The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
There is a lot of overlap. Bite work can refer to both sport training and real life personal protection training. What people train for will make a deference in what they focus on. The foundation training and bringing along a young dog is the same; developing confidence, targeting, a basis of solid obedience, making the training fun and rewarding for the dog.
But if one is training for sport, the aim is competition, so there are very particular things being trained for that the dog will be scored on while in trial. Some of these things are control, quality of the bite, intensity and commitment in the fight, out on command, as an example. Bite sports include IPO and SDA, and the dogs may work on a bite sleeve or a bite suit, but obvious, visual equipment is used even in trial, and the dogs will be disqualified if they bite a person somewhere other than the protective equipment.
For real-life personal protection work or police work, the basis and beginning of the training is very similar, but then the training moves on to more realistic scenarios with hidden protection on the "bad guy". The dog needs to be civil, meaning that they need to be willing to bite for real, and the fight can be for real. Some dogs do fine on protective equipment, but are lacking confidence to engage a threat for real, i.e. bite for real, and stay in the fight when the bad-guy is punching and fighting back for real.
In personal protection training, some of this is tested with muzzle work, so the dog can't really grab and fight and hurt a decoy with no protective equipment, but shows his drive to stay in the fight no matter what.
Many people who do protection sports will expand their training and their dogs' skills by working them on hidden equipment, or setting up new scenarios. The insights and knowledge gained about the dog in these new training scenarios is very revealing about the dogs' character (and not to mention, fun to train!).
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015