Carrying the sleeve - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Carrying the sleeve

Anne's old sleeve thread got me wondering what others think about dogs carrying a sleeve. Why do some people seem to almost obsess over it? What is the purpose?
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post #2 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 08:27 PM
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In beginning foundation work isn't the carrying after winning, to teach the dog to be calm on it, not thrash, kill or constantly chew it?
My dog wants to bring it right back to the helper, he never has been a prancer. A calm deep grip is more what I want to see/prancing it around is a waste of time, IMO.

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post #3 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 10:42 PM
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I thought the purpose of sleeve carrying is to teach the dog to switch between drives (drive channeling), specifically back to prey. With a prey-ish dog that has naturally big, calm, good grip we don't as much. With a more defensive dog with a tendency to get "nasty" with the bite, we do more.
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post #4 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 07:45 PM
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I let them carry it because it's a prize. It builds confidence. As long as the foundation work is there and a full, calm grip is on the sleeve then it's no harm, no foul. Plus if the dog gets in the habit of thrashing it around, the hard plastic on the top of the sleeve which protects the shoulder can end up knocking the handler in the face when they go to grab it after the out.
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post #5 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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If a dog does not carry, or maybe carries but has no interest in holding/possession the sleeve so long as there's still an "active" helper there on the field, would you consider that bad/undesireable? I know the chewing and thrashing is not good so we can rule that out of the discussion. I think dogs that are really chewy and thrash around when the sleeve is loose probably show some hectic behavior overall, not just when the sleeve is slipped? Is the goal for a dog to carry and hold indefinitely and/or bring the sleeve back to the helper? What about a dog that immediately spits and charges back at the helper? I guess to me it seems more about the helper both rewarding the behavior and the grip, and conceding the fight to the dog, than the helper giving the sleeve object to the dog to possess as a "win". Also for me personally doing a quick lap gives me about 5 seconds to catch my breath, make sure everything is under control and my lines are in order before whatever comes next and probably gives the helper the same few seconds to regroup.

I see so many people train or not train this aspect I'm really curious about it...
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post #6 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 11:57 PM
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IMO, when you say that carrying the sleeve is a reward, you are also saying that your dog would rather run around with the sleeve than engage the helper. Is protection that hard for your dogs that they need a reward for doing it? Shouldn't engaging with the helper be the reward?
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post #7 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
If a dog does not carry, or maybe carries but has no interest in holding/possession the sleeve so long as there's still an "active" helper there on the field, would you consider that bad/undesireable?
Describe "active" helper. What is he doing and where is he when he is doing it?


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post #8 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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IMO, when you say that carrying the sleeve is a reward, you are also saying that your dog would rather run around with the sleeve than engage the helper. Is protection that hard for your dogs that they need a reward for doing it? Shouldn't engaging with the helper be the reward?
That's what I'm wondering. Many people seem to working on carrying and holding a sleeve as much as training a dog to Fuss or bark and hold.

Quote:
Describe "active" helper. What is he doing and where is he when he is doing it?
Still near the dog, carrying stick or whip, maybe threatening the dog. If the helper is still near enough to be a threat or acting like a threat, should the dog be holding a sleeve staring at him, dropping a sleeve and barking at the sleeve, trying to get away with the sleeve in his mouth? Shouldn't the dog be ready and wanting to re-engage the second the helper moves in the dog's direction?

Also what about dogs that will carry the sleeve over to the helper or another person like they want to tug? What is going on in the dog's head when that happens?
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post #9 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 08:14 AM
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I have never seen a helper "threaten" the dog while the dog is still has the sleeve in his mouth. Sometimes I have to go and put on the sleeve while the dog still has it but they always tell me to go in as quietly as possible and from the side, with lots of praise. Otherwise, action does not start until the dog drops the sleeve. Just what I've seen so far ...

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post #10 of 78 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast View Post
IMO, when you say that carrying the sleeve is a reward, you are also saying that your dog would rather run around with the sleeve than engage the helper. Is protection that hard for your dogs that they need a reward for doing it? Shouldn't engaging with the helper be the reward?
We also have to look at the drive/ temperament of the dogs. I have a couple that would rather run with the sleeve than engage the helper. I also have some that have been pretty dirty at times. I have some that make it look easy. That goes for working, show (german not american) and the occassional Malinois, Schnauzer and Rott. Some dogs are so over the top to go for the helper they need the drive capped with obedience or even a less energetic helper at times. Different dogs have different requirements to get the job done. The biggest issue I see out there is the mentality of helpers training only one "type" of dog. Every dog is different. Showlines usually require more action than a working line. There's many a helper too lazy to even try it. A mal for the most part doesn't need much agitation to get him going. Most real deal working dogs that I've had on the sleeve will immediately spit it and redirect on the helper. Some dogs are just going to be more difficult to get on the sleeve than others. Thats a fact of life. If the dog gains confidence from carrying a sleeve to the car, let him have at it. The dogs job is to have a nice, calm grip to present for the judge. My job is to get the dog to that point with as litle points taken.
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