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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I hear this phrase in schutzhund training. I guess I have never been certain that I knew exactly what it means or entails?
 

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It means you are working on getting a deeper, stronger bite where the sleeve is all the way to the back of the dog's mouth and he's not coming off any time soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
... and what are the reasons the grip might be less than desirable?
 

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Chewing the sleeve is also undesireable...as is thrashing it when slipped from the helper.
Thats why we run them around to keep the firm grip then calmly stroking the dog while cradling their chin to re-enforce that calm grip. If they start to chew, you out them to discourage that.
 

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The desired grip is hard, full, and calm, and in the center of the bite bar. There are many reasons that a dog's grip might not achieve that ideal:

- too young.

- poor training.

- inhibited by the handler.

- afraid of the helper.

- distracted by other influences.

- lack of confidence.

- poor nerves.

- too much training pressure.

- bad teeth, or another medical problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am guessing there are several reasons a poor grip could be occurring. Obviously, genetics is one of them. Defensiveness? Conflict with handler?

I see some people who I think are working the grip get back in the sleeve and do several things with the dog. I was wondering if all that working was effective.
 

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II see some people who I think are working the grip get back in the sleeve and do several things with the dog. I was wondering if all that working was effective.
Jan Kokx, for example, seems to be pretty good at it, and some people swear that it works for them. But I'm sure it only really works some of the time, and only lasts for so long. If the dog is under enough pressure for long enough he will probably revert to whatever behavior his genetics and foundation training will allow.

The other question is, are you trying to make the grips a little better so a very good dog can make V, or so a weak dog can pass a trial? I suspect the outcomes will not be the same.
 

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"working the grip"; i thought it
described what you do when you
catch them chewing the sofa,
your shoes, counter surfing, etc.
 

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The good grip comes before you ever offer it. That means the helper sees that the dog is at the right level of drive, at a level that I suppose you could call balanced for that dog and then the grip comes. If the helper is there trying to fix it after the initial grip, it is because the work before the grip was not correct . Most" working on the grip " is to teach the dog to counter or hit back/to re-enforce aggression or to re-enforce it when the dog tries to stop the helper or pull as the helper is turned away in flight. Again, what the helper does before the grip comes will determine how well the dog does those thngs also.
Trying to fix chewing, half grips etc, would be work the helper would do before he offers the grip.
 

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There are two things that cause bad grips, bad helper work (as Anne says above) and genetics.
 

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I'd like to throw out a question for discussion since someone mentioned that "thrashing of the sleeve" is undesireable. Why? What about a dog that thrashes the sleeve once it's slipped, drops it, and then initiates interaction with the helper again? I'm not talking about any specific dog.
 

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I'd like to throw out a question for discussion since someone mentioned that "thrashing of the sleeve" is undesireable. Why?
Define thrash. Do you mean a dog that throws it to the ground and kind of attacks it or do you mean a dog that holds it and shakes it and then drops it?
 

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Ike does that. He throws it on the ground, kind of lay on top of it (or he will put his paws over the sleeve) and attacks it - like he wants to eat it for dinner.
 

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Define thrash. Do you mean a dog that throws it to the ground and kind of attacks it or do you mean a dog that holds it and shakes it and then drops it?
Once the sleeve is slipped, dog thrashes it then drops it, and makes eye contact with helper. They might take a nip at the dead sleeve. Dog also will try to thrash the sleeve while the helper tries to lock up. I've seen inidividuals demand a dog hold the sleeve calmly after it's slipped... almost teaching this like they would the DB "hold", and correcting the dog if it's not done (hold).
 

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The reason I'm bringing this up because there's a debat about this at my training club. Two thought processes about it. I'm just curious as to what others outside of club think.
 

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This is my opinion based on what I "think" both you and Jason are saying, which are two related things but with different results.
Both are related to fight with the helper but one of them, ( what Jason "seems" to be saying), can also be caused by a confict with the handler. It also has to do with the space between the helper and the dog. All dogs have that space where they will start to fight the helper even though he no longer is wearing the sleeve. I call the behavior of torquing the sleeve, "hitting back". IMO, this is something that should be re-enforced in the dog but it has to be done in a way where the helper does not overdo it and cause problems. Meaning, when the dog uses that power, the helper respects it and does not continue to fight and try to over-power the dog. IMO, this is an important skill for the dog to have because it is a way for the dog to take control of the fight but again, the helper must allow the dog to do that.
 

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Ok Jason, I see it. That is what I thought you meant

Edited to add: Conflict with the handler is only one reason for that behavior. It can be more than one but mostly it is from fight and being put higher in that state than the dog can channel.
 
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