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Discussion Starter #1
I am sending you some links to some bite work I am doing with my 2 year old make GSD Zeus van den heuvel. I am in Miami and it has been very difficult to get his training going – especially in protection training so I had to do a lot of the bite work myself which obviously was all in play mode and not serious. The main purpose was to make sure he had a firm grip – the flip side of it is with a dog like Zeus who has high prey drive he became very equipment oriented. Finally, I seem to have a good decoy and the goal is to make this more serious and not equipment focus. This is the 3rd session with the new helper – you can see the improvements already. His bite is really strong, deep, and calm.

Any comments, critiques, and advise are more than welcome. The goal is to get him to be more focused on the decoy and less on equipment and as he progresses throw in different real life scenarios. I wish there were some PSA clubs nearby as that is what I would have really liked to have done with him.



 

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if the dog became "serious" with this playing around poor rey agitation , then the dog would be 'nuts".

the dog participates in kind . There is not one reason to escalate.

I would not go back to this trainer/ academy .

Decoy should not be praising the dog. He is the adversary not the friend. The bite he gave
was cheap . This is not a good decoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Carmen, truly appreciate your comments. The praise was from me and not the decoy. At least now you know the challenges I am facing here in Miami to get a good decoy.
 

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I hate critiquing video's, because you don't know the whole picture or process. But what I see based off this is no reward/reaction (no I don't mean bite) from the decoy. He just stands tagging the dog. The dog is barking and confronting the man until eventually he stops barking. Like "oh well this didn't work so I'll give up now". The dog needs to be built to know he can over power the man even with just his bark.
 

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Thanks - these are exactly the type of comments I was looking for. Any tips as to what we should be doing different - this decoy used to be a French Ring decoy in Cuba - based on what he showed me in pictures and there is obviously a language barrier between him and I. I do know my dog has a serious side to him as I have seen him reacting aggressively to strangers in the dark but calm down when he realized there was no threat or I told him to. It is just frustrating that I cant seem to tap into his potential due to the serious dearth of good trainers and NO clubs here in Miami. I almost feel like I am letting him down.
 

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Here is an update on our training with the new club. Working towards a PSA as a reminder for reference. This is our 2nd session since we joined (bad weather and my travel schedule slowed us down). Since Zeus was doing fine we decided to work on his "aus". I am posting both training videos - not edited at all as they might be good learning sessions for those with my experience (not high) in training as they are riddled with mistakes - all by me. Also, this was done before the certified decoy showed up who was late and pointed out all the mistakes and worked on the "aus" - unfortunately we did not record that. His final session ended with Zeus winning the sleeve after he did the "aus". I have also started working on the "aus" using postive re-inforcements using the methods mentioned in some posts on a different thread and what the decoy told me and he is getting the hang of it. Finally, in this video he has a prong collar on along with a regular collar. Luckily for me, I have a dog who can handle all my screw ups and does not kill his drive and still willing to work for me - this last comment came from the certified decoy. Now, it will be interesting to see what else you folks find wrong in these videos.
 

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Mycobracr hit this pretty close. I also don’t like to judge from a video alone either so I’ll omly offer comments on the exercise, it’s very difficult to make this a nice clean hard bite. With a proper out.

A couple things come to mind. The handler is moving around too much, he needs to stand still in one spot until directed. Later on when building drive the helper will make the dog miss by fractions of an inch. Stand still. This was pounded into me very hard when I first started. Next, does the dog know the command? It appears not. Remember dogs don’t know our languages, only associated sounds. Use the command in other situations, retrieves for example, any time the dog needs to let go of something.

The dog needs to get the reward of getting the sleeve in high drive then trot around “showing how strong he is”. Then as he cools off you have him bring the sleeve to you and issue the command to let it go. When he lets go he gets a reward. This needs to be done many times before you get to what’s going on in the video. The dog has to really tear into the sleeve to use his drive, then as he comes Down you issue the command. We used to use a lot of force as shown here but later on we made sure the dog really knew he had to release the sleeve on command. Then again reward. A treat will bring the drive down, that’s good. Then the helper can bring it back up again. There is a fine line here when the dog has all he can handle for the moment. Just before this is the time to give the sleeve and run to the car, and once again give the command to out and reward as he goes into the crate.

This takes a while as it is a many step process, you are directing a very strong instinct here and teaching the dog to control it. He has to learn this or the out will be a long process.

I like to see the dog rip into the sleeve so hard it gets hard for me to get my hand out of the sleeve.then we go to a harder sleeve. The dog needs to develope the jaw muscles. We went to a full cylinder hard sleeve that really taxes the dog. By this time the dog knew out form the many times of giving the sleeve to you and releasing it. Then we backed up a bit to the bite bar and the out was introduced. As soon as the dog released he got the sleeve again to carry around. Often that was the end of the exercise. Sometimes on a weaker dog that might have been it for the day. We can add our own thinking but it was felt the dog was somewhat frustrated that he only got one kill for the day. The next time he would be Godzilla and maybe they would give him another chance. What ever the dog thought it did work.

I had a knock down argument with a lady who literally beat up on a dog that was not ready for this. She probably ruined this dog as it wasn’t that strong to begin with. I left that group that day and never came back. I don’t see any titles from the team and it’s been almost four years.

Once again JMHO

Byron
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Byron,

Thanks for your constructive feedback. You are correct, my dog does not know the out command yet. We changed up the session and did a lot of the stuff that you mention - unfortunately we did not film it. The reason my dog was being fed the bite as opposed to hitting the sleeve was because the decoy in the video, he is our TD and was standing in till the certified decoy showed up, did not have the proper protective gear and because of my mistakes almost got nailed, so I was holding my dog back.

Again, appreciate your feedback.
 

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Give him a little more line and brace yourself better. Don't scream your out command, short, firm, but not screechy like that. If you're using 2 lines, one on the flat and one on the prong, you want to have the tension on the flat and the line on the prong loose. That's for obedience, but in the video you aren't really working any control where you would use it.

You already mentioned working the out away from the helper so you figured out the unfairness of stretching him out for something he doesn't know, I'm guessing the TD had the idea he did know it so you guys have moved on from that.

This looks like you guys are still feeling a couple things out, don't really have a plan so its a little out of sync. I don't think he needs any help with barking or biting, he looks ready to start shaping those things into the behaviors you want.
 

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Steve,

Spot on. Yup, my dog is not the issue here, it is "yours truly". Eventually, we will figure it out, luckily for me I have a dog strong enough to withstand all my screw ups and not be phased by it.
 

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Its not that you're making big mistakes or anything Rana, a couple of things in your handling would help though. Other then beating him up for an out, you aren't really doing anything to screw him up, it could just be more productive. Most of the feeling out is between the helper and your dog, I think thats why you aren't really working anything too specific. Not really doing anything with the barking, not really working on targeting or a strike. You aren't working control so much, other then activating him from the sit and that will get smoother if you don't do it on the helpers cue. You activate him and let the helper react. See what you progress to over a couple of sessions and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Here is a short clip of my dog doing his first inner bicep bite with a brand new decoy, in a brand new field, while tied to a bungee. Training for the PDC
 

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Here is an update on training the "aus" - 2 short videos. We are finally communicating. The trick was not to fight him on the "aus" by yelling and giving him hard corrections - just have to give the command in a normal tone with a slight tug. He is doing it pretty consistently now. No issues with the ball either - dont need to use 2 balls. Was a HUGE breakthrough, now we can progress on to more advanced stuff - like long send aways, guard and hold, redirecting.
 
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