Getting the bite off the elbow ? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Getting the bite off the elbow ?

Alright, a bit of an odd question.

I recently purchased a new jute sleeve cover for my sleeve, and the new cover has some additional thickness and padding, which the old one didn't have, which makes the circumference of the sleeve bigger.

My little Mali, Ronja, has a hard time getting a good, deep bite on the sleeve with the new cover on it and has been going for the elbow, which is (of course) less thick and easier for her to grip.

Need some suggestions for getting her off the elbow and biting in the proper area. Of course, I suppose the easy solution would be to buy a different cover ...

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 04:11 PM
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I could be way wrong but I think most elbow bites have more to do with temperament and/or training (but I guess part of training is using the right sleeve, presentation, etc). How was she originally trained? I've seen some dogs that do other protection sports bite in the elbow or higher on the arm. How is she worked with the sleeve and what is her temperament like? When we get a new sleeve cover the dogs aren't really affected, as long as they are worked in ways that match their temperament and training and are on the right sleeve for their level. If for some reason the dog bites incorrectly (and it's not a matter of bad presentation by the helper or the handler doing something wrong), the dog is taken off the sleeve (doesn't get to have the sleeve slipped or hang on there and play tug) and we address why the biting was not correct.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 04:49 PM
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I think it is presentation. If you have the sleeve level with your chest the dog should target the middle of the sleeve. You get more strength to drive the dog too, if the dog is there vs on the wrist area or the elbow.
This was just addressed when I trained last.
Helper in training was not keeping the sleeve level so the dog targeted the wrong areas.
But as Lies posted, maybe Ronja was trained on a suit.
In my old club most of the Mals couldn't bite the hard sleeves well... until they were broken in some(these were untitled dogs in the learning phase)

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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It may very well be that Ronja was initially trained on a suit and not a sleeve, that is a very good point. I have only had her for the past year and while I have been able to find out a fair bit about her background through the officers who seized her from her last (neglectful) home, there are still large gaps in her background and previous training that I may never be able to fill.

I probably put this into the wrong forum to begin with, as she comes from a working (police) background, not a sporting background, but as most people here do Schutzhund, I felt that I would probably get the best feedback on solving my elbow problem in the Schutzhund forum. (If mods feel the need to move this, please do.)

She did do well biting the "right" part of the sleeve even if it was presented in a sloppy manner prior to me getting this new, "padded" sleeve cover. It honestly seems to me as if she cannot get her mouth open far enough to grip the sleeve with this cover on, as she will initially go for the center of the arm like she should, then re-grip to the elbow where it's easier for her to get a good grip and hang on.

I should also probably add that I'm suffering from a thorough lack of trained helpers as DH who is usually my helper is currently deployed to Afghanistan. So handler/helper presentation is likely to be a factor as well.

On a somewhat related note, I did notice that she has a difficult time with the hard plastic sleeves like the MPs use for training as well. Those seem to be thicker/wider around than the sleeve we have at home and she has a difficult time getting her mouth around those.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:22 AM
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Are you planning on trialing this dog?

Not sure about the suit work as there are dogs that do bite high and have never been on a suit.. Could be a targeting problem.. Kinda hard to tell with out seeing the dog and helper working together..

If you think the dog is having problems with this particular sleeve why not buy another one.. I know they make the ones with plastic by the hand and elbow area so the dog only has a choice to bite center..

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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No, I don't have any plans on trialing her.

The primary reason we are continuing to do bite work with her is because she enjoys it immensely and I like to do things with my dogs that they clearly get enjoyment from. (Just like Abby was with herding before her health caused us to stop pursuing that with her.)

I will look into a different sleeve and/or a different cover and also work more with my current helper to improve the way the sleeve is presented when we work with it.

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=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 08:53 PM
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Generally speaking, dogs who bite near the hand or the elbow are feeling a little stress. Making more prey attractions with the sleeve or even asking the helper to simply pat the center of the sleeve with his hand once or twice right before he offers the bite is enough to attract the dog to bite there.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure that's the case in our situation, Vandal.

Ronja does go for the "right" part of the sleeve on her bite, but once she grips it, it's like it's uncomfortable/too thick for her to get a good bite and hold on, so she tends to re-grip on the elbow and there hangs on come **** or high water.

When we had the different, thinner cover, previously, she would get a good grip at the center of the sleeve and hold on, not regrip like she's doing now. Even if someone was the helper/decoy who'd never done it before and presented it the wrong way.

Malinois Ronja - fastest K-9 in VT
=^^= Finn, Ratchet & Ollie

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:34 PM
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If she bites correctly at first, and then moves to bite on the elbow, I would throw a long line on her and put tension on the line so she has to stay on the grip she initially takes and cannot choose to relocate without giving up.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-02-2010, 09:38 PM
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In the pics of her doing bitework in your album, it looks like she's often on or near the elbow. It may just be habit for her?
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