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Are there consistent skills you all teach? (bite on command, bark and hold) Or is it all variable by situation? Given that you have a dog who is correct in temperment and genetically suitable for the work, how much time does it take to train one up?

Not interested in one myself, just curious after talking to Mark K this weekend about PPD training they do at Red Star.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
...and...is it possible to train PPDs in prey only/mostly? Do PPDs need a basis in defense-driven work to be effective?

Again, just curiosity on my part. I could see where a dog heavily disposed to engage and fight because it enjoys it doesn't necessarily need to be put explicitly in "defense" (assuming it's not in defense already) for aspects of PPD training I have seen, but don't know if people have concerns about reliability, etc. Just interested to hear your thoughts.
 

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I don't know Woody. I think sometimes handlers out-think themselves. Frankly I think building a solid dog is easier than a lot of people might be willing to believe. The dog has to have what it takes, of course. Assuming the dog has the right genetics to be at least a decent working dog then the training is not that difficult. In fact in my limited experience it's not so much about the difficulty it's about having the time to invest in the dog.

For example, if you're trying to teach the dog to track and you go out two or three times a day and have the dog track someone that dog is probably going to end being a damn good tracking dog. But if you only train once a week or once a month then that dog is not going to have the benefit of the experience the more trained dog received.

With the bite work I think it's better to get the dog to bite for fun before it bites for real, if that's what you mean by "prey" work. My dog wasn't trained under that philosophy but my next dog will be.

From initially learning the ultra-right wing approach to dog-training and then being exposed to everyone else my feelings about training are no longer to the right but nor are they in line with the majority.

My feeling about raising and training a working dog is to keep it as positive as possible, make it fun and make sure the dog is never pushed too far and that he always wins. Take the dog everywhere and put him in all types of controlled situations where the outcome is always guaranteed to be a good one for your dog. Build that dog's confidence and make it absolutely at home with any situation, anywhere and that dog, again assuming it has the genetics, will be a kicking-ass dog!

Again, I don't think it's as much the expertise as it is investing the time to do it. A brand new handler probably can't do this. A committed handler with experience and with some good direction definitely can!

The biggest challenge is the decoy. Many experienced decoys I've met are one-dimensional in their "training" whether it be a Schutzhund background, French Ring, etc. and therefore are not (usually not) open to other decoying methods. And then you'll have different decoys with their own ideas on how a PPD dog should be trained. My personal approach is to find people who are willing to work my dog the way I ask and I am willing to work theirs in the manner they prescribe.

In training a PPD dog I think you need a decoy who is willing to roll on the ground, scream and be a hell of a great actor for the benefit of the dog's progress. Most decoys are too proud to take direction or advice from a handler, let alone roll on the ground or, lord forbid, scream as if the dog is actually hurting them while the dog is administering a level 10 bite into their protected rib-cage.

Ok Woody. I guess I want on a tangent and got a little off-topic but hey, it's been a while! Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my 2-cents!
 

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Jeff you are right on. There's the dog the decoy and the handler, they all have to be on the same page and work together. I've had to work with a TD in my schutzhund days and you had to be clairvoyant. That's hard for me but he thought you should know what he was thinking.
 

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My favorite is the ones that no matter that the dogs go nowhere, and never title, you are not allowed to question their methods.

I have been putting up with it for 5 years and I am finally over it. I am starting my own club.

Ivan is getting into Mondio and that should stir things up a bit. I love Mondio, and cannot wait to see the future.

My new club is going to be mostly FR except for me. Imagine that :D



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I don't see any other way to train. The dog has GOT to win. If the dog hardly ever wins then why will he keep trying. I have no problem and actually think its fun to play victim. Nothing like hitting the ground for a dog on a long bite to get them coming even harder. :D For me that is the role of the decoy, to do just that, decoy. You have to play the role and put the dog in the different situations, situations in which the dog will always win, especially in the earlier development stages. As they progress you can get a little harder with them but yet still turn backinto the victim. I too also agree that the decoy and handler have got to be on the same page. You must also respect the handlers decision in how they want to work their dog, especially in a club environment. And for novice handlers, they must be lead and shown the proper way so they can also be on the same page, and eventually they will get the experience and can help direct how their dog is worked. Just my $.02.
 

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- Complete environmental stability.
- Stability around people and animals.
- Play.
- Obedience.
- Bite on command.
- Release on command...close up and at a distance...obstacles, etc.
- Opposition, from light to heavy.
- Scenarios and threats.
- Airscenting for a bite.

I think the above list is pretty basic and standard, Woody. The dog should be "finished" by about 3 years old.
 

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Woody, we don't always train for a bite on command. The dog bites on command and any time the bad guy attacks us: grab, push, or punch. The reason is simple. What would you do if someone came up to you and were talking about directions to a market, then out of the blue punched you in the throat? Could you talk well? No. So, as the dirtball swings, the PPD goes into action and adjusts the person's way of thinking.

We also do a "hands up" drill that requires the dogs to stay in place. If the decoy stomps their feet, this isn't a threat, the same with yelling. Yell all you want to, then when the dog bites you you mat scream to the top of your lungs.

You could NEVER support in court a dog bite on the grounds of yelling or swinging of the arms, when the bad guy is not in close range to harm you.
 

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In my opinion, prey drive is wonderful for sport, building a dog, but for PPD it is of little value. I teach PPD dogs to be with the handler always, liability issues arise the further away the dog goes. I do teach house or Building searches. Other than that, the dog must remain under control and with the handler.

Bryan
 

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OK Bryan, if prey is of little value in PPD training, what do you do in area searches or when guys run away from the handler? This is prey...There is very little stress in the prey mode, but you may have it in areas of woods or brush when the bad guy escapes.
The point is there are not many situations where a civilian should be sending thier dog on a fleeing bad guy. If he's running away or hiding in the woods, the immediate threat is over and I call the cops. A PPD is at it's best on a leash or inside the house. If I wanna train send-away bites or area searches for the sake of training experience, fine... But the objective isn't to one day send my dog out looking for bad guys.
 

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OK Bryan, if prey is of little value in PPD training, what do you do in area searches or when guys run away from the handler? This is prey...There is very little stress in the prey mode, but you may have it in areas of woods or brush when the bad guy escapes.
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Doing searches does involve some prey drive, but mostly it is hunting skills.

Which is ok for PPD to clear a place of business before entry or someone's house before entering.

Where I think you are wrong to teach a PPD dog to do is escape bites. That is a Police Dogs job. Plus that is a offensive move. The idea is to protect, not attack. It becomes liability and abusive at that point perhaps, and mostly confusing. I train a dog to protect a handler simply. He can not protect if I send him on a wild goose chase to catch someone already fleeing. The point of having protection in the first to for your safety. Having driven off your attacker, why now play the hunter and risk getting shot or killed. Or loosing controll of your dog and having maul an innocent person. Your logic doesnt make enough sense to me here. Please dont take offense, it's just opinion. To me PPD dogs, should defending a handler, not doing seek and destroy missions.

Bryan
 

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The point is there are not many situations where a civilian should be sending thier dog on a fleeing bad guy. If he's running away or hiding in the woods, the immediate threat is over and I call the cops. A PPD is at it's best on a leash or inside the house. If I wanna train send-away bites or area searches for the sake of training experience, fine... But the objective isn't to one day send my dog out looking for bad guys.
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Exactly Simon:)

Bryan
 

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And the guy in prey could also be moving to a tactical advantage (location, weapon, partner)! When they move side to side or back... they are prey but the fight isn't over. Bar fights start with a punch, someone blocks, does that mean that the other guy will return with a punch? Just because they aren't going toe to toe doesn't mean a thing. In the big picture, yes PPDs and sidearms are defensive tools. But in the conflict many possible scenarios can take place and to let the guard down is silly. I will continue to work and use mine in defense and prey. Thanks for the diverse opinions...
 

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And the guy in prey could also be moving to a tactical advantage (location, weapon, partner)! When they move side to side or back... they are prey but the fight isn't over. Bar fights start with a punch, someone blocks, does that mean that the other guy will return with a punch? Just because they aren't going toe to toe doesn't mean a thing. In the big picture, yes PPDs and sidearms are defensive tools. But in the conflict many possible scenarios can take place and to let the guard down is silly. I will continue to work and use mine in defense and prey. Thanks for the diverse opinions...
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Howard you are free to do whatever you like, I hold no control over you:)

Be at peace,
Bryan
 
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