Bite Work-when to train release - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Bite Work-when to train release

Gunnar has been training in PP since 8 weeks old, he's 11 months now. My trainer doesn't want us to teach him to release the bite sleeve yet. Instead I run him around until he drops it on his own.

What determines the point at which you guys start to train your dogs to release their bit on command?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 08:58 AM
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When I'm happy with the intensity of the dogs engagement, grip, drive state. I never let mine drop it on their own. Out command or choked off

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:03 AM
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I start it at around 12 weeks playing tug with myself. That way the puppy gets an understanding of what I'm asking later. I don't start outing off of a "bad guy" until I start capping the dog. That can be a different age depending on the dog and drives. Most of the solid working lines I have been working, that starts about 12-13 months.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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I start it at around 12 weeks playing tug with myself. That way the puppy gets an understanding of what I'm asking later. I don't start outing off of a "bad guy" until I start capping the dog. That can be a different age depending on the dog and drives. Most of the solid working lines I have been working, that starts about 12-13 months.
I'm not familiar with the term "capping". Can you explain that one to me?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:23 AM
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There are dogs who get so possessive of the sleeve they can never learn to out on command without intense compulsion because they were allowed to keep it as long as they liked as a puppy.

"Capping" is learning to contain the drive and obeying obedience commands - like sit - while still in drive...

For example, my Komet comes out of the crate in harness, onto the ground...he starts barking and pulling towards the area where he knows the helper waits. He is being walked a few steps, made to sit and look at me before moving...maybe 3 or 4 times before confronting the helper....he is in drive, but must be controlled until released...
lol - he is crazy in drive and that is pretty much all we are doing is bark, grips and outs - capping drive keeps him clear in the head

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:25 AM
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I'm not familiar with the term "capping". Can you explain that one to me?

Capping is basically harnessing drive. This link may explain it a little better.

Schutzhund-Training.com - Capping
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:27 AM
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Thanks Lee!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 10:34 AM
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Thorny,
Since you are training your dog in PP as opposed to sport, what is your trainer doing to shape the dog's bitework to be more man oriented as opposed to equipment oriented. I agree that either way, the dog should not drop/out the sleeve until he is told to do so. Does your trainer do suit work? Have any scenarios been presented to your dog to elicit a defensive reaction?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thorny,
Since you are training your dog in PP as opposed to sport, what is your trainer doing to shape the dog's bitework to be more man oriented as opposed to equipment oriented. I agree that either way, the dog should not drop/out the sleeve until he is told to do so. Does your trainer do suit work? Have any scenarios been presented to your dog to elicit a defensive reaction?
I'm not sure if we've done work to elicit a defensive reaction or not. Maybe you can tell me.

We started bite work when he was a little pup. We meet as a group at the trainers property and we train dogs ranging in age from 8 weeks to maturity all at the same time. The little pups watch the bite work until the trainer determines that they are ready to get involved. And we all train obedience together.

Gunnar has the personality that he went into high drive from the very beginning and I used to have to train him from a distance due to his behavior and the way it interrupted the rest of the class. At first bite work was done with stuffed animals on strings, then progressed to puppy sleeve, then big boy sleeve and now it's usually done on a hidden sleeve for Gunnar. The decoy sometimes wears a full bite suit, other times just regular clothes.

As a group we'll do bites on a decoy who stands in the middle of a circle and gives each dog a turn. Then the older dogs will run scenarios that are more real world like an attacker hidden behind a car or tree will jump out and approach the handler running and yelling. We did another one where we were seated in the front of a pickup and the attacker came at the passenger window in a carjacking scenario. I think those drills are trying to build up confidence in a deffensive situation, right?

Here's a video of Gunnar at his first ever car jacking scenario:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=3&theater

Last edited by Thorny; 08-07-2013 at 11:42 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-07-2013, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the explanations of CAPPING. My natural instinct as a trainer is to keep my pup under control all the time, and what the official trainer is trying to teach me, is that it's good to let him enjoy his high drive and not cap him right now.

It goes against my instincts, but thanks to you guys I'm learning why I'm being taught this way. There will be a time for more control, but it's not right now.

Since I'm training Gunnar with an ultimate goal of property and livestock protection, including being part of the family, I fear allowing him to get too riled up without control. But I think I see a progression down this training pathway to achieve the ultimate goal.

Thanks Guys
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