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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any suggestions for improving a dog's entry when engaging. I want the dog to punch through the decoy instead of "floating up" to bite, especially on backbites and the long bite. I have done a little tie out work with a bungee and worked with the decoy jumping straight up and back right when the dog makes contact. Any other ideas? He is strong out of the box, but then become a little unsure and starts to slow right before entry. This is a male GSD who is 18 months old.
 

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Lots of bungie work and frustration.... grab one of the 30ft bungie's and tie it to a post, then grab a 20ft cotton line and tie it to the end of the bungie, figure out at which point in the field the dog is gonna meet resistance n put the decoy where the dog will be able to reach him but resistance builds up, but not far enough for the dog to fly backwards if he misses. Now, be very careful the dog doesn't fly back, need great handling n a good decoy for this, send the dog from 50ft away. Also lots of run-away bites, the dog always has to chase after the decoy n keep the forward motion. We also have a 8ft tall horse walker post, with the swivel on top, and a line with a big spring on it, the decoy can frustrate the dog around a circle n then when the dog strikes the line and the spring guide him upwards n you can catch the dog high.

Some dogs just don't wanna strike, some dogs do it naturally, some things help a little but maybe the dog will never be a flyer. Not always a bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll play around with your suggestion and see if we can get the timing and distance to a workable arrangement. The dog flying back has been why I've been resistant to using a bungee. I have a 15' bungee that stretches to 30' feet, but if the dog misses, he is going to have trouble keeping his footing. I have tried tying the dog out on the bungee with the dog at the end just before there is enough tension to pull him back. Then you need a post on either side of the dog about three feet to either side of him. You attach a short ( about a 2' bungee) to both posts and then attach each bungee to the sides of the dog's fursaver. The short bungees help keep the dog in place so he won't fly backward nearly as much. The dog has to move forward into the bite, and hopefully will have some "muscle memory" that transfers to open field bites. I have only used this approach a couple of times though, not enough to see any real progress. This dog definitely will not be a flyer, but I would like to see a stronger commitment to the entry.
 

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Always have 2 handlers when working the bungie like this, as soon as handler #2 who is wearing thick gloves as not to get rope burn sees that the dog is gonna miss or fly back, he holds the line tight so the dog doesn't have much back pressure left n therefore won't injure himself. Like I said, need good handling on this one.
 

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If he is strong out of the box but then slow down when he gets to the decoy, then he just does not have enough drive and confident to punch through, that is what you should work on, his mental state of mind, build more prey drive with the dog so it will help him carry through the fear, decoy should makes more movement on the sleeve all the way to right before he hits and not just hold the sleeve out when he run away, movemnent on the sleeve is live prey, holding a sleeve still is a dead prey, you also wants the decoy to snap his head back and acts hurt when the dog hits, your dog needs more drive and confident building.
 

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I don't know if this will help but I will throw it out there: My police k-9 use to drive right through a decoy very powerfully. I noticed a change, after allowing certain decoys to work him. I then consciously watched the decoys and noticed that they would slow down almost planting their feet in preparation for him engaging from a long distance. We fixed this by having a really good decoy jog out and then slow down (as the other decoy's had in the past) you could see Jarko slowing as well - I'm sure he was thinking same ol' same ol' but then when Jarko got about 10 ft away the decoy would all out take off in a sprint. I swear I could see the surprise in Jarko's face. He learned very quickly not to slow down.
 

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Chip, Can you say why you want a super fast entry?

If you're using a sleeve, the recommendations you've recieved so far are what I would use. My only "edit" would be to Mike's recommendation of using a 30ft bungee and a line. I would skip the second line, and only use the 30ft bungee - single strand - tied to a 6 ft leash on the end.

Tie one end of the bungee to something solid. Measure out how far you can stretch the bungee and leash by walking, and when you feel solid resistance (not a huge amount), mark the ground. You don't want to mark the point where the bungee doesn't stretch any more. Also, the leash is there so you have something that's non-stretch to take your dog when you approach after the bite. Use a harness, and clip the bungee-leash on the harness.

Place the decoy depending on your specific goal. You should start with run away bites. Place the decoy within the stretch limit, and let the dog go so he bites the decoy more or less at your mark on the ground, as the decoy jogs away. Then you can work - increasing the level of "frontality" - on static bites, where you place the decoy on the mark. Then you can work "courage" test type bites, where you'd place the decoy BEYOND the mark, and you'd let go of the dog, so the dog would bite more or less when the decoy is at the mark while jogging towards you. If you do two or three reps using the bungee, and the last one without it, by simply unhitching the leash from the harness, you'll find the dog will increase his effort when he comes up close to the decoy. If the dog bites at all, this will make it so he comes in faster. He can't help it, due to the small size of his brain, but to become conditioned. :wink: :wink: Make sure you reinforce that with good takes. You won't need SUPERDECOY MAN like that. :wink:

Finally, if you focus on that your goal is to increase the speed of entry, make sure the decoy doesn't pull against the dog while on the bungee and reward by handing the sleeve during a pull, because you will teach your dog to pull away that way. The decoy should walk in to the less tension zone, after a good take...and quickly give the sleeve, while the handler is smoothly walking towards the dog, sliding the bungee through his hand, moving up to the leash. There are a huge number of variations to this, depending on what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate the helpful ideas and will work them into our training and see what happens.
Mike-I wouldn't be able to use a second handler at this point because the dog would bite him, and I'm not wanting to work on that level of control yet, especially since I'm trying to build his entries. I can clean that up later with the e-collar.
Andres-I'm looking to build my dog's entries because I see it as a way of assessing his bitework and confidence. But as far as the usefulness of a fast entry, it is probably more for show than function. This dog handles things like building searches, biting in enclosed areas, on vehicles, etc. well. Gunshots while on the suit/sleeve are not an issue. We train in a junkyard at times and the decoy can hide in a vehicle 100 yards away while the dog is out of sight, and he will hunt him off leash very much in drive and engage in a strong passive bite on the suit. He will also go over 2-3 foot obstacles and engage while off the ground where he has to come forward in the bite, and does well with escape/prey bites. I think the sport culture sort of sets the standards in some ways regarding what looks flashy.
 

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i have a question that's kinda OT--on a tangent (mods, if it should be a new topic, feel free to move :) ).

is there some/anything i should be doing w/my pup (11 mo), to encourage him to push rather than pull during drive/grip work? he has an awesome grip--full mouth, and he WILL not loosen up or let go when we do tug work. i can lift him off the ground (barely--he's 80 lbs), and he doesn't loosen up.

but i HAVE wondered about whether i should be doing something else at this point to encourage the "push". i should add that he's just barely started in bitework (and pano is slowing this down even more), we're still working on building drive and grips. :?:
 

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Quote:Mike-I wouldn't be able to use a second handler at this point because the dog would bite him,


Hmmmmmmmmmm sure he would. Use the second handler, or do it yourself. A dog that "floats" in on the entry is a dog that doesn't have a lot interest in the work.

Telling your dog not to bite the guy that is working the line for you is not TOO MUCH CONTROL.

Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.



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I have been reading this thread and have a question. I breed working dogs and have several in protection but I do not do the protection thing...but..I am a hunter. When I read things like my dog holds back or, as it has been referred to, floats, it would tell me the drive is not there for this type of work. I know people that have spent three years doing protection, making excuses the whole time, finally quit and the handwriting was on the wall at the outset. If I take a dog out in the field and he is afraid to engage after a time or two, he is a pet quality dog. Now, I have talked to a few trainers about this "building drives". They are convinced it improves the dog. Improves the dog for what? The dog is born with a certain, innate confidence level as he is born with certain desires or drives which may fluctuate depending on the prey or object of desire. The innate level of confidence is what the dog has to work with and when a real situation presents itself that may be more than a specific dog can handle, he no longer has the situation under control and becomes a fear biter or flees. Why does one work a dog that does not display the best qualities for the intended task. Here is what I liken this to. A conformation person will take a dog that appears to have it all into the ring. When you take a close look at the dog, the dog is cow hocked but the hair was left long on the inside to make the dog "appear" to have good legs.....but he doesn't really. Since much of what is done in, let's say schutzhund, is repetitive, the dog becomes conditioned and knows he is in no danger(since the first rule of thumb is to always let the dog win), are these sports really a good measure of a dogs "true" worth in regards to stability and temperament?
 

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Don Turnipseed said:
Since much of what is done in, let's say schutzhund, is repetitive, the dog becomes conditioned and knows he is in no danger(since the first rule of thumb is to always let the dog win), are these sports really a good measure of a dogs "true" worth in regards to stability and temperament?
NO! :lol:
 

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I know that for many it is the doing and training with the dog and that is great. And I really mean no disrespect because I do realise there are very important differences, but, with a fur dog, if he doesn't show over the top desire right away, the dog has no place in my kennel nor anyone that I know. Hunting fur is pretty much a "Natural" thing and if the don't have it, you are not going to put it there. Dangerous game requires a dog to work away from the handler and to put the brakes on game that is far superior to them.....on their own. This is why I question the purpose of working, training, increasing desire, and patching holes in a dog that shows obvious weaknesses. I raise and use my dogs for hog hunting. They get picked up and chucked 8' in the air into the brush and then they are really mad. Granted, this is past "natural" as even lions and bears leave hogs off the menu unless they are "really hungry". If the dog does not show me a no fear response to superior odds, I just don't put any time into them. I sometimes wonder if it isn't the challenge of "making" a dog that really intrigues a good trainer. Just curious.
 

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it's GOT to be, don't you think? the challenge of seeing how far you can take a given dog, with his given abilities, in the sport. it is for me (btw, a BH would be progress here for me :oops: ).

that's what "training" and a person's ability as a "trainer" is all about in the sport-dog training world. when a person claims to be a "hog-dog" trainer, or a "cattle-dog" trainer or a "sheep-dog" trainer, for real-life application, THAT'S a whole 'nother topic to me.

ideally, i think, a good trainer's a good trainer--it's all about working with the dog in the given application to maximize the dog's ability to do the JOB.
 
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