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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I at this meeting of multiple clubs (Sch, FR, Mondio all on display) yesterday and saw something I had not seen before (in my very newb experience in clubs and seeing other dogs). A BIG Rott was doing some Schutzhund sleeve work. The decoy slipped the sleeve, the Rott sat down on top of it growling at the decoy, the handler stepped up and the Rott started getting really noisy at this point, the handler pulled up on the prong (pulled the Rott into a sit and kept lots of tension straight up in the air) and was making direct eye contact with the Rott, which at this point was obviously pissed and making eye contact right back.

The handler was telling the dog to platz, the Rott was not responding, just mad. Eventually the handler defused it by turning away and leading the dog around him then platzing, successfully.

As it turned out, the Rott had fanged himself on the sleeve (this was what I heard). I can't figure out whether the handler diffused the situation properly or not...the eye contact with the arm straight over the sitting Rott while applying all that tension up struck me as dicey...kind of hard to describe. Glad it worked out as that guy was not huge and that Rott was bigger than him and would easily have launched into the guy's face if it had wanted. I know it got real quiet in the facility (there was about 30-40 people there) when this was going down, it was tense.

So not to criticize the handler...I didn't know him, didn't know the dog, and am probably not describing the situation correctly...

but what are good ways to defuse dogs that hit a trigger like this? I don't know if the answer is the same for sport or service dogs. How should one react when a dog decides that it's not really happy with you? How do you posture yourself, how do you keep distance between you and the dog, what eye contact is best, etc.?
 

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It's dog dependent.

If you have a truly dominant dog that you raised from a puppy, it's one thing. If you bought an adult dog, and you're in the "bonding" stage, it's another, and if you're past the bonding stage, and you can't handle the dog, it's yet another.

It also depends on if the goal for the dog relies heavily on dog-handler close interaction under stress...or if it's OK for the dog to pursue its own goals.

If you SUDDENLY appear more dominant than the dog...and you don't deserve it...you can get bitten. So be safe...

There is a fine line and much subtlety involved in dominating a dominant dog, so the dog feels dominated yet does not try to eat you. Having said that, sometimes a good sh!tkicking is what's needed.

One thing is for sure...a TRULY dominant dog is for experienced people. I write "truly" because the majority of dogs aren't obsessively dominant...they simply don't have or haven't had correct leadership, bond, work, etc.
 

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I've had one handler aggressive dog in my life and I would rate him as unstable more then anything. Just plain dangerous.
No doubt there are true handler aggressive dogs out there but most of what I've seen is excessive, unfair, or just plain bad corrections and poor leadership.
Regardless of the aggression level, I can't imagine a sound dog that I've raised ever testing me to the point of comming after me.
 

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I don't care what stage the dog is in. If I see this in a dog I have little choice but to take charge and quick. I'll do what ever I can to show this dog that the behaviour he just showed is NOT going to get me eaten. I'll string him up BUT quick. I'll worry about the rest later. I might get eaten but not because he just didn't like something I had no control over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dave Curtis said:
Woody,

Did you meet Paula and her mal Ciko at this training session? I train with her and her club these days. I was ready to go to that training day but one of my dogs recently had surgery and decided it was time to remove all his sutures.
I saw Paula there, did not get a chance to talk to her. I met Paula the first few times I was out at RedStar...I remember the dog, I think? Mal doing PSA. She was a nice lady (she said nice things about my dog so she is a nice lady :lol:).

Edited to say, Dave, that was quite the facility. 7,500 sq ft indoors (dirt floor) with 30 ft ceilings and Sch & Ring equipment lining the walls for anybody to use. They had an RV pulled in there for music and food, and space heaters. Football field converted into a Ring field with a snow fence that could drop for tracking and stuff for Sch. Seperate agility field. House on the property with bathroom and satellite (don't know if people lived there?). Parking on a dead end street, must have been 25-30 cars there when I arrived. All on 10 acres of land...that is what I call a sport dog enthusiast. Sheesh.

I really wish I had gotten this on videotape. Based on this discussion and the PMs I have gotten, there were a few things going on there. Pain that got tranferred to the decoy and then to the handler (I think). Maybe handler-dog issues (I don't know if this was a personal dog or what. Rotts being a P.I.T.A. And the way the whole thing went down. I think the dog was as surprised as everybody at the way it reacted, don't know, but would have been interesting to watch with more people than just me to discuss. Truly dominant dogs are a curiousity to me.
 

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QUOTE:I don't care what stage the dog is in. If I see this in a dog I have little choice but to take charge and quick. I'll do what ever I can to show this dog that the behaviour he just showed is NOT going to get me eaten. I'll string him up BUT quick. I'll worry about the rest later.

This is some advice that I want to caution everyone about. Rotts are socially aggressive, and this kind of thought process can get you hurt in a hospital not going to make it way.

It is better in my opinion with a Rott to talk them down, I used to ask them what were they doing? and different things that I say all the time when I first see them, or am playing with them.

A socially dominant dog is pretty much over most peoples heads, especially when the basis of training is compulsion. I have had dogs beat the correction and come at my face, chest, arm, leg. When this happens, it is over, they are not going to stop until you are hurt.

At my age, there is no way I could get out of the way like I was able to back then.

So I would be very cautious with compulsion with these kind of dogs.



However, these dogs are not without a lot of signs that they are like this. There are a lot of things you can do as a handler to not ever have to deal with them directing this at you.

Like Andres said, the bond is important.

I also think that with these dogs you can verbalize corrections, and not use force. I used to like to take the dogs off the field, and training was over for quite a while.

Clarity is one thing that is a must with these dogs. You can muddle about with any other dog and the dog might not understand, but definately won't be dangerous.

There are more, I owned several of these dogs.



 

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That kind of thought process actually saved him from getting hurt worse than he did. He had a Rott attack him, all dad was doing was putting a collar on the dog and the dog just went pysco and latched on his hand. I don't know how cause it was a big Rott but dad picked him up and then body slammed him with the dog still on his hand. He managed to choke him out with the other hand and when the dog went limp another guy tried to get another leash on him but as dad slacked off the dog rebit and they went for round two. Finally they got the dog off and put him in the kennel. I'm here to tell ya, a dog like that, there isn't any kind of talking you could do to help that situation. That was clearly an unstable dog and had some issues. Now when a dog has latched into you is it still best to talk him down or is ok then to use some brutal force? :? Every situation is different but if you have the option of calming one down verbally well then by all means do it because it IS the safest way, but sometimes you just don't have that option and you have to do what you can to lessen your injuries because at that point I don't care what happens to the dog. Alls fair in love and war. :D
 

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Jeff, You should have seen it. WOW and WOW again. He gave me no other option. Had to do what I had to do and had to do it fast. I have no idea where I got the strengh to pick up this 85 pound piece of meat grinder with one hand. Yes I do, I was just plan scared. This dog was a nutty. When I started to put the collar on him, I saw it in his eyes. Before I could react he had me and then it was on. People that hasn't ever been eaten, good and I'm glad for you. If you have been, there is a different respect for all dogs. Hey, I think it has made me a better trainer. Maybe not better but wiser.
When you dance with the devil you have to pay the fiddler sooner or later.
 
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