Does bitework make a dog less safe to be around? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Does bitework make a dog less safe to be around?

I'm not sure if "bitework" is even the right word. For context, Jupiter is 8.5 months, is finishing up Obedience 3, and I am looking for an activity for him. I'm looking at obedience, agility, and also maybe something with bitework. I have no need at all of protection; so the bitework would just be for sport, exercise, and fun.

Trainers have told me that the bitework-trained dogs are actually better controlled and less likely to bite than otherwise, but then I've also heard stories to the opposite effect.

I'm interested in training Jupiter so he listens to me in the "real world," not just in the kitchen or training room when I have treats, or when I have his prong collar on and can muscle him around.

Is there any kind of consensus about the biting issue?
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post #2 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 01:05 PM
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it depends on the trainer. Some people train bitework and have no idea what they are doing. Someone who is working toward a sport title with a good helper/ decoy can do a lot to help your dog with confidence and self control. All dogs know how to bite. Bite work helps them gain the control to stop on command and to look to you to see if it is a biting situation.

A good club will want to try your puppy first. Not all dogs enjoy it. My big-boy loves bitework. My gal-dog wasn't interested in tussling with strangers (she might now that she is older and more confident but we've changed sports). If you are interested you should visit the club first to watch. Also they will expect you to work towards a title, starting with the BH.

Also remember that your dog is still very young. Our guys don't really reach full maturity until 2 or 3 years old, so keep working obedience games. If you keep having fun with your dog and working as a team and using fair consistent consequences for foolishness you will end up with a great pal in a year or two.

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post #3 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 01:11 PM
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SchH/IPO/IGP is all about obedience. All dogs know how to bite. We teach control, when it is allowed, and when it isn't.
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post #4 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 03:45 PM
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...all of the above said, CORRECT training on a dog with the CORRECT temperament and foundation, should not make a dog less safe to be around.
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post #5 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 09:47 PM
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As others have said. It all depends on the dog and the training. Proper training shouldn't change who the dog is. All these dogs do bite work and are pretty serious in their work. One of the was even handled by an eight year old girl both in OB and Pro

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post #6 of 94 (permalink) Old 07-31-2019, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
As others have said. It all depends on the dog and the training. Proper training shouldn't change who the dog is. All these dogs do bite work and are pretty serious in their work. One of the was even handled by an eight year old girl both in OB and Pro
And they looked fabulous together!
All of those dogs are a credit to their breeder.

The problem is not the bite work , it's that every schmuck in the world thinks they can make their dogs tough, and every Joe with a dog thinks it should reproduce.
One of the reasons I let no one handle my dogs but me. Shadow is soft and timid, prone to fits of hysteria. Snake quick and never bluffs. Only a fool would encourage a dog like that to bite, but I cannot count the number of idiots who have taunted and pushed and provoked her. All in the name of toughening her up and teaching her to be a "real" dog. Because apparently she's a fake one.
Every time we excuse irresponsible breeding, every time we want "just a pet", every time we tolerate the "too hot" for a pet home we add to the erosion.
The bite work does not make the dogs less safe to be around. We do.
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post #7 of 94 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the responses! I do have a ten-year old, so I certainly wouldn't want to encourage Jupiter to be more bitey or aggressive. From what I can tell, he is neither fearful nor aggressive, but he isn't a Golden Retriever, either. But he's just 8 months and I'm a GSD newbie.
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post #8 of 94 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 08:33 AM
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There's too many variables to really answer that question. Depends mostly on the dog, as well as the training. Having a bad training program with a not so confident dog could be a recipe for disaster.
With IPO there is such a focus on protection being on the field, a routine, same stuff all the time, that I believe most decent clear headed dogs can easily make the connection that ok we are on the field and we are doing protection, and that guy with the stick and sleeve is the bad guy.
Most people that do IPO aren't looking to train a dog for personal protection, myself included, so you wouldn't be alone in just wanting to train for the sport of it.
The sport is all about control and precision, to an obsessive extent.
The amount of work and dedication it takes to train a dog for IPO I do believe that the dog is much more controlled than most other dogs out there.
That being said I think that anyone who wants to train a dog in bite work needs to be serious about keeping up with training. We have a much higher need for responsibility to control our dogs as if something did happen, no matter the situation, it's likely the bite work training will be brought up against the dog.
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post #9 of 94 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CactusWren View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses! I do have a ten-year old, so I certainly wouldn't want to encourage Jupiter to be more bitey or aggressive. From what I can tell, he is neither fearful nor aggressive, but he isn't a Golden Retriever, either. But he's just 8 months and I'm a GSD newbie.

What they learn on the field does not change their temperament. So many pictures of my friends with their little kids and big IPO dogs. I can hand my IPO3 dog off to any child and he will work with them, play ball with them, etc.

If your dog is solid then you should not have a problem.




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post #10 of 94 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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It could- if your dog is unstable and/or the training is done improperly.

For some dogs who want to bite anyway, training or not, controlled bitework and confidence building along with obedience and control can help, not hurt. But with those dogs I'd be taking precautions anyway- bitework or not.

For a stable well bred dog, evaluated and started by an experienced trainer, shouldn't be a problem. Plenty of family dogs do IPG. Most not at the absolute top levels but lots of reasons for that (IPG takes time, so do kids, something usually has to give). IPG is mostly about precision and control- and that includes the protection portion.

Be very careful to chose a good training group or trainer and go from there.
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