Is it to early to start bite training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Is it to early to start bite training?

Hi everyone!

New to the forum, always been lurking but never posting so excuse me if this is frowned upon

I have a 6 month old german shepherd who I've been taking to Adlerhorst for training for a month already. He's been doing amazing on obedience and obstacles. He's been moved already from the puppy class to the intermediate class.

Anyways I've been working with him a lot in all his training from obedience to developing his prey drive. I want to get him into bite training but I'm not sure if he's old enough yet as the other dogs who do their bite training are 2-7 years old. What do you guys think??

Thanks everyone in advance!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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My pics for some reason are not uploading through my phone, going to try from my computer in a bit. Thanks again everyone!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:15 PM
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I would think it would be OK to start. What does your trainer and handler say . They'll probably start off on a pillow or a bite wedge. Teach targeting, prey, and develop full bite. Very short sessions. But, besides tug and A wedge I picked up I will leave everything else to the trainers and handlers. They know best. Don't want to have to break bad habits and relearn proper way. What are your goals with the dog. IPO, protection?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:23 PM
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I want to clarify that I would leave all decisions regarding bite work to professionals. People who are experienced in bite work. While they will probably start her on a wedge. unless they give you specific exercises to do, for a novice it is better to just keep your training at home at tug and building drive via tug.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:37 PM
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I'd never heard of Adelhorst, so I did a quick google search. Looks like they specialize in training dogs for K-9 officers. Are you looking to do IPO protection? Are you a K9 handler? Is your end goal a trained protection dog?

If you are looking to do IPO, I think your best bet is to find a good Schutzhund club that is within reasonable driving distance and at least have your dog evaluated. You don't say anything about your dog's lines/pedigree, but a lot of GSD's (probably most) do not have the right temperament/nerves/genetics to really be successful at protection work. It requires more than simply a willingness to bite a tug or a pillow when you play with him. Before you spend a ton of money, time and effort to try to do protection, it would make sense to have the dog evaluated by a neutral, knowledgeable helper - one who does not have a financial interest in you taking a bunch of classes with him. If your dog does not have the drives, intensity and courage to stand up to a certain amount of pressure from the helper, or the genetics to perform solid, calm grips on the sleeve, you are doing both your dog and yourself a disservice to try to do this training with him.

Finally, although your dog is still pretty young, an experienced trainer should be able to at least give you some idea if your puppy has the potential to do this kind of work. Good luck.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for info! My end goal is to have a professionally trained dog as my family use to have one before we gave him to our local police department.

My German shepherd currently isn't registered yet (were in the process). His dad has schH 3 and his mom has IPO 1. As we would like to be protective when he needs too (we have a lot of break ins) we just want him to have professional training.

I was thinking of having him do schH after getting evaluated if he can but not really a big priority for us.

The trainers at the facility I go to are working with him with the basics of a flirt pole and rag but they want to move him up to the arm sleeve now.

I'm just not too sure because I never had a puppy start bite training. My last shepherd, I had him start at 2 years old.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! My trainers are already wanting to move him up to the bite sleeve. Just curious about this because he is a puppy and still teething so I don't want to mess his teeth up with this.

My end goals tbh is just to have a professionally trained protection dog. His parents have schH and ipo but I'm unsure if I want to take him to this route because of the financial dedication needed.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 06:28 PM
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I would wait to start bite work for a couple of months. Let the puppy's teeth come in so the grips aren't affected by the teething. In the meantime, ask if you can observe the training of other dogs/handlers and learn from them about handling your pup for the bitework(there is a bit of skill to the timing, line tension, and being a post)
I recently viewed a video of a 6 month olds first intro to bitework and it was bad for the pup. Helper was putting too much pressure with stick and then when the pup did get a bite the helper was jiggy on the sleeve, creating the bite to be shallow and insecure growling was occurring. The handler was rubbing the puppy up at the time too, so pup was getting too much stimulation on both sides. Helper never allowed the pup to counter or hold the pillow without the helpers constant movement going on. Puppy was not really gaining confidence but just biting, as soon as he won, he let go of the pillow confused.
I cringed when I watched it because they were not setting the pup up for a good foundation. The sad thing is, no one thought the work was bad, they were proud of how the puppy did. But then, they do personal protection, not sport so maybe frontal grips and growls are what they expect.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-01-2017, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
But then, they do personal protection, not sport so maybe frontal grips and growls are what they expect.
I am certainly no expert in either. But from what I was told with personal protection they do it almost the same as sport with pups. But at some point they have to switch the dog over to defense drive instead of prey. And the guy I was talking to said that he trains the dogs to go after the elbow or as close to it as possible. Said maximum damage compared to mid arm like IPO. You would think that full grips would be the most effective with either.
Some guys in PP will dive right into defense drive with an insecure pup but then you wind up with a walking time bomb. Since every time the dog gets scared or feels insecure they're gonna bite.
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