Question on front legs during bitework` - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question on front legs during bitework`

I was training yesterday with LE and obviously bitework is a part of it. They were working a dog who had been started in schutzhund and were working on untraining the dogs relunctance to wrap its frong legs around the subject. He said the sport dogs are trained to keep their legs off?

Just curious if so then why vs for police service work.

Nancy



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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:26 PM
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Never heard of that? Some dogs will use their front legs to try and control the helper, some to push against the helper for more leverage, others don't - never seen or heard about discouraging the use of the front legs on a helper.

If anything, I've been told that a dog that uses his/her front legs like that (wrapping or pushing) is showing good fight drive, trying to control the helper for their own advantage. I've never seen it discouraged.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:43 PM
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I have seen helpers whip near the legs when the dog tries to wrap its legs around. I don't know enough about whether they were encouraging or discouraging the behavior by doing so but I have seen it so there is *some* reaction from *some* helpers to the dog using its feet.

Maybe other people or helpers can chime in on this. What Castlemaid said did make sense to me though in theory - but I don't know enough for my opinion to count
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 12:57 PM
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A lot of helpers will discourage this--in a trial, it is only a problem if the dog tries to "grapple" after an out--that will cause problems.

As far as helpers who stop dogs from doing it during a bite, there are several possible reasons why the helper seeks to stop it--for some dogs, if they are grappling, they start mouthing on or moving the bite or not biting as hard. Even in police work (especially in police work?) a moving bite is bad--on a suspect, it means more injuries, more damage, and more liability concerns or concerns of inappropriate use of force.

Some dogs will get in an unclear headspace if they are grappling--then they may lose their obedience and refuse to out.

Other times, the helper doesn't like it bc it is hard to move, so they don't let the dog do it. The problem is, of course, that this discourages the dog from really *fighting* the helper. Again, this can be a points issue--if the dog isn't letting the helper move, it's harder to give the prescribed display to the judge and maybe the dog doesn't get full points.... I would hope that most people don't think this way--but some do.

Most of the time, decoys and judges think that a dog that is pulling behind the arm back behind the helper is avoiding the stick hits--so you can lose points on that if the judge decides the dog is trying to avoid the fight by pulling the decoy around.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 01:07 PM
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I don't care, I used to, because I was told to, and heard all the reasons why you should "clear the dogs legs". But as with a lot of things experience gives you a differen outlook after time.

They can maul me all they like. and when it's time to out, it's time to back off. They all learn it and it's easy
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackem View Post
I don't care, I used to, because I was told to, and heard all the reasons why you should "clear the dogs legs". But as with a lot of things experience gives you a differen outlook after time.

They can maul me all they like. and when it's time to out, it's time to back off. They all learn it and it's easy
I am the same way. I like the dogs to fight. It makes it more fun for me. I don't care where there paws are during the bite or drill. I don't like catching there paws to the growing, but it happens. Once the dog is told to out however I want it off of me.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 06:17 PM
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Wow, I hadn't heard of this either. Our trainer doesn't care which way they do it. With or without the legs. We have one dog that will wrap her legs around the helper, but when he starts whipping the air she tucks her legs up under her and to the side to avoid the whip, its fun to watch her. So would she gets point off for trying to avoid the whip?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 06:21 PM
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I think when a dog is doing a hold and bark, they should be clean, not touching the helper whatsoever. When it comes to bite and fight, then there is no reason the dog can't use his body, legs, feet to control the helper. I see so many dogs that tuck feet because of the whip, they are dancing bigtime.
In a trial, there is no whip, so it shouldn't be an issue.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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They said it was the whip--that they whip the dog's legs and he starts tucking to avoid the whip even if one isn't there, but they want the dog to all out fight.

Nancy



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 07:04 PM
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I know that sometimes I've seen the whip used on the front leg, not to discourage the fighting, but to amp up the dog and get it mad to get more intensity out of the fight. Some young dogs won't right away start pulling back on the sleeve once they get it, they might just hand on there, not sure what to do next, or pull back half-heartedly. Judicious use of the whip can make them good and mad, and I've seen it work miracles for dogs who where ready to move up to the next level of intensity and fight in their bite-work.

Sounds like a case of overusing the whip, or miss-using the whip. Maybe the people you trained with saw one Schutzhund trainer doing this, and generalized to all SchH training?

Lucia


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