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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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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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Dave Reaver at Adlerhorst is a very very knowledgeable guy. He can certainly help you and really knows his stuff. He supplies some of the top Tier 1 military units with dogs. My current dog, Boru, came from him. Dave was very upfront and easy to deal with. I would get another dog from him.
 

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Dave Reaver at Adlerhorst is a very very knowledgeable guy. He can certainly help you and really knows his stuff. He supplies some of the top Tier 1 military units with dogs. My current dog, Boru, came from him. Dave was very upfront and easy to deal with. I would get another dog from him.
I can co sign what Slamdunc said. I am also familiar with Adlerhorst. They have been around since the beginning of time. Their bread and butter was always supplying dogs for police K9s. It sounds like they've gotten into MWDs as demand has increased.

I've not trained with Dave, but I have met him and been to his facility. It was a number of years ago and I was trying to track down some info on a former K9 I had pulled from the shelter that Dave had trained.

Now that we're in E Tennessee, we're working with another K9 trainer that I actually like better. Even though he's into Dutchies. :wink2:
 

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I can co sign what Slamdunc said. I am also familiar with Adlerhorst. They have been around since the beginning of time. Their bread and butter was always supplying dogs for police K9s. It sounds like they've gotten into MWDs as demand has increased.

I've not trained with Dave, but I have met him and been to his facility. It was a number of years ago and I was trying to track down some info on a former K9 I had pulled from the shelter that Dave had trained.

Now that we're in E Tennessee, we're working with another K9 trainer that I actually like better. Even though he's into Dutchies. :wink2:
Who are you working with in Tennessee?
 

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Dave Reaver at Adlerhorst is a very very knowledgeable guy. He can certainly help you and really knows his stuff. He supplies some of the top Tier 1 military units with dogs. My current dog, Boru, came from him. Dave was very upfront and easy to deal with. I would get another dog from him.
I'm glad I'm training with a reputable trainer :) I haven't got his opinion yet as his son Jack had been training Kaiser but I trust them :)
 

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SIx months is certainly not to young. MOst dogs are started asap but at the proper level. They are moved up with pressure as they mature and develop. YOu can have a young dog on a bite suit but working completely in prey and you can ruin a dog with just a tug applying too much pressure. A pup out of my dogs litter became an active K9 in new york at a year old. Here's my boy at 6months old

If your trainer knows what they are doing they will progress the dog when he is ready and work with him to reach your goals. Just keep in mind a ppd is a lot of work and takes maintenance as well as a lot of training that many dogs cant handle. It is definitely control based and should not be the dog acting when "he needs to" but when you command it.
 

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As some of the others have said, I know they supply a lot of agencies with their dogs. I've seen/heard good and bad come out of there, just like everywhere else. Every dog is different. Everyone's idea of what starting protection work is, is different. So depending on your final goal and most importantly your individual dog, we can't really answer if that's too early or not.
 

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Dave Reaver at Adlerhorst is a very very knowledgeable guy. He can certainly help you and really knows his stuff. He supplies some of the top Tier 1 military units with dogs. My current dog, Boru, came from him. Dave was very upfront and easy to deal with. I would get another dog from him.
The only thing is, you have extensive experience with a working K9.
Protection training should always involve the handler, and if one is a novice, they need to really involve themselves.
I hope Dave(or whoever is helping the OP) will take that time to work with the handler as much as the dog.
When we don't know what we don't know, the dog is the one to suffer.
I felt bad for the dog in the vid I posted about earlier. Handler had no clue about anything and who knows what the next session brought.
 

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The only thing is, you have extensive experience with a working K9.
Protection training should always involve the handler, and if one is a novice, they need to really involve themselves.
I hope Dave(or whoever is helping the OP) will take that time to work with the handler as much as the dog.
When we don't know what we don't know, the dog is the one to suffer.
I felt bad for the dog in the vid I posted about earlier. Handler had no clue about anything and who knows what the next session brought.
I haven't seen the video that you are referring too. No doubt there are good and bad trainers out there. From what I know of Adlerhorst they are pretty good.

Inexperienced handlers are often the problem and can do more harm than good. Almost as bad as bad trainers. I know, I screwed up my first dog making novice mistakes. Fortunately, the dog was resilient and pretty tough. We all have to start somewhere and we are all novices when we start. If your going to work with dogs in any venue, it's always better to work with experienced, talented people with a lot of patience.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The only thing is, you have extensive experience with a working K9.
Protection training should always involve the handler, and if one is a novice, they need to really involve themselves.
I hope Dave(or whoever is helping the OP) will take that time to work with the handler as much as the dog.
When we don't know what we don't know, the dog is the one to suffer.
I felt bad for the dog in the vid I posted about earlier. Handler had no clue about anything and who knows what the next session brought.
Well how my training works is that my trainer actually trains me on how to train my dog. He rarely touches Kaiser, only when he needs to show me how to do something. I believe he's doing a good job so far? Kaiser is definitely trusting me more and our bond is always growing now. Hopefully it all works out :) the trainer is definitely working with me a lot.
 

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My ultimate goal at the end is to have a great family protection dog. Should've been more specific haha sorry I'm new. But yes, like I said earlier, my family and I had a german shepherd before that we got when he was 1.5 years old. His previous owner was starting him on scHH training but never finished it so he was somewhat trained already. Due to a situation we were in, the police department was more than happy to take him.

My goal with Kaiser is really just to have him be a great family protection dog. I want him to be able to protect us and himself when needed but would also love a well mannered, obedient dog. The training I go to teaches both obedience and protection so I'm happy I'll get the results I want :) Kaiser seems to love the training but I'm just hoping I won't be hurting him as he's only puppy and will be starting bite training on the sleeve soon.

Thanks for the info everyone! I'm glad I found Adlerhorst as I see a ton of dogs there that has been going there for years for maintenance and I love how they train me more than my dog :) As much as I would want to start Kaiser on Schutzhund (if he qualifies), I proboably wouldn't just because it's too much and I don't really see the need since I will not be breeding or actually using much of what the training includes. Unless there's other reasons I'm unaware of?

I'm a give my trainers a trust :) They'll know best if its too early or not and worst case scenario, they see it's too early and we don't do it.

Any more advice will always be helpful and I'm hope to be an active member here :)
 
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