He is 16 months. He is GSD. I have done most of the work and it has all been prey I have a friend and he has done some defense. But like I said most of the work I do myself, lack of trainers in my area. I have had him since he was 7 weeks. No bad experiences. I am thinking about trying ASR if I can get the help in training. If I can I will hold on to him. If not I will sell him in the spring as a police K9 he is to nice to be sitting in a kennel all day. I have many mpeg's but I have not had any luck putting them on youtube.com.
I have never thought of that I will give it a try. He fires up nice for me and he will call me out of a blind with barking but if I use someone else and they jump out from behind a tree he will just look at them then he might look at me, like why isn't that you? He does not displace and he does not back away. It was so bad one day that the decoy came all the way in and tried to fire him up nothing. He was raking his feet with the whip and you would have thought it would hurt but he just stood there.
So I am going to put the blame on me and try to get you guys to help me out.
David, I think that is too much defence on a young dog. Do more prey. You can't get enough prey. Defence can come later when he's more mature and confident. Take your time. You can loose a dog by going too fast with him.
You have taught him to "show" a behavior, not actually be in the drive.
One of the problems with doing a lot of work yourself is that the dog is comfortable with you and doesn't learn to deal with stress properly. I see a lot of dogs that do well at the house, but peter out on the training field because of this.
I do understand the lack of decoys, I know I could use about ten more at our club.
We have access to a 70,000 sq. foot building that we do building searches in. We train on Thursday's and I help them with being a " lost victim" and they help me with playing tug with my dog. Plus I get my dog's out on stairs, slick floors, dark hallways, biting on slick floors and have started him on air scenting in buildings. I will be careful to make sure that all the bites are side to side movements and quick rewards and maybe a couple of run off bites.
David, a good rule of thumb when working in prey, tell the decoy to think of himself as a toy for the dog. Make himself inviting and fun for the dog to bite. In prey its a game, so just play with him. Use body language to get the proper response from the dog. Also remember, the dog always wins and the decoy loses. We decoy FOR the dog and to BUILD the dog, not to show how big and bad and tuff we are, so tell em to loosen up and have fun. Good luck man!
Is your dog territorial at all? Does he ever bark at strangers? Does he mind when strangers are close to him? or to you? In other words, are there any circumstances when the dog shows aggression...even if it's just a bit?
I have a nagging feeling that all you need is a good decoy...that knows how to take advantage of the dog's natural instincts and behaviors.
16 months is NOT too young. Getting into the dog's face is not the right approach. Twinging the dog's legs with a whip is NOT the right approach. Defense "decoying" is about being still...
So, I offer suggestions regarding what not to do, because I feel comfortable that what I'm recommending won't mess up your dog. Regarding what you SHOULD do, someone with experience and talent should be able to help in short order.
Hi, I had a male East German that I had hoped to do Schutzhund with, it turned out he had teeth defects , so hence no reason to pursue that route. But he acted very much like you are describing. He showed natural suspicion when strangers approached, but gradually grew out of it by a year old. He was of extreme prey drive, but I geared it all into friendly search work for him. He was easy to train to scent for objects, track or people air scent, both country side and in buildings, parked cars, etc. Before I knew about his teeth defect, we did some defence training and it was the same as with you. He just stood there, no fear, no suspicion, no defence at all. By nature this dog was meant to be a friendly search dog, so that is what he is doing now. He's having a great career.
A different female I worked showed strong prey at 7 weeks of age with her littlermates, she would take the objects off the ground and run and run and not let any other puppy take it. She would run after anything you tossed or rolled and would defend it with all her might. Now she picked up on prey/defence instantly at about 6 months of age. She was chasing after the sleeve on the rope with everything she had in her first try, and she was very much into it. She went on to be a search dog also, as her breeder proved to be negligent with giving the breeding papers as promised.
If you think your dog could go SAR, then don't think of it as a waste, there are too little "friendly Search dogs" already and they always need more.
He has not shown any territorial aggression. He has never barked or growled at anyone in a suspicious way. He does have food aggression if you mess with his food bowl too much. I might try a strange field and time him out and leave him for a few minutes then have the bad guy see if we can start the game that way. Maybe some night work?