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I just wanted opinions on this DVD from Leerburg. I have not seen this DVD other than the sample. I have several other Leerburg DVDs and they are very good. I would not want to ask this on the Leerburg site because I feel they would say nothing but good things. My boy GSD Simba, who is 14 months old, has been slow to mature. I am wanting to enhance his drive and bitework. I do a lot of drive building with the ball. I feel he has the drive but I have taken it very slow. He has had very little pressue put on him, everything we have done has been very motivational. I feel I have plenty of time to learn. I am learning so so much about prey drive of a GSD. I just joined a schutzhund club and I get to work several times monthly. I need to work him more. I want to start working him some myself. I want to prepare him for the helper and make it an easy transition. This DVD goes against many trainers suggestions because you will do some helper work with your dog. I feel that as long as you work your Dog in prey you are safe. I am looking to enhance what is already there. Opionions or comments are welcome.

Preparing Your dog for the helper
 

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Although I don't have that particular DVD, I have the drive training. The one your talking about is, from my understanding, a good one but you need to know if your dog is ready for it.
Although it's easy enough to say "Prey only", inexpierienced folks don't realize how simple it is to cross the line between prey and defence. Someone here (Jeff?) made the comment that something as simple as inappropriate eye contact at the wrong time can switch the dog over.
You may still want to purchase it for your own education, but as a beginner, going against your trainer may not be in yours or your dogs best interest.
Did I confuse you enough? :D
 

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In addition to what Bob said, it also very heavily depends on the dog -- some dogs just can't be put into defense by the handler as easily because they have the bond and history with the handler (this doesn't count for puppies who have, as yet, a pretty weak bond with their handler). My GSD for example tries to be very defensive but reverts back to whiney prey barking when he's not challenged enough. When I first started working my own dog with an agitation whip about a month ago, he first reacted scared like he was afraid daddy was mad at him! I gave him a "Watch" command to get him barking n bring him out of his negative reaction, n he reacted very defensively because he's used to working defensively with the whip n wasn't sure what the heck was going on.... I panicked because my dog was getting serious with ME, I called up my trainer n said hey what do I do if my dog is getting defensive with me.... he told me... don't look at him when I crack the whip, present the side of my body and run back n forth teasing him with the sleeve while cracking the whip... he'll get over it as soon as he realizes that I'm playing with him. Sure enough, crack the whip, give him a bite, praise him n let him run around the field with it -- 2 or 3 bites later he was enjoying himself as he realized what the new game was. Now anytime I crack the whip he comes running looking for the sleeve.

As Bob said, for a beginner with the "wrong" kinda dog, it's very easy to screw up... but if you can read the dog properly and the dog has the right kinda temprement for doing daddy-decoy work, you can even go as far as to challenge your own dog a little as your dog learns that it's nothing more than a game when he's with you. I've also seen plenty of dogs who I would never do any decoying with if they were my own dog! :lol: It's all about reading the dog and understanding what you can and cannot do with an individual dog, which as Bob pointed out, can be screwed up if you don't know what you're doing. Not that I know what I'm doing :lol: but I know my dog incredibly well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Awesome information

Awesome information.

A little information on my dog.
I do know my dog, we have bonded very well. Simba is very social and has a great tempermeant. He has played with children, is not dog agressive, and been many places on and off lease. He looks at me as Alpha and I always make sure I act as the pack leader. My dog knows his boundaries. I would not call him dominant in any fashion. I like this. This may change but he thinks everything is a game. He has become more protective of my wife and our property. Several months ago I was on a business trip and Simba decided he did not want to sleep in the crate in the bedroom. He would go bonkers everytime he was put in the crate by my wife. My wife said she had never seen him act this way. She said he was barking and spinning. He wanted out. She let him out twice and he checked the house out. Simba then came back in the bedroom and he laid in front of the door and protected his den while I was gone. He refused to be in his crate. I thought this was awesome. The other day I had him tied up to a poll in the back yard and had the jute rag and finally got him to bark at the prey. I would move the prey everytime he barked and he got really pumped. I have him a few bites and ran him in circles. It was a pure prey. I am looking to teach him the game of bite work and keep it simple. Thats all. I hope this helps you understand my dog and what I want to accomplish with getting him ready for the helper.
 

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I think the DVD has some good information and it is one approach to bitework. If you have a social, prey based dog, you would probably benefit from the DVD. You mentioned you worked your 14 month old dog on a rag. I would definetly be using a bite pillow at his age, and the DVD goes into some specifics in that area.
A contrary approach to that DVD is to wait until the dog is around a year old and then bring him out for bitework and approach the work a little more seriously. The downside of that approach is that you miss out on a lot of training and learning about your dog. I think the biggest factor in terms of how a dog turns out is his genetics, provided the training isn't total crap.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
age and lines

Simba is just turning 15 months and he is german showlines. The kennel/person I bought the dog from said he will mature very slowly and take it easy. I am aware he is not a working dog and did not expect that. The kennel he came from has very nice german showlines that work nicely. I have seen many of his dogs work and how he works them. I actually have helped with many dogs in the kennel and aware of the ones that can work and can not. If the dog can not work on the field they must find a new home other than at the kennel for breeding. Simba has awesome food drive, very nice prey drive and great tempermeant. He is very even in all of his drives and what a nice companion. None of his drives are too much or over the top. He really keys of me and my mood. I got what I wanted but I am very green to schutzhund training and dog training. I have learned so much and that is why I am asking about the Leerburg DVD on this board.
 

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a little history on Simba's bitework

I got to work simba some on bitework when he was very young(3-5 months) but it was very very limited. Fall/Winter came and no bitework. Then I found a club not far that in Apiril 2006. I have been working him at this club and I really like it. When I joined the club he was just over 1 year. They did some work with him but he did not understand the game. He is starting to understand. He gets excited and wants the prey item. I would consider myself very far behind in the bite development but I have done a lot of obedience with very little compulsion. I just started with the prong. I have done a lot of drive building with the ball and he works nicely for it. I have used the Bernhard Flinks method of building drive. I know the prey is there for the bitework but he needs to learn the game. I want to take things slowly and have a good foundation. I know I have missed so much but that is my fault for not finding a club sooner. I feel I am on the right track now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
club information

Greater Cincinnati SchH Club
Tom Huelsman
14365 Brown Road
Verona, KY 41092
859-485-6959
 

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As for Balls, you can make a dog ball nuts – and it will do nothing for his pray drive.

Be careful – many new comers over do this in the hope to get the drives up – you have to transition it – and soon. Use a stick, a tug, a rope, and a piece of soft metal – like aluminium pool pipes, and get some weight into it as he grows fonder of it.

I come from another school, her we put the dog on defence from three months old – or at least start with it, and then we introduce the whip….i don’t want to pen a new debate here, but I think you are going way to slow. At 15 months, he could have been fully trained by now, if you had a good trainer. Just my humble opinion. :?
 

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opinions on dvd

Daniel, I have worked both of my dogs with the techniques from all of Bernhard's DVDs. My female is extreme all drives & my male is a serious dog with very high all drives. I have backed tied my dogs & work them with a bite pillow, all kept in prey drive. As Bob has said said you really have to know your dog. My male will make SERIOUS eye contact with anyone except me. He is just looking for an opportunity to push someone. If you can keep it in prey, you are ok....I would not want to push my own dogs over the line into defense & destroy my bond & relationship with them. BIG MISTAKE!!! If are not confortable or are unsure of where that line is.....I would leave that work to someone that knows what they are doing & not take the chance of destroying your relationship with your dog. JMHO
 
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