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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, as a complete newbie, and having heard this phrase fairly frequently, here's a couple questions.

what exactly does that mean? it seems undesirable (from context), so how to prevent it?
 

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You'll find it means different things to different people. Prey is necessary, it's the hunt and chase. In the old days we called it prey/kill. meaning the hunt/chase, capture and holding on. That doesn't seem to fit today's new definitions. Basically now, they look for the prey drive for the chase, then fight when contact is made. Some describe different fight drives as to how the dog manages to continue the attack. the results in the sport world differ somewhat from the police world. Of course if you are in my antiquated program, it's still prey/kill. The chase, the hit, the fight until commanded to do something different.

I'm sure someone else will give some other descriptions.

DFrost
 

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My young dog (13 months) is also a dog that easily becomes locked in prey. He wants his prey so badly that he is only focussed on the prey (the sleeve). No matter what the decoy did, he only looked at his prey. In the first place we couldnt even get him in defense drive, even though the threat from the helper was very high. (already for an adult dog, this dog was not even 12 months old!)
Now we finally got him defensive last week. The sleeve was on the ground and the helper could get my dog foccused on him. Finally away from the sleeve!
Even though prey bites and attacks are very pretty to look at (full bites, hard attacks) we also want our dogs to work in defense sometimes. That ofcourse is a decision you make, you can also keep working in his prey-drive if the dog doesnt cares about the threats anyway. :wink:
 

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We intentionally work with an extra sleeve or two on the ground in order to keep the dog focused on the helper. The dog has to be ready for defence, IMHO!
 

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Even then (in my opinion) the dog can still be in prey drive. All you do is teaching the dog that his game can continue after the (first) sleeve has fallen on the ground.
Unless you keep the sleeve behind your back and keep it there while you're working him in his defense drive (getting a deeper bark, a change in his expression etc), and only show him the sleeve at the moment you will give him a bite. (but offcourse they see immediately that you have a sleeve behind your back, so a dog that's locked in prey will try to look behind the helper to get a glimp off the sleeve. These dogs simply ignore the threats of the helper.)

Sometimes I wonder what most prey-locked dogs will do once they get real threatened. Not by a decoy I mean, but in the real life...
 

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<< I wonder what most prey-locked dogs will do once they get real threatened. Not by a decoy I mean, but in the real life...>>>

That's when we put a muzzle on them and find out.

DFrost
 

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David, is it common for a street K9 to initially back off on their first real street bite? No hidden sleeve, no muzzle, just meat. I've heard that a few times and with it, that the real dogs will get over it right away. Some never do.
 

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I know of at least 5 dogs who screwed up their first street bite, sometimes they come back to my trainer for additional aggression work and go out in the street again and bite no problem, sometimes they bite let go, act confused then try again. My trainer always gives rookie cops this advice: "Be selective of your dogs first bite". i.e. if it's some serial killer that just slaughtered 20 people, you don't send a rookie dog for his first bite, you send the dog for an easy bite and let the experienced dogs do the real work, otherwise you could end up pretty screwed :lol: Also, dogs who gain street experience develop their own fighting style that is totally different to the way they fight on the training field. For example I was facing the wall hiding my hands and arms from the dog acting totally passive n a dog who was never formally taught to do leg bites automatically decides that he should nail my calf because that's something he taught himself to do "on the job".
 

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Locked in prey...
Equipment fixation...
Prey monsters...

IMO, locked in prey dogs can - and do - deliver excellent bites on meat. Big prey dogs bite first and ask questions later.

However, with dogs that are locked in prey, equipment oriented, or prey monsters...it's quite easy to keep the dog's teeth occupied on something other than yourself...like a rolled up T-Shirt, a rag, your belt, etc.

I have yet to see an experienced decoy commit a crime that warrants K9 deployment. It would be interesting.

So if your dog is a "locked in prey" dog and is sent to bite an experienced decoy/criminal, it's quite likely that your dog is not gonna bite da meat.
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
I My trainer always gives rookie cops this advice: "Be selective of your dogs first bite". i.e. if it's some serial killer that just slaughtered 20 people, you don't send a rookie dog for his first bite, you send the dog for an easy bite and let the experienced dogs do the real work, otherwise you could end up pretty screwed :lol: ".
Hah, that is easier said then done on a police department. Particularly if you don't have a lot of K-9 units. I can't even pick who rookie cops in training get to fight with and its just as bad when you are with a human being who gets confused. It is not bad advise, but it is unrealistic.
 

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When a dog bites for real,he knows how and where to bite instinctively.It is not taught and they dont "learn" it on there own.Although some dogs have been conditioned to bite in a certain way and some have been bred for certain traits so much that they get "locked in prey".
The confusion starts when the dog finally gets in a real bite situation but has been conditioned to bite in an unnatural way.Although I believe the more serious type of dog will have less trouble because he can differentiate between training and real situation more clearly.

Yes a "locked in prey" dog can bite effectively but I wouldnt want to trust them in ALL situations.
 

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Michele Moore said:
Mike Schoonbrood said:
I My trainer always gives rookie cops this advice: "Be selective of your dogs first bite". i.e. if it's some serial killer that just slaughtered 20 people, you don't send a rookie dog for his first bite, you send the dog for an easy bite and let the experienced dogs do the real work, otherwise you could end up pretty screwed :lol: ".
Hah, that is easier said then done on a police department. Particularly if you don't have a lot of K-9 units. I can't even pick who rookie cops in training get to fight with and its just as bad when you are with a human being who gets confused. It is not bad advise, but it is unrealistic.
I know of a few K9 handlers who leave their K9's in the vehicle for the first 6 months of patrol while they finish training on a too-young dog, even after certification, it depends heavily on the department I'm sure, lots of variables.
 

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Mike, why is a "too-young" dog even on the street then? I am just curious. Where I work K-9 units are typically no call status also, so it may not be that way where you are. They only respond to emergency calls, calls where officers request K-9 units etc. Often we may only have 1 or 2 K-9's on also. I know of many departments that only have 1 or 2 K-9 units at all.

This is getting a little off topic. My comment was just that it isn't that easy to pick a working dog's first bite and you don't always know your criminal happens to have done 20 years of hard time and won't go back no matter what when you deploy a dog in the first place. We don't always have the luxury of collecitng all kinds of data and history before using force. But you are right, there are a lot of variables. That is what in my opinion makes that some good advise, but difficult to impliment in real life. I just train people at work not dogs though, so who knows.
 

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Someone posted a video a while back...of a malinois (in AZ) sent in on a guy that had kidnapped a baby...

The guy saw the dog coming at him, put an attaché in the dog's mouth...or something like a bag...the dog bit it, spat it out and then grabbed the guy.

REAL close civil agitation, where the decoy puts stuff out (like the flap of the shirt the decoy is wearing) for the dog to bite, and the dog is "expected" to spit it out, or "go for the meat" from the start, is a good way to evaluate and train your dog. The speed and realism has to be high. Kids, don't try this at home. It's only for experienced and fit people - decoy and handler - and if done right is quite dangerous.
 

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Andres Martin said:
Someone posted a video a while back...of a malinois (in AZ) sent in on a guy that had kidnapped a baby...

The guy saw the dog coming at him, put an attaché in the dog's mouth...or something like a bag...the dog bit it, spat it out and then grabbed the guy.

REAL close civil agitation, where the decoy puts stuff out (like the flap of the shirt the decoy is wearing) for the dog to bite, and the dog is "expected" to spit it out, or "go for the meat" from the start, is a good way to evaluate and train your dog. The speed and realism has to be high. Kids, don't try this at home. It's only for experienced and fit people - decoy and handler - and if done right is quite dangerous.
I do this also but like Andres said,it is dangerous.When you are that close the dog just bites what it can get a hold of to pull you close enough to get meat.
 

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<<<is it common for a street K9 to initially back off on their first real street bite?>>>

Bob, my best answer is; shouldn't be common. Putting a dog on the street, as you can imagine, is a serious milestone. If the trainer puts it out as "ready to go" and it isn't, there is a serious flaw in the testing procedure. Unfortunately, I've heard of it happening. Usually not the case however with a department that has a staffed, canine training section. It usually occurs with small departments, that buy trained dogs from vendors and just don't have the support staff at their local PD.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so (correct me if i have any wrong ideas please), "locked in prey" is a dog that's completely fixated on (most commonly), the sleeve; one that will disregard the helper and the helper's actions and focus EXCLUSIVELY on the sleeve irregardless of any other "threat".

ie, if his handler's throat is being cut by the helper, if the sleeve is there, he'll kill the sleeve and lose his handler.

the next part of the question: how to prevent this? muzzle-work, ok, got that, but how do you know when to start some muzzle work to prevent locking into prey?

one starts working in prey; at some point in time (i'm not clear about this at all, but have, i think, a good TD), put pressure on the dog to push it into defense, and i think THIS somehow morphs into NOT being locked in prey.

am i close???
 

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David Frost said:
<<<is it common for a street K9 to initially back off on their first real street bite?>>>

Bob, my best answer is; shouldn't be common. Putting a dog on the street, as you can imagine, is a serious milestone. If the trainer puts it out as "ready to go" and it isn't, there is a serious flaw in the testing procedure. Unfortunately, I've heard of it happening. Usually not the case however with a department that has a staffed, canine training section. It usually occurs with small departments, that buy trained dogs from vendors and just don't have the support staff at their local PD.

DFrost
Small dept and no support staff hit's it on the head for the one particular instance I was told about!
 

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ann freier said:
so (correct me if i have any wrong ideas please), "locked in prey" is a dog that's completely fixated on (most commonly), the sleeve; one that will disregard the helper and the helper's actions and focus EXCLUSIVELY on the sleeve irregardless of any other "threat".

ie, if his handler's throat is being cut by the helper, if the sleeve is there, he'll kill the sleeve and lose his handler.

the next part of the question: how to prevent this? muzzle-work, ok, got that, but how do you know when to start some muzzle work to prevent locking into prey?

one starts working in prey; at some point in time (i'm not clear about this at all, but have, i think, a good TD), put pressure on the dog to push it into defense, and i think THIS somehow morphs into NOT being locked in prey.

am i close???
Yes, I totally agree with you.

My opinion is that once you see that you're dog is a true preymonster you should work him much more on his defense, more than others from the same age. Try hard to get him very serious sometimes (hit him with the whip against his feet, that helps mostly to get them pissed off). He should become that angry that he just forgets his prey for a few seconds.
But... that can be difficult... I know... :roll: :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thank heavens someone decided to keep this thread alive (thanks saskia!).

now, your dog, at 10 months, is WAY farther along in the bitework than mine, but i think that's mostly due to exposure (if i get to training 1x/mo, that's about it). fantastic vids, BTW--keep 'em coming!!

anyway, at what point does one start pushing a dog into defense (oh, i'm not sure i'm even making sense to myself :?: )--when they're well-based and solid in the prey (but not TOO solid, ie "locked"), and how does one tell that??? maybe i'm asking too much that can't really be answered on a forum. gotta see the dog work, etc.

but i tend to agree w/d frost: prey drive really *should* equal not only chasing prey, but also killing it--that's the basic instinct. i have a mutt that WILL NOT quit once she's on prey; this includes chewing tree roots, heaving rocks, being a ditch-witch. whatever it takes to get the varmint.

how does one go from that extreme in real life to the sport dog? just a good TD (and at least a competent handler)? but how do you tell when it's time to work the defense in to prevent *prey-locked*?

hope everyone has a thankful thanksgiving, BTW. \:D/
 
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