When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

Ok, seems we morphed the Full Bite topic into something else. So,I will take where it ended and start a new topic.

When and how do you introduce pressure and threats with the stick? What do you want to see in the dog before you move forward with this type of work?


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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 05:53 PM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

We start using the stick very early from puppy on word here is a example how it might start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLJqL6NUaJM each pup is different depends on the pup Stephan's work in the video is a bit over the top.
We've had many Rottweiler pups title through our club and they need allot of stick and threat desensitizing.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

Quote:
Quote:We've had many Rottweiler pups title through our club and they need allot of stick and threat desensitizing.
So, you are of the belief that the dogs should be desensitized to the stick or are you just referring to Rotts?


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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 12:04 AM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

I'm hoping some more discussion comes up in this thread - great topic to be exchanging thoughts and rationale on.

I'm under the understanding that the stick is usually introduced at an early age for the purpose of "desensitizing" (eg Ive seen clatter sticks used and/or the stick being lightly 'stroked' on young pups starting in rag work) but I guess something I've always wondered is if doing so then results in a dog not perceiving the stick as an actual threat? So is this productive or counter-productive in regards to why the stick is then used, for example, in trial (eg as a "real" threat to test the dog's courage?). For training purposes and as a "sport", I can see it as beneficial to desensitize but at the end of the day, why is the stick even therefore used in trial - eg what is the "true" purpose of the stick & stick hits then?

Hmmm.....
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:37 AM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

I train for SDA not Schutzund, but we start with very young puppies using our hand to pat them on the head and heavier pats on their side. As the pup progresses we start raising our hand and lightly striking the pup or young dog. We progressivley add the stick and use it gently at first and then work up to more aggressive threats and hits. The level of aggression must be adjusted to different dogs and different breeds.

SDA purpose is not to desensitize to the stick, but to get the dog hold the bite even when it is being attacked. If you want your dog to stand up to a real world attacker, then you must train your dog to hold the grip no matter what happens.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:39 AM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

I want my dogs to see the stick and the pressure from the helper and fight back. They must be taught what to do when the stick and the pressure are presented.

The desensitizing teaches the dogs to just ignore the stick. That is probably why, IMO, many dogs just hang on and go along for a ride during the drives. It also can be used to help dogs with stick problems tolerate the stick.

Several years ago there was a dog that won an event that people were commenting on as being a very strong dog. During the drives this dog would man handle the helper and he was extremely difficult to drive. The dog was from this area. This dog was not strong and actually had a stick issue. The dog was taught to pull behind the helper, get himself out of the pocket making it hard for the helper to pressure him and to stick hit him. His grips often slipped too, but this was not always seen. He was taught to tolerate what he didn't like.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

Along with the stick hits is the person wielding the stick. I think that is a fact that people who think they are desensitizing the dog maybe are not considering. It will not just be the training helper when the dog is in a trial.


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 01:47 PM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

Nicole, I have the same question as you. Do you want to desensitize a dog to the stick, or do you want the stick (and the pressure and presence of the helper) to really show you the true nature of your dog? I guess I don't really see the purpose in using sticks and doing little drives with a tiny little puppy. Why not introduce the stick and the pressure when the dog is mature enough so that he fights back rather than just doesn't care?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

I don't think you can "really" desensitize a dog. You might be able to dull the dog a bit in training but new situations and different helpers can still create insecurity if the training has only been focused on getting the dog to ignore the pressure vs fight back against it. Also, the dog has to be at a certain point in training and maturity before that side of the dog can be worked with, so, introducing a stick to a puppy is not doing anything beneficial IMO.

I guess some people see a weakness in their dogs and therefore want to try to dull the dog to the threat. However, the only way you can somewhat hide a dog's insecurity is by bringing the drive way up. High drive can hide a lot but you may pay for that approach elsewhere in the training. There are numerous reasons, (for me anyway), to not try to desensitize a dog to the stick. The video with that pup,( besides that there is something that strikes me odd about that puppy), I would never do. I watch people training with the clatter sticks, ( especially with Malinois) , and I see the dogs hitting back/countering over and over on the sleeve or bite suit whatever. So, those dogs are not desensitized to it, they are reacting. I have never asked anyone what they think they are doing with those things but if they think that is desensitization, THEY must be desensitized.

The main thing for me is, I want to bring out the side of my dog that fights the helper. If you are breeding for dogs with that kind of character, why would you train in a way that doesn't display it? Takes the fun right out of training, ( and breeding), if you ask me. Also, a dog who hits back/ counters/fights feels more in control of the fight and will be more capable of outing and guarding cleanly. That I have seen over and over. The dog must feel like he can control the pressure from the helper by countering what he does. When I see a dog who just hangs there and endures the pressure I think of a dog who has been overpowered and taught to be helpless.


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 06:34 PM
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Re: When & How to Introduce the Stick and Pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Vandal
Quote:
Quote:We've had many Rottweiler pups title through our club and they need allot of stick and threat desensitizing.
So, you are of the belief that the dogs should be desensitized to the stick or are you just referring to Rotts?
Desensitized I wouldn't suggest taking any dog on to the field having never desensitized to the stick if its a good dog we don't dwell on it, my dog for example the stick brings out aggression and fight if he sees the stick every time he could possibly get to desensitized and think whats the big deal.
Depends on the dog how it's used it would be used much differently on crapper's.
I seen several dogs at the Nationals that looked "meh"
until the pressure was applied and only then did you get to see some of the real dog.
And this sort of dog would be a good topic for another discussion.

Scheiber's Tarkeus Bad Joke Rott Schutzhund III RIP.
Echo Vom Camdenerland GSD Schutzhund II RIP.
Jett Vom Triton GSD Next Big Thing Schutzhund III

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