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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Perceived Threat

I was reading a topic on the Jerry Springer board about dogs before "the split". Someone talked about dogs so crazy for the sleeve, they notice nothing else around them. This person talked about how the dogs are now bred this way where they do not perceive anything as a threat. This was sited as a negative by this person.
Another person commenting said that a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog.
What are your opinions? Who is the "better" dog?
Anne


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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 11:53 AM
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I guess I think a threat is a threat, plain and simple. Someone verbally or physically threatening the dog or intentionally getting in the dog's space or my space in a threatening and provocative way. That's when the dog should respond. I don't like it when the dogs are screaming uncontrollably in the parking lot just getting harnessed up for protection. I like them to have control and show they are actually thinking and paying attention, not just getting nuts over the sight of a sleeve.

In my own training, my helper can touch my dog and even do some obedience with him. He cannot correct him hard without a problem from the dog, but I don't think anyone but me can (he's not a dog that will let just anyone take the leash and start jerking him around, but I think this is good and like this about him). Lately in tracking we've been preparing for different things that happen in a trial, so getting the dog used to a person or people near him or at various distances behind him or next to him while tracking. On Sunday the helper was within kicking distance of the dog as he tracked and indicated articles without creating problem, and was also in my "group" for obedience training. Ideally I'd have a variety of people and not be intentionally putting helpers in my dogs space in other phases, but there's not always much of a choice when training, especially when I want help with tracking. So far it hasn't seemed to matter anyway. Now, the dog is not so complacent that I or my husband could "work" him in protection. It does have to be "real". He does not have the raw power that a dog with better genetics might have, but I like that he activates well on his own, when appropriate. Since my dog is not just a SchH dog but primarily my companion that comes a lot of places with me and does a lot of different activities, I have to place control higher on the priority list for him that I might with a different dog with a different lifestyle.

I do not like sleeve/equipment oriented dogs or training. The sleeve definitely has it's purpose but I think the real catalyst in bitework is both the dog responding to a threat and the dog being able to bring power and aggression on his own (like coming into the blind initially when there is no threat or stimulation). The dog should be ready to fight, not just want to play games with a jute sleeve. That's just the way I feel about it. The dog bites the sleeve as the acceptable method of diffusing the threat. Then the dog can hold that sleeve and be in his own space because he "won". The more I see little bitty puppies coming out to play games with rags and small tugs, the more I feel there isn't much point, other than to check the dog's grip and see how he responds in general in the environment, but the real work begins when the dog is more mature. But please, correct me where I am wrong!

Last edited by Liesje; 10-11-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 11:58 AM
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Another person commenting said that a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog.
What are your opinions? Who is the "better" dog?
Anne
I would think it depends on the helper... is he/she a threat/threatening??
My novice opinion is that I would rather my dog see the threatening helper as a threat. 1st time or 100th.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 12:44 PM
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Very interesting Anne, though I think you know how I feel, this just happened to me. I have 22 month old West German male that has the real nice prey drive and solid nerve(5-5 Fero,5-5 Arek Stoffelblick)
About three months ago the helper threw the sleeve to the side in protection work and lo and behold he goes after the sleeve. So then we do it a few more times and he continues even when "stung" by the helper. I was surprised as we do full suit work and Fero has been on suit for over six months. Since I've been working on H&B for past couple months we have only used sleeves in the work. I was very concerned because he wasn't taking the threat from the decoy seriously. So for past 8 training sessions our TD is only one that worked him and with no equipment at all but just focusing on decoy...old school training. Saturday I had four sleeves put in semi circle while I worked him on decoy. He didn't go for the sleeves on the ground once. He stayed focused on the decoy, then we rewarded him with bite and he crushed the sleeve.
My point is it is very easy to let a dog with the unbalanced drives of some dogs today get caught up in eqipment fixation. Our TD hates equipment fixation and was as surprised as me that the dog had slipped into it.
Now my 8 monthy Czech/W German puppy won't have this issue because he is always focused on the helper and drops sleeve and refocuses on helper on his own. Fero is my first all West dog in about 10 years and his prey is high...great for grips but not as balanced as I like. I think a dog should have natural suspicion and protectiveness of owner from genetics.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 09:57 PM
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I was reading a topic on the Jerry Springer board about dogs before "the split". Someone talked about dogs so crazy for the sleeve, they notice nothing else around them. This person talked about how the dogs are now bred this way where they do not perceive anything as a threat. This was sited as a negative by this person.
Another person commenting said that a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog.
What are your opinions? Who is the "better" dog?
Anne

Better for what?
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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For whatever you want.


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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 10:24 PM
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I don't know enough to know what is "correct" or what makes a better dog. But I do know what I am comfortable with and what I like. I really don't want a dog that sees a helper that he works with every week as a "threat". That word means to me that there is fear involved or need to defend. I guess that I am just not comfortable with my dog seeing a person that he faces off with every week being something he should be afraid of or need to defend against. Especially with the absence of ME acting afraid or threatened.

I think he should view him as an "opponent". Maybe there isn't a difference, but in my mind there is. I want my dog to see the helper and think "Hey that is the guy that I get to fight with every week. This is when I get to do the things I like, run, jump, bite, wrestle/tug..." I like when I see the dog physically challenging the helper and even when they are holding the sleeve you can see it in their eyes that they want the fight to continue.

Maybe I am just naive though and dogs don't think that way.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 01:35 AM
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I was reading a topic on the Jerry Springer board about dogs before "the split". Someone talked about dogs so crazy for the sleeve, they notice nothing else around them. This person talked about how the dogs are now bred this way where they do not perceive anything as a threat. This was sited as a negative by this person.
Another person commenting said that a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog.
What are your opinions? Who is the "better" dog?
Anne
I don't think it is a matter of "better". I think it depends on what the handler wants and needs. If a person want's a dog strictly for sport and does not want the liability of a dog that might bite someone "in real life" a dog with tunnel vision for the sleeve and no aggression might be a good thing.

The person who said "a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog" is an idiot. If the helper is unable to impress the dog and be a threat then it's time to change helpers.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffson1 View Post
So for past 8 training sessions our TD is only one that worked him and with no equipment at all but just focusing on decoy...old school training. Saturday I had four sleeves put in semi circle while I worked him on decoy. He didn't go for the sleeves on the ground once. He stayed focused on the decoy, then we rewarded him with bite and he crushed the sleeve.
We did something similar in the summer with some of the sleeve happy dogs in the club to bring up more of "man aggression" (if that is the right term) in the dogs. We started with some suit stuff and then we put them on the table and did agitation work without sleeve reward. The reward was simply driving the agitator away from the room.

We did this for about 6-8 sessions and after that, the helper could toss the sleeve around in protection and the dogs would give the sleeve a quick glance at best and go right back at the helper. Some wouldn't even look at the tossed sleeve whereas before they would fixate (lunge, bark) on the sleeve.

Last edited by Jason L; 10-12-2010 at 08:22 AM.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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The person who said "a dog who considers the helper as a threat, after repeated training, is not a good dog" is an idiot. If the helper is unable to impress the dog and be a threat then it's time to change helper



I am in agreement with what you are saying and also a little bit with what Ruthie is saying. Meaning, the dog should view the helper as an opponent but also a little more seriously than just being someone the dog wrestles with on Sundays. There should be a level of danger in it for the dog and that comes from the helper....or it should anyway, ( in my opinion, of course).
I have two females here who would like to kill each other. Something about the other one really makes them angry and that "anger" they have toward each other is not going away. The same two dogs get along well with other dogs but for years now, if they spot the other one, it's on. Never goes away because something about those two dogs brings out the fight in the other one.

The helper should be someone who can make a dog "angry", in a similar way , where simply seeing the helper brings up the fight in the dog.
However, the idea that you can just switch helpers makes me laugh. Like there are so many to choose from.


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