menacingly as he jumped up to push him away. (Long story, not really relevant to what I am talking about in this thread..I think it goes back to the butthead theory.)
O-girl, I have read a lot of your posts and really respect your opinion.. In this case I hope it isn't that he doesn't want to do IPO.
I hope this helps, thanks for the input.
Phil
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How old?
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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2 years old.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He's directing his aggression at the stick not the helper? Or going into avoidance or leaving the sleeve at a stick hit.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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O.girl.. He has a great grip and rarely does anything but improve his grip or regrip. before the bh trial we stopped all but one 6 blind search with a bite at a work out. (He does two at a time with a platz at 2 & 4 to be called again.)
The bite work was warm up bites on the pole and then off to the suit top for bite work 2 weeks before the trial. He bit so hard several time he drew a little blood, he caught the trainer off balance and pulled him down and one time the bite was so hard the trainer couldn't get out of the suit. (His personality lit up like a jr. high kid that just won his first real fist fight.)
As far as I can tell he's not biting or fighting towards the stick, but just trying to avoid it.. Another example of the same thing was when we did the official IPO1 protection routine for the first time ever he kept looking around the blind to see if I was going to join him... He normally barks or bites until I get there and only slightly acknowledges me when I show up at the blind. A casual glance or maybe a slight head bob.. It used to be much more of a problem but we have trained him to focus on the trainer.. We often have groups of people walk around the bite blind while he is working as a distraction... The only one that distracts him is me when I make noise and go in and out of his line of site...
Again, I hope this makes sense to you please let me know if it doesn't.. Thanks again for your input.. (Sorry I'm writing so much but I want to get this phase behind us..
Phil
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you done call outs? Do you use ecollar and out him w/collar? Are the stick hits playing into outing-timing? Do you pattern train the routine? The helper has used the stick to 'brush' him with no issue, it is just the hit that is an issue?
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you ever hit him with a stick at home? Serious question.

I've seen dogs disciplined with a fly swatter that were weary of the stick or whip and were much more comfortable when helper put those away.
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