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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've mentioned before that when it comes to sport, I'm lost as last years Easter egg. While I've been to a few trial and find it very interesting there are a few terms I hear handlers/trainers refer too that I don't understand. One for example is; civil agitation. Would someone be kind enough to give this poor old country dog trainer a definition? I would be much apprec, uhh much apreci, uhhh appprea, uhhh I'll be a thankin' ya.

DFrost
 

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Hey David, even though I'm a sports person, I never really understood the term either. Do you think they are talking about when they work a dog with a hidden sleeve? If that is the case, I still don't really get it.
 

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Agitating the dog with no equipment at all. It's amazing to see the difference in some dogs attitudes when there's no equipment... some dogs are naturally aggressive and focused on the man, others look for equipment... toss a sleeve over a dogs head, if he goes after the sleeve that'll tell ya real quick where you're at in training :)
 

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Yes, we used to do the toss the sleeve thing. Zorba always kept his attention on the agitator regardless of where the sleeve went. My question is what does "civil agitation" really mean? I'm picturing more something to do with dogs & policeman that work in a public area. For instance working a crowd situation which is normally benign, but could turn otherwise, like actively trying to protect someone or something (the Louve, the President). If this is right, then I would think this is a whole different kind of training from anything we do in schutzhund.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<<<Agitating the dog with no equipment at all. It's amazing to see the difference in some dogs attitudes when there's no equipment...>>>

Ahhh so, if that's it, then I've been doing it for years. Who knew? Of course we can't have dogs fixated on the equipment, I didn't know that is what it meant, we just called it "street ready".

DFrost
 
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"My question is what does "civil agitation" really mean?"

The word civil comes from the Latin word for citizen, Mike has it right, it's the dogs willingness to go after someone with no gear on.

*edit* IMO there is still a difference between a dog that will appear to go civil on a leash and one that will actually engage when given the opportunity to do so.
 

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Civil agitation is about presenting a dog with a clear threat while wearing no equipment (thus "agitation"), to either elicit a defensive response or a fight/dominance response.
I view it as a starting step towards the final objective, which is to teach the dog he must bite on command, even if there is no apparent threat.
 

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I was looking on our website to see if we had a video of civil work for those out there that hadn't seen it before but there was none. Go to www.qualityk9concepts.com and click on videos, there are some good short videos of ASR (American Street Ring ) stuff. I'll try to get civil defense added to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<<which is to teach the dog he must bite on command, even if there is no apparent threat.>>>

We do train this way, the dog will hit a standing target, that is presenting no threat, and will release a fighting target. I know I'm old and been at this awhile, we just called it street ready. Civil agitation is a word I'd heard in the past few years but didn't really know what it was.

DFrost
 

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With my own dog Thunder, I love watching his civil work. He goes from the nice, rythmic B&H bark to a really nasty, snarling, lunging, slobbery,"I wanna eat you alive" kinda thing. Strong defense, all going forward.
The biggest reason we do this is to get him to understand the difference. His B&H isn't the best but it settles down if we have an occasional session of civil work.
 

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Tossing the sleeve...wouldn't a dog high in prey drive, pretty confident, and understands the game go after the sleeve? But still go after the man if the sleeve isn't present. I heard somewhere, maybe this forum, maybe elsewhere, that it's usually pretty safe if a dog is taught properly and you have a sleeve on since the dog targets the sleeve, but that doesn't necessarily mean the dog won't bite for real.

My dog will go after the sleeve all the time since he's pretty friendly with the decoy and not "defensive" in that sense....but he has gone after someone's belly when he thought the person was going to attack us. All confident, no snarling or ears back, just a loud roar and a snap. Calmed down as soon as we made it clear to him the person wasn't a threat. Scared the wits out of all of us since he was focused on a tug at that time. This is a dog that's super super high in prey.
 

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Lyn Chen said:
Tossing the sleeve...wouldn't a dog high in prey drive, pretty confident, and understands the game go after the sleeve? But still go after the man if the sleeve isn't present. I heard somewhere, maybe this forum, maybe elsewhere, that it's usually pretty safe if a dog is taught properly and you have a sleeve on since the dog targets the sleeve, but that doesn't necessarily mean the dog won't bite for real.

My dog will go after the sleeve all the time since he's pretty friendly with the decoy and not "defensive" in that sense....but he has gone after someone's belly when he thought the person was going to attack us. All confident, no snarling or ears back, just a loud roar and a snap. Calmed down as soon as we made it clear to him the person wasn't a threat. Scared the wits out of all of us since he was focused on a tug at that time. This is a dog that's super super high in prey.
Depends on the dog and his training. Some sport training is so locked into prey training that it can effect the dog.
A good helper can (and should) be able to bring out either the prey or defence.
I've seen dogs that can appear to be civil when worked by a familiar decoy, then don't have a clue with someone new doing the same thing.
A lot of it has to do with exposure to many different situations. That's where pure sport training can fall short when finding a "real" dog.
 

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Lyn Chen said:
Tossing the sleeve...wouldn't a dog high in prey drive, pretty confident, and understands the game go after the sleeve? But still go after the man if the sleeve isn't present. I heard somewhere, maybe this forum, maybe elsewhere, that it's usually pretty safe if a dog is taught properly and you have a sleeve on since the dog targets the sleeve, but that doesn't necessarily mean the dog won't bite for real.
all true lyn. although i'm trying to break him of it, my dog will chase the sleeve if it's present and he hasn't had a problem biting a man with no equipment when he's had to do that.
 

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Tim, when you get in new dogs for LE, isn't this pretty common till the dogs are taught how serious this new "game" is. At least dogs that have had basic bite work on the sleeve.
 

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Lyn Chen said:
Tossing the sleeve...wouldn't a dog high in prey drive, pretty confident, and understands the game go after the sleeve?
Yes and no.... its alot to do with both style of training, training goals and genetics. Some dogs naturally focus on the decoy because they have a stronger defensive side, some dogs need to be taught to look at the decoy and given a reason to keep looking at the decoy, other dogs just don't "have it" and will forever be sleeve dogs.
 

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I guess the question is--why would a dog that knows the game, is prey driven, and confident focus on the man when he knows the sleeve is present? I can only see this as the dog is relaxed enough that he knows what's going on. Yet the same dog may still bite a man without equipment on, when it's 'serious'. Is it necessarily good if a dog is always 'focused on the man' to the point that even when he knows what's going to happen, he just can't relax enough to "let it go"? I am thinking about a regular training session here, with a decoy the dog knows, in a field he knows. Is there an advantage in *always* expecting a dog to go after a man...or should there be seperate training sessions that are "real" and which just put an edge to the dog's temperament, in this case the dog is really expected to go after the decoy?

Man I hope I'm being able to say what I'm thinking...it's so hard to explain online. :|
 

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Lyn Chen said:
I guess the question is--why would a dog that knows the game, is prey driven, and confident focus on the man when he knows the sleeve is present? I can only see this as the dog is relaxed enough that he knows what's going on. Yet the same dog may still bite a man without equipment on, when it's 'serious'. Is it necessarily good if a dog is always 'focused on the man' to the point that even when he knows what's going to happen, he just can't relax enough to "let it go"? I am thinking about a regular training session here, with a decoy the dog knows, in a field he knows. Is there an advantage in *always* expecting a dog to go after a man...or should there be seperate training sessions that are "real" and which just put an edge to the dog's temperament, in this case the dog is really expected to go after the decoy?

Man I hope I'm being able to say what I'm thinking...it's so hard to explain online. :|
Depends on your goals, having the right dog and the right helper.
If you want a serious dog, you better be sure you have the right helper that can safely take a dog beyond sport training.
 

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What if a guy tosses his jacket at your dog when he's supposed to bite the guy, n your dog chases after the jacket n thrashes it around? Training is sparring, the decoy is instructing the dog what he's supposed to do just like if your kid is in tae-kwan-do. When the sleeve is there the dog bites the sleeve, but he needs to realize that when the sleeve isn't there, he shouldn't look for the sleeve he needs to go after the helper anyway. Even a friendly familiar helper can teach this to a dog, sting the dog in the butt with a whip n see how fast he learns to not chase after the stupid sleeve when the bad guy is standing in front of him. So your kid is in tae-kwan-do class n he got knocked to the ground, so he gets up n turns his back on his instructor to pick up his weapon n the instructor kicks him in the butt n your kid falls over again -- what did the kid learn? "If I turn my back to get the weapon I'm gonna get my ass kicked and fall over". It's an exercise, and the decoy is the instructor teaching the dog what he should and shouldn't do. It also seperates the weak dogs from the strong dogs, weak dogs run after the sleeve seeking comfort, prey dogs run back and forth between the sleeve and the decoy trying to defend their prey, dogs who have that natural aggression and focus on the man don't chase the sleeve to begin with. Chasing the sleeve doesn't make a dog a bad dog, the dog just wasn't taught that he'll get kicked in the butt and fall over if he doesn't keep his eye on the instructor. You don't train this way in every session, some sessions you challenge the dog and the dog goes for an escape bite, slip the sleeve n let the dog run around with it enjoying his prey, then maybe the next session you do the same thing but after the dog outs the sleeve on the ground you come in from the other side n get the dog to focus on you not the sleeve, a weaker dog might turn around and try to bite the sleeve to relieve stress, a defensive dog will be at the end of the leash totally ignoring the fact that there ever was any prey. Again, depends on the training style, foundation, genetics etc etc etc.
 

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susan tuck said:
Once the sleeve is tossed, it is dead, human still moving, more fun!
You'd be amazed at how many dogs would rather chew on that "dead guy" sleeve. :lol:
 
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