Natural Dogs and how you build them up? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Natural Dogs and how you build them up?

One thing I am really worried about is that once we start protection training, the helper puts too much pressure on the dog because she's a natural. If you have a natural, green dog that is biting hard and has a grip like a cement block how do you build them up without a helper getting all excited and a little overboard?

It's one thing that really really worries me is that the helper disregards my wishes because I've never titled a dog before, puts too much pressure on a young, green dog just because they want to see how far they can go and just because they think they can take it.

So how much say should the helper have in how much pressure he puts on the dog? And how would you, as a helper react if somebody like me would tell you that I do not want him to put pressure on the dog since she's green and that I want her to be built up slowly and pressure built up slowly as well?

Last edited by Mrs.K; 01-09-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:02 PM
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I guess I approach the protection work not as how much pressure a dog can take, but how a helper can bring out the fight in the dog. For me it shouldn't be about always putting pressure on and having to desensitize a dog to pressure. The helper should know how to stimulate the dog's drives so the dog feels in control and is active rather than reactive. I like my dog to think he's the one putting pressure on the helper
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I guess I approach the protection work not as how much pressure a dog can take, but how a helper can bring out the fight in the dog. For me it shouldn't be about always putting pressure on and having to desensitize a dog to pressure. The helper should know how to stimulate the dog's drives so the dog feels in control and is active rather than reactive. I like my dog to think he's the one putting pressure on the helper
That is exactly what I'd like to have too. Not sure how to translate that but I want her to be "gefoerdert" not "gefordert" I guess you could say "stimulated" and not "stipulated" ? Does that make sense?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 03:34 PM
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If you are working with a good helper than he/she will do the right work for the dog.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
One thing I am really worried about is that once we start protection training, the helper puts too much pressure on the dog because she's a natural. If you have a natural, green dog that is biting hard and has a grip like a cement block how do you build them up without a helper getting all excited and a little overboard?

It's one thing that really really worries me is that the helper disregards my wishes because I've never titled a dog before, puts too much pressure on a young, green dog just because they want to see how far they can go and just because they think they can take it.

So how much say should the helper have in how much pressure he puts on the dog? And how would you, as a helper react if somebody like me would tell you that I do not want him to put pressure on the dog since she's green and that I want her to be built up slowly and pressure built up slowly as well?
Suggestion:
Have someone who has experience watch the helper work your dog, and make sure that it is in fact too much pressure for the dog. There are a lot of subtleties to working a dog, and sometimes the helper has the best read on when to pressure and when to yield. Just to verify your perceptions as accurate, another opinion and set of eyes can never hurt.

Regardless of the opinions of others, whether they are other handlers, or the helper, a good helper will respect your wishes, and work the dog in accordance with your comfort level. Trust your gut instincts, since it is your dog, if the helper does not work the dog the way you want, find another helper, if you have the option.

It is the job of the helper to build the dog's confidence, not break it. The helper's role in protection work is to build confidence in the dog by allowing it to win...at some point, pressure is applied, but that is where the experience level of the helper comes in, and that pressure is applied judiciously, appropriate for the age and character of the dog.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 01:59 PM
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What Lisa said.....a bigger problem for me is the owner often giving directions to the helper that is counterproductive to the dog. We work our green dogs on helpers that are experienced and can read dogs. Our learning helper are often worked on the older accomplished dogs. I have seen helpers that push the dog's thresholds too far,(often when a new dog is worked at a new setting). But a lot has to do with knowledge of the owner and skills/knowledge of the helper. When I work my training director's dog I usually do what he asks me to do, most of the other members in the club I pretty much have the trust to work their dogs as I read them. It all depends on the people at both ends of the leash....not cut and dried answer. imo.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-10-2012, 02:18 PM
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What Lisa said.....a bigger problem for me is the owner often giving directions to the helper that is counterproductive to the dog. We work our green dogs on helpers that are experienced and can read dogs. Our learning helper are often worked on the older accomplished dogs. I have seen helpers that push the dog's thresholds too far,(often when a new dog is worked at a new setting). But a lot has to do with knowledge of the owner and skills/knowledge of the helper. When I work my training director's dog I usually do what he asks me to do, most of the other members in the club I pretty much have the trust to work their dogs as I read them. It all depends on the people at both ends of the leash....not cut and dried answer. imo.
What Cliffson said:
Less experienced dog = more experienced helper necessary
More experienced dog = less experienced helper necessary

Much more margin for error when working an experienced dog...whereas a mistake with an inexperienced one can set you back dramatically.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 12:54 PM
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Certainly depends on the experience level of the handler as well, and this even applies to experience with dogs in general. For an experienced handler I pretty much do what they want me to do. I might make a suggestion here and there, and almost always after the work is done. I find that a lot of inexperienced handlers have no idea what they want from their dog, let alone a plan to get there.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'm somewhat a weird case. I know too much for my own good without actually having the practical experience on the field myself.

That combination doesn't make it easy to work with someone but I did learn to shut up and listen.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 01:33 PM
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For me it's about finding a helper that not only has experience and can properly read and work dogs (and safely too!) but also views the protection work the same way I do, so we have the same understanding of how to develop my dog and what the end result would look like. After over two years with one helper (all the foundation work on one dog and most of it on the other) I'm switching to a different helper this month, someone who has already worked both my dogs several times and has never caused conflict because he is the person training my regular helper, so all three of us are on the same page about both my dogs (even though the dogs are *very* different). I don't have to micro-manage my protection work; I do trust my helpers but only because I know they are working my dogs from the same "big picture" that I have in my mind. Like others have said it is a balance of knowing what's best for your dog and directing your program, and finding a good helper you trust. For me the trust is not just "do exactly what I say because it's my dog" but having a clear understanding of where we are headed with the dog and why.

I belong to another club where I rarely if ever do protection with my dogs. It's not that the helpers are terrible but they don't have the same picture that I do so when it comes to protection I either ask them to do very specific things (usually not part of a SchH routine) or tie a dog out for barking if another dog needs help barking but most of the time my dogs sit out protection. I don't care to argue with them about how they work dogs because for all I know I'm wrong and they are right but in this case I exercise my rights to direct my own training program. It would be in conflict with what we have been doing with my regular helper and new helper (who is not "new" but has been training many breeds of dogs in SchH since it has been in this country).

Last edited by Liesje; 01-11-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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