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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone use defense of handler scenarios to introduce defensive training to a dog? The majority of my experience is with a dog that didn't require decoy pressure to take things personally, so I'm not sure how successfull these scenarios would be with a more balanced animal.

For me it was a great way to introduce serious training without putting much pressure on the dog. Would most dogs capable of work or serious sport work know what to do in this situation if it was untrained? In other words, would most green dogs respond by protecting the handler, or do most dogs require to be taught the defense of handler as an excersise?

Simon
 

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I agree with Jeff, there is no defense in the defense of the handler. Although a scenario in training should be an attack of the dog. As far as defense OF the handler, as Jeff pointed out, it certainly should be practiced with green or dogs in initial training. You must train for any replicable event that can happen in real life. As for whether or not an untrained dog would protect the handler, it's certainly among those questionable behaviors. In my experience, I've seen dogs that felt they need to do something, but wasn't sure of what they needed to do. Which, to me, reinforces the need for training. The reliability is just not there, if not trained to perform. You may only get one chance in real life.

DFrost
 

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A powerful defense of handler (or pack member) is a double edged sword.

As a means of introducing an aggressive bite behavior - to a dog that has not had "fights" - it's a good thing. But you can't expect miracles. In other words, your dog will probably not "light up" immediately, will be tentative in the first bites. This is of course, dog and previous training dependent. My dog's first bites were all under the guise of defense of pack. I like it because you teach a dog to bite the "attacker" and be careful of you, there is no "attack the dog", so the initial pressure is less, and the typical threats against the pack serve as cues - to begin with - such as yelling, pushing, posturing, and they begin to teach a dog under which circumstances he may be called upon.

From a sport perspective, if your (sharp) dog is trained to bite a person that touches you, or a family member, he may bite the wrong person quite easily. In a PPD, IMO, it is best if the ONLY time a dog is allowed to bite in a "defense of handler" scenario, is after having recieved a cue that is aggressive in nature. This would only apply if the PPD is loose in the house/business/car, as opposed to kenneled, when strangers come into the picture. If you kennel your PPD, then it's a preventive, not defensive nor offensive format.

Another way to go with this, is defense of territory, like your car, your fence. This is easier, more traditional, and can be extrapolated to the ground easily.

I don't like automatic responses in a powerful dog...there must be a clear, clear handler-associated cue.
 

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Andre, In schutzhund one of the excercizes is Attack on the Handler. The agitator doesn't just walk out & touch the handler in a calm friendly way, instead he is very aggressive in manner, which requires the dog defend the handler. It doesn't create a double edged sword anymore than any other protection training does. If I misread your post & you already know all this, please forgive me, I'm slightly kooky today because of my meds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Andres Martin said:
...if your (sharp) dog is trained to bite a person that touches you, or a family member, he may bite the wrong person quite easily...

Another way to go with this, is defense of territory, like your car, your fence. This is easier, more traditional, and can be extrapolated to the ground easily.
This would have worked well for my dog, except that it has the same pitfalls you talk about regarding defense of handler scenarios. The last thing I want to do is encourage territoriality. As I type this, my dog is on the bay window doing the heavy breathing huffy thing every time someone walks by the house (he knows the look he'll get if he fires up on one more passerby today :evil: ).
 

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The great majority of Schutzhund training is prey/play based...and so that "evident" attack on the handler simply is the cue for the dog to bite a sleeve. No defense involved. The agitator's manner does not require the dog to defend. The agitator's manner is simply what the dog has to wait for before he's allowed a self-gratifying bite.

The double edged sword comes in when you have a sharp and aggressive - or a very high prey - sport dog that happens to be loose in your house, and someone comes in and hugs you, or lifts one of your kids up. The dog may be fine in the absence of physical contact, but his eyes turn red if he gets cued by his trained patterns.

Evidently, a reasonable owner would be aware, and prevent problems. In fact, most SHARP sport dog and law enforcement dog owners put their dogs into kennels when strangers come into their property. Many times sport dogs live completely in kennels.

As I type this, my dog is on the bay window doing the heavy breathing huffy thing every time someone walks by the house
Theoreticaly then, your dog is willing to show aggressive behavior to a passerby while he's looking out your window, and you (theoretically) don't have to worry much about "defense". You have more to worry about in teaching CONTROL.

Defense of handler scenarios for your house dog BEFORE he has very decent control, is putting the chicken before the egg.
 

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" and can be extrapolated to the ground easily. "

" liz wrote - What do you mean in this phrase? "
Ok, I looked it up in the dictionary, I think I understand what you meant.
 

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Andres - Yes, you are right. I have always put my dogs up just to be on the safe side, but I think that they are met with aggression on the part of the agitator is key to the dogs' reaction. Since my dogs have always been of the sharp, hard, high energy variety, I do crate or kennel when company comes over - better to be safe than sorry. Plus I just really feel uncomfortable when people pay a little too much attention to the dog. Especially since mine are unaccustomed to the high pitched sounds & freaky quick movements of children, & even some adults.

In schutzhund a dog that is all prey ends up loosing points in the long run. I don't think it is a good idea to trial a dog which only knows prey, they tend to get locked into it.Young dogs are all prey drive. A dog needs maturity before working in defense. It is very important not to lock the dog into defense or prey. Sometimes at trials you see a lot of dogs locked in prey, but not at higher level trials. When he is pushed to defend himself, he must fight or flee. This is when you see the fight.

Oh, & by the way, I'm sorry I left the "s" off your name in my previous post.
 

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Since the question did pertain to both sport and working dogs, I have to say my party line.

There are two times the dog is permitted to bite;

1. When commanded

2. when the handler is attacked. This does not incluce threatened, threatening gestures, high pitched sounds or movement.

It is a learned behavior, and yes the control has to be solid. It's an objective that is a critical issue in measurement. The dog does not pass with a critical failure.

DFrost
 
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