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Discussion Starter #1
How much of a dog's grip is Genetic? Can it be trained and developed? If it is genetic, does it start to get strong after a certain age or is it always strong from puppyhood?

Thanks,
Rob
 

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I was just having this discussion with Ezra's breeder the other day... Its certainly her opinion and I share it that genetics certainly do have an effect on grip. Ezra, just 12 weeks old, already goes for a full deep grip. It is highly noticeable when compared to Abbie's grip.
 

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My girl does not have a very strong grip at all. I hope it improves with her Shutzhund training.
 

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Genetic and can be affected by training. I could see differences in puppies I've had through the years from the time I got them. Also had a few to train that had no early foundations to develop grip...it was there. I also believe there is relation to temperament as well. And my hardest gripping dogs showed a desire to exercise that grip on their kong, basically akin to a powerlifter loving the most exerting lifts, or a boxer or football player putting their all into the physical effort of their sport. These dogs also showed alot of fight in the work.
Sue
 

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Yup. Mostly genetic, but can usually be adjusted to some degree through training. I'd say the same goes for a dog who pulls vs pushes into the helper, or the nerve threshold. I supppose a lot of things apply here.
 

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If the grip is genetic, how much of it is muscle verses mental?
That is a good question. In terms of how full a grip is, I think we are talking mainly genetics. Now firmness of a grip I think is also partly genetic, but I beleive it is more mental than muscle. I dog that bites hard does it because he means to bite hard.
 

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It is ALL genetic. I have found this out first hand now.
I have a czech dog who is 17 months old and he never had the full, hard deep bites as a puppy. Now through training we have developed full mouth bites but he is still hectic and thrashing. As a pup he never countered automatically. Mainly 1/2 & 3/4 bites. Now in training again, you can help the dog develop it but under stress they will do what is genetic.

Now on the flip side

I have a 14 week old female who has genetically full, strong, calm hard grips. She is 3/4 WGWL and 1/4 czech. When I got her and took her out and played with her, she went for full mouth bites. If I pull away she naturally releases and goes for a full mouth bite, pressure & no feeding is necessary. She is on it like a shark. She is calm and can be cradled and is perfectly fine. This makes things sooo much easier when it comes to training.
 

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IMO it is all genetic and, baring abuse, can not be ruined through training. Less than full grips can be helped through good training depending on the reasons. If a dog has a poor grip due to nerves than the problems will show up when the dog is put under pressure.

I know people like to claim that full grips are a "sport" thing, but they come from the herding influence of our breed's foundation. A full grip that is hard enough to control and over power the sheep was desired. Chewy or hectic grips would do damage and shallow soft grips would not be enough to control an animal that often had its own mind and far outweighed the dog.
 

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The necessity of full grips for full points is a sport thing,imo. Full grips are not always hard grips. You have full and hard and you have full and full. Full grips can be trained but under stress the dogs will revert to their genetics,imo. But there are many thoughts on this, I guess.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The reason that I ask is because my pups grip is pure garbage. I have not really been working him that hard in any area as I have not been able to take him out to our club since October and I have not wanted to train him wrong on my own. (he is 7 & 1/2 mo old) I recently introduced him to a leather tug which he attacks with vingence. However he has no bite strength. I can always just pull the tug out of his mouth with very little effort. He bites full but not hard. Is this a develpmental thing because the leather tug is unfamiliar to him and he really don't know how to bite down? Will his strength and bite grow as he matures? Or is a strong bite probably something that I will never have with him if he doesnt have it at an early age?
Thanks,
Rob
 

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How is he with other tug toys? Does he have anything going on with his teeth or gums? Could be he is not frustrated enough, could be he feels overpowered. You could try to let him win as soon as he bites it, then slowly build up the pressure (letting him win each time). Or you could pull the tug right out of his mouth so he learns he must bite hard to keep it. Maybe take him back out to the club and let your helper evaluate it.
 

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The reason that I ask is because my pups grip is pure garbage. I have not really been working him that hard in any area as I have not been able to take him out to our club since October and I have not wanted to train him wrong on my own. (he is 7 & 1/2 mo old) I recently introduced him to a leather tug which he attacks with vingence. However he has no bite strength. I can always just pull the tug out of his mouth with very little effort. He bites full but not hard. Is this a develpmental thing because the leather tug is unfamiliar to him and he really don't know how to bite down? Will his strength and bite grow as he matures? Or is a strong bite probably something that I will never have with him if he doesnt have it at an early age?
Thanks,
Rob
"...my pups grip is pure garbage." Im sorry but that was funny...lmao!!! I busted out laughing when I read that sentence.

Now with that out the way...

How was he when you were going to club training? What were you using before the leather tug?
 

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One dog I know takes his time to mature and just now started to actually tug. He would bite but there wasn't much of a grip or anything. Now, boy...it's on.

Other than that, I've never been around dogs that wouldn't tug from an early age on.
 

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The more valuable it is, the more the pup will want to possess it. I would make him work harder for it. Backtie him and tease him up before he wins it. I'd encourage him to calmly hold it when he finally wins. Better calm than thrashing/shaking it.
Leather gets slimy, have you tried a french linen or burlap/jute?
 

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The more valuable it is, the more the pup will want to possess it. I would make him work harder for it. Backtie him and tease him up before he wins it. I'd encourage him to calmly hold it when he finally wins. Better calm than thrashing/shaking it.
Leather gets slimy, have you tried a french linen or burlap/jute?
Only recommend that for somebody that has actually the experience to do it. You can drive a dog into avoidance or into defense that way.
 

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Only recommend that for somebody that has actually the experience to do it. You can drive a dog into avoidance or into defense that way.
You can do it with out putting pressure on the dog, it is a drive building exercise, not a pressure/put into defense exercise. If my dog went into avoidance with that, then I don't think it would be one I'd want to continue in SchH. I'd find another venue to train in.
I do agree, though...go to the club and work with your trainer if you don't know what you are doing.
 
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