10 month old female -starting agitation work & handler aggression? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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10 month old female -starting agitation work & handler aggression?

So I've started schutzhund training with my girl. She seems to be doing fairly well, I get compliments on her from a lot of people that she's doing really well for only trying the protection a couple of times.

I'm having a little issue though. I took her to a workshop yesterday, and while everyone said she did great, during the protection phase, after the outed the training tug, when I went to move it she nipped my hand. Ok, dumb me, should have kicked it back to the helper. Next time I kicked it back with my far leg and she nipped my near leg. She drew a little blood on my hand, and I have a small bruise on my leg, nothing too bad, but she did connect.

This seems to be an issue for her, she will sometimes bite at the harness in frustration and even when I was doing restrained recalls at flyball, she'd mouth the person restraining her. Her sire has a habit of sometimes tring to take a dirty bite/nip at the helper, I'm wondering if it's genetic?

She seems to get overstimulated and/or frustrated during agitation work and this is her reaction. She's otherwise very friendly and sucky with people, but when she gets 'in the zone' she can be a bit reactive (I guess this is to be expected?)

Nobody seemed to be too worried about it, I wanted to get your opinons on what I should do? Ignore it, correct her, or do something differently? I just gave her a verbal "AHH!" as I wasn't sure what/if I should do anything?

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:10 PM
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They are right - this is not handler aggression. Handler aggression is totally different and is from a dog who is not happy with the treatment given him by his handler.

This is just drive leaking and frustration. It is pretty normal in young high drive dogs...both Kyra and Kougar got me so often when they were young, it was not normal for me to go home from training without a wound. Neither were handler aggressive. Many people mix this up. One seminar I was at with Ivan Balabanov, I got my thumb sliced open pretty good while holding a tug...he immediately stopped and said put the dog up - they draw blood, game over. I don't know that that would matter - but that was his take on it.

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfstraum View Post
They are right - this is not handler aggression. Handler aggression is totally different and is from a dog who is not happy with the treatment given him by his handler.

This is just drive leaking and frustration. It is pretty normal in young high drive dogs...both Kyra and Kougar got me so often when they were young, it was not normal for me to go home from training without a wound. Neither were handler aggressive. Many people mix this up. One seminar I was at with Ivan Balabanov, I got my thumb sliced open pretty good while holding a tug...he immediately stopped and said put the dog up - they draw blood, game over. I don't know that that would matter - but that was his take on it.

Lee
+1. That's why I don't kick the sleeves away... Tired of getting bit. Katya nails me ever so often out of pure frustration, and we halt and have a talk whenever tat happens. Last year she was refusing to run blind 5 (she had an IPO1, just being a pain). After 4-5 failed attempts she finally went round and I praised big, but when she came back I pointed and sent her again... She let out her frustrated bark and nailed my hand lol.

Good news is you have lots of drive to work with. Bad news is you must be careful when she is in drive, and proactively manage and control her leakage

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks so much! Oddly, I feel better. lol

I am just not sure how to get the tug back to the helper, and manage her 'leakage'.

Remember when you guys were newbies? lol I feel like a fish out of water!
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 05:14 PM
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I would put her in a platz, command the out, pick up the sleeve and carry it over to the helper....it takes away conflict of outing and transitions the dogs drive.
If she doesn't yet out, then lift her off her feet by her collar and when she outs, drag her back away from the tug.
Or put her up for awhile(no protection) while she matures a bit. Then the obedience will be stronger when you get back into it. If she has the *it* factor it won't matter when you begin again, *it* will still be in there!

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 08:25 PM
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I would not worry. Definitely not handler aggression. When she drops the tug/sleeve, just back her away from it and let the helper get it (or do whatever the helper tells you).
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-10-2013, 08:44 PM
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10 month old female -starting agitation work & handler aggression?

I'm also on the not handler aggression band wagon. Just a dog high in drive. Like others have said either hold dog up while you kick the sleeve/tug back or pull the dog back off and let the helper get it. I like the second option. I like to make the dog challenge me for the toy.


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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:14 PM
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I wouldn't allow the re-directed bites. Not handler aggression at all (you'll KNOW that when you see it, LOL!). However, NO TEETH on the handler... on or off the field. They can be in drive, they can even 'think about it', but it's an absolute no-no. If you just ignore it, it could become a habit. So even when the dog is older and has more frustration tolerance... but the helper waits longer to let that frustration build, you can get nailed again. Do that at trial.... and it's not going to be blown off. (This is what I've been told) I've had a lot of re-directed puppy bites from Grim when he plays with his pug. No more. I am drilling it through is skull that biting me is just NEVER going to be allowed, no matter what the reason. So I guess handle it however you're comfortable with. A re-directed bite to me on the field just won't be tolerated. Luckily, we haven't come across that yet. I was also told to NOT pick up the sleeve. This may only pertain to my 'type' of dog, I don't know. I did it last time out of ignorance. I won't do it again. You can tighten up your line to bring your dog to your left and out to kick with your right leg so the dog can't get to your leg. If it were a younger pup, I'd maybe not be so concerned. However, you have a young adult. Time to make the rules black and white.

I don't know as 'dirty biting' could be genetic. High drive, low frustration can be. A good TD can 'fix' a dirty biter. One is currently being worked at my club...who wasn't a dirty biter until he flattened a couple decoys at last trial. Suddenly, he's got a big head! I think true handler aggression is more genetic. It doesn't always have to be from unfair corrections. It's all about what the dog thinks is 'unfair' anyway. I missed that your dog is biting the near leg, not the one that you're kicking with. Time for a 'come to Jesus' talk with the dog. I'm surprised that your TD didn't see an issue with this.

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Last edited by Jag; 03-13-2013 at 01:24 PM.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 01:31 PM
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If I don't bleed during training with my pup.... she's sick or something's wrong. lol

In all seriousness, that's not handler aggression. Like Lee said, that's her drive leaking and her frustration. Storm does the same at times. It used to be consistent, but now I've learned some ways around her.

Pack bandaids, Betadine/peroxide/alcohol (or whatever you like to use for wounds), and neosporin when you train. In the back of my Jeep, I have a whole medical care kit for myself and the dogs. Never know when someone may get injured.

Some trainers are very against that on the field.... while others say push past it... train, focus, and redirect. Depends who you're working with. I've seen handlers just push through it, and their dogs didn't do that again once they matured and learned control.

Duke did it for a little while, but when we put OB in with protection... that all stopped. Now he's very controlled, and very easy to work with. I put him in a down, and kick the sleeve back. No issues.

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 03-13-2013, 02:09 PM
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I guess it depends on the dog, too. If Grim were a different type of dog, I wouldn't be so dead set against it. When you combine re-directed bites with a dog that could be handler aggressive, then I think it has to be clear. The dog may mature out of it, or think it's a great way to get out frustration and it's OK. I don't want to play with that. I'd also rather clear that issue young to avoid a fight with a 2-3 year old later. We'll see what I do if it happens on the field. I don't think I'd let it fly, though. I also wonder if it matters what 'drive' the dog's in. No doubt, a re-directed bite in defense is going to be much nastier than in prey.

I agree 100% that the obedience on the field is important and can solve a lot of issues, though.

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