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Hey, can we get a controversial subject going on here for a change? ;)

I really enjoy PPD training. I guess what I like most about it is the variety of situations (infinite) that can be created for the PPD as opposed to a sport only dog that is more likely to find itself being conditioned and trained for the same routine.

Can any of you point out certain training techniques that are commonly used for sport only dogs and that you feel should NOT be used for a PPD/PSD dog?

One technique in general that poses a question in my mind is the slipping of a sleeve on a fully-trained PPD/PSD dog. I know this is a good foundation training method for building the dog, etc. But for a fully trained PPD/PSD do you feel that the dog's "reward" should instead come from the satisfaction of kicking the decoy's ass or is carrying off the sleeve still a good way to go?

Please comment on this and mention any other techniques that you feel should stay on the sport field only.

Thanks.
 

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HI Patrick...

this is a fence, which many people will fall on one side of or the other...:-&

The winning of a sleeve, is a postive return for determination and effort. Many PPD/PSD (if they are properly trained)..will drop the sleeve and re-engage if required...

I know many buddies that have the decoy training with covert AND overt sleeve... When the dog has won the overt sleeve and is doing the prancing around with it in his/her mouth..(head and tail up)...the decoy will either attack the handler or run away.....

The dog will then drop the sleeve and do what is necessary....

I believe this sort of training is essential for the real world...where the bad guy may often discard clothing in an attempt to put the dog off...
 

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The bark and hold in sport has the dog on top of the bad guy. If the bad guy has a weapon, the dog will seriously get hurt going in that close and NOT biting.
A street K9, for obvious reasons will stand back on a B&H. Still could get seriously hurt if the BG has a weapon.
David and other LEOs can explain other reasons the B&H is a bad idea.
 

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I really enjoy PPD training. I guess what I like most about it is the variety of situations (infinite) that can be created for the PPD as opposed to a sport only dog that is more likely to find itself being conditioned and trained for the same routine.
I think this is a common misconception. My girl Cali, I'll use her as an example since I've had her the longest, and raised her from birth, has always been trained for French Ring. That, other than about a 3 month side trip into Schutzhund, has been what we do. Her focus is to be a sport dog. But if you look through her website http://www.dantero.com/dogs.php?id=1 you will see photos and video of her doing muzzle work, biting up in trees, in barns, up on top vehicles, various environmental opposition, hidden sleeve work, etc. I take all the skills she needs to compete on the FR field, and expand them to include any and all scenarios I can come up with. A) it's fun :) But B) it makes her a better competition dog in Ring. If she's used to guarding ANY item I put down and tell her to guard, in any location, with any distraction, then the FR guard of object isn't nearly as difficult. If she'll escort a guy up and down stairs, over logs in the woods, through water, up and down bleachers, etc then escorting him on a flat field won't be as hard.

Not all sport people do this, but I know more that do incorporate this type of training into their sport work than don't. Sch dogs that do suit and muzzle work. FR dogs that do environmental work, etc.

As far as slipping the sleeve goes, I think even for a finished PP dog this can have some benefit. You may not want the dog to carry, but slipping allows the dog the chance to spit it out and redirect ;-) However, if you are trying to work on grips, or calm a dog who is to defensive, you may want to make the work a little more prey oriented. I don't think that's always a bad thing.

I would not teach a PP dog a FR defense of handler. I'd teach them the backwards walking part, but if my dog is alerting me to someone coming up behind me, I'm not going to make my dog wait until that person makes physical contact with me before doing something about it.

I would not teach my PP dog to escort a bad guy between his legs, like many FR dogs are trained. WAY to many opportunities for the bad guy to kill my dog if he's that close.

I would teach a PP dog a bark and hold, but at a distance. Don't know that I'd ever use it, but I teach my dogs lots of things they won't ever use. :) And if they are clear on the difference between b/h and the bite command, I don't think it's an issue for them to know it. Plus even if I was training my dog for PP first and foremost, I'd still be trailing it in PP competitions on occasion, where it might need that skill for a scenario. In a real situation though I don't see sending my dog in for a b/h, but I could see outing the dog and having them do a b/h on someone (ie guarding them) while I'm on the phone to the cops. Just depends on the situation.
 

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The bark and hold in sport has the dog on top of the bad guy. If the bad guy has a weapon, the dog will seriously get hurt going in that close and NOT biting.
A street K9, for obvious reasons will stand back on a B&H. Still could get seriously hurt if the BG has a weapon.
David and other LEOs can explain other reasons the B&H is a bad idea.

My view on the bark and hold isn't a secret. I'm very much against it for a street dog. One reason is exactly as you have stated. A second reason is, a study that was conducted by Dr. Mesloh from International Florida University or something like that, indicates there are more unintended bites from a bark and hold dog than from a dog trained to bite and hold. The study can be found on the USPCA website somewhere (gee I'm real helpful huh) While most would say that is nothing more than a training problem, I don't disagree, but I also don't see the point. My philosophy is; the handler is in charge, the dog bites until he's told to release. The dog does not respond to the actions of the suspect, he responds to my commands.

DFrost
 

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Patrick Murray said:
Can any of you point out certain training techniques that are commonly used for sport only dogs and that you feel should NOT be used for a PPD/PSD dog?
How about the full calm grip? :twisted:

*pulls pin and ducks for cover*



Andy.
 

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My view on the bark and hold isn't a secret. I'm very much against it for a street dog.
This is one area that David and I have disagreed on many times and we still do. The bark and hold when it's properly trained and used makes searching far safer for the handler than does the find and bark.

The problem is that many people don't know how to properly train and use it.

One reason is exactly as you have stated. A second reason is, a study that was conducted by Dr. Mesloh from International Florida University or something like that, indicates there are more unintended bites from a bark and hold dog than from a dog trained to bite and hold. The study can be found on the USPCA website somewhere (gee I'm real helpful huh)
Mesloh's study is highly flawed. I won't go into it unless asked, (it's pretty lengthy as is the study) but he started out with a conclusion, and guess what, he proved it! I've spoken to him about it and like many people, he's not interested in the flaws in his thinking or in his study.

During our short conversation he jumped to many conclusions about me and contradicted himself on points of fact a couple of times. I have no doubt that the study was conducted the same way.

The result he came up with is contrary to common sense.

While most would say that is nothing more than a training problem, I don't disagree, but I also don't see the point.
The point is that the dog will bark as soon as he's found the strongest source of scent that the can get to. Most often dogs that are trained to bite when they find the bad guy will spend an inordinate amount of time looking for the back door if they can't get to him. During that time the handler often walks up on the scene, exposing himself needlessly to danger.

My philosophy is; the handler is in charge, the dog bites until he's told to release. The dog does not respond to the actions of the suspect, he responds to my commands.
C'mon David you know that a find and bark dog who bites when the suspect flees or attacks, isn't making a decision. He's biting because he's been trained to respond to the attack or the flight of the crook. Do you not train dogs to protect the handler without a command if he's attacked?
 

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I know there's a lot more involved and that the dogs don't get trained the same way, etc. BUT...

I think the whole sport vs. real life debate is kinda silly. Most dogs that REALLY LOVE to bite are going to bite when given the opportunity. The majority of the ones that won't 'bite for real' aren't super working dogs, period, and that includes sport. (Or at least in my opinion.)

PP trainers put down sport people constantly, and sport people claim that 'this sport is more real than that sport', but honestly - if your decoy is wearing a suit or a sleeve, it's training. If they aren't - well, they probably won't be decoying long. ;) It just gets old to constantly argue about it.

If trainers from all ends (PSD, PPD, and sport) would help each other and take advantage of each other's knowledge, then everyone would benefit a lot more than from sniping at each other. IMHO

And as far as what Kadi says - I have said many times, and will say it again, that a good sport person tests their dog in as many ways as possible. If you take your schH dog and do a H&B in a wading pool full of bottles, you're achieving two things: not only are you proofing your dog for anything that might happen in trial, but you get a better picture of the dog's general working character than in standard training. We all know there are dogs out there that only trial on their home fields, etc. - I want to see more from a dog than titles.
 

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The dog does not respond to the actions of the suspect said:
I agree David, that is the critical factor. However, just to show the flip side: what if the handler is unable to give commands (i.e out of sight) would you like your dog to take some initiative based on the suspects behaviour?

Thanks, Robert
 

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I have this opinion that a strong dog will bite regardless of its training and a weak dog is the one that needs all that 'prepping' to make him 'real'. A strong dog's training is nothing more than control...and scenarios and such only helps increase control on him because he is dangerous without them.

I can see a reason to 'test' a dog with equipment he's never known before...and in this situation you will probably see the real dog surface. But as soon as you start prepping him for it, if he's anywhere near a stable dog, won't he start treating it as a game or at least a routine? And then you lose the value of the "realistic" scenario.
 

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<<<Do you not train dogs to protect the handler without a command if he's attacked?>>>

Of course I do. Lou, you aren't the only one that disagrees with me ha ha. I will say our disagreement has always remained respectful. To the point. I understand the concept of the hold. I've seen it used many times. My concern has always been; suspects aren't trained decoys. Again, I understand that leads back to training. The reality is, training time is precious, there are lot's of behaviors that need training and with the majority of handlers working they will not get the proper training, whether it's a lack of realism, particularly in the area bark and hold. There is no way I can be convinced that it enhances the safety of an officer. That's my single biggest concern. I've had many conversations with handlers from departments that have instituted the b/h policy. The majority are concerned about the b/h not working as trained and the investigations and probable litigation that will ensue. Training is one facet of this business, the other is; these dogs have to work in a real environment, not the training field.

DFrost
 

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<<<what if the handler is unable to give commands (i.e out of sight) would you like your dog to take some initiative based on the suspects behaviour?>>>

Robert, what can I say; if I send the dog to bite, he'll pursue, bite and hold until told to do something different. In the case of say a building search, the suspect is concealed or has a barrier between he and the dog, the dog will give an aggressive response until I get there. I also believe though, when releasing a dog, you have the same responsibility as when firing a weapon; you are responsible for that missle, whether it's the bullet or the four-legged variety, until it stops.

DFrost
 

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Amber, just for the record; I don't put down sport. I recognize the dedication and hard work it takes to achieve results. I've often said that what we do is not sport. My comments however are not meant to impugn any of the sports.

DFrost
 

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Earlier I wrote,
Do you not train dogs to protect the handler without a command if he's attacked?
Of course I do.
My point is that having a dog bite when the decoy (or suspect) flees or attacks is the same thing. The dog isn't making a decision (as Mesloh and some others, think he is) he's responding to a cue that he's been trained for. This is the same thing as the dog putting his butt on the ground when he hears the cue "Sit!"

Lou, you aren't the only one that disagrees with me ha ha. I will say our disagreement has always remained respectful.
That's true. It's much more enjoyable to have a discussion with someone who stays polite and professional. In person I've disagreed with many trainers and it has never gotten out of hand. But on the Net, I think because of the complete lack of body language (which some think conveys as much as 50% of the information) it sometimes goes south.

To the point. I understand the concept of the hold. I've seen it used many times. My concern has always been; suspects aren't trained decoys. Again, I understand that leads back to training. The reality is, training time is precious, there are lot's of behaviors that need training and with the majority of handlers working they will not get the proper training, whether it's a lack of realism, particularly in the area bark and hold.
This is the main drawback of the BH (bark and hold). It requires much more training time to get it and then, especially after the dog has had a few real donnybrooks, it's hard to maintain. The Ecollar (you knew I was going to sneak that in didn't you? lol) is a great tool for doing it though. It also takes a skilled trainer to maintain it and not all departments have one at their disposal.

There is no way I can be convinced that it enhances the safety of an officer.
I'll give it another shot.

That's my single biggest concern.
Mine too, but I think an officer searching is safest if he knows as quickly as possible that a suspect is present and where he is. There are two situations that can occur; the first is that the suspect is available to be bitten (he's hidden where the dog can get to him) or he's not (he's up high, behind a closed door, in a box, behind a fence or wall and the dog can't get to him).

In the first situation, where he can be bitten, the FB (find and bite dog) will bite him. In most instances the handler will hear the noise of this confrontation. Either the suspect will cry out in pain or there will be the sounds of a struggle, such a furniture being knocked over, scuffling of feet, bouncing off walls, etc. If this occurs the handler will know (just about) instantly that the suspect is present and his general location. If the suspect has a weapon he can use it on the dog. Yes, I know that most do not but if he can, he may.

But if this suspect is in what I call the "Fatal Four" (drunk, drugged, determined or angry) there may not be any noise of the confrontation to notify the handler that the dog has made the find. The suspect won't cry out in pain because he's not feeling any. He may not resist the bite and so there won't be any noise from a struggle. Some handlers won't believe that this can occur but it can and I've personally seen it a couple of times. It's rare but we still should be prepared for it.

Part of the reason that handlers don't believe it can occur is that every time their dog has bitten, the suspect HAS cried out in pain and there has always been a big struggle. Many handlers have been bitten themselves and they know it hurts. But we also know that every cop out there is highly susceptible to pepper spray but there is about a 20% rate where suspects show no reaction at all to it. Comparing a "normal" person (whatever that is) to a doped up suspect often takes us down the wrong road.

Now let's looks at the BH dog that finds a person who is available to be bitten. He quickly barks. Here's where many people confuse what goes on in training with what should go on in reality. Many people think that the dog is left to bark, sitting or bouncing in front of him as is done on the training field. But it's not. At the FIRST BARK the dog should be recalled to the handler. Now the handler knows that the suspect is present and his general location. If the FB dog has found someone who doesn't respond in the "classical fashion" he won't know that his dog has made a find. He might actually walk right into the suspect while looking for his dog. The first indication that his dog may have made a find will be that he doesn’t recall because he's biting the suspect.

In the second circumstance, where the suspect is NOT available to be bitten, the FB dog who is supposed to bark when he can't get to the suspect, often, (usually, from my experience and what I've been told happens with others) will FIRST, before he barks, go looking for a "back door" where he can get to the suspect to bite him. This delay means danger for the handler. The suspect is present but the handler doesn't know it. Until the dog barks, and this can be seconds or minutes, depending on the dog and how determined he is to get to the suspect. It's possible for the handler to walk right up on the suspect before he knows he's there. I've set this up in training situations with Sims many times and gotten the handler "killed."

In the same situation with the BH dog, as soon as the dog gets to the strongest source of scent that he can, he barks. Now the handler knows that the suspect is present and his general location. The handler recalls the dog; the team takes up positions of advantage and the suspect is ordered out form his hiding place.

If he refuses to come out the dog can be sent back in with a command to bite (remember that the handler probably doesn't know that he's not available to be bitten at this point) or some other method, such as gas, SWAT, etc. can be used. If the dog barks again, the handler will know that the dog can't get to him and that other means of extraction should be used.

With the BH dog the handler knows sooner if the suspect is present and his general location. This means more safety for the handler.

Of course with either dog if the handler is present when the dog gives his natural alert (body changes that signify that he's in scent but has not yet located its source so he hasn't given his trained alert, his indication) and sees it, he can call the dog back, make an educated guess as to the his location and order him out.

I've had many conversations with handlers from departments that have instituted the b/h policy. The majority are concerned about the b/h not working as trained and the investigations and probable litigation that will ensue.
That's a very real concern. But remember that courts have ruled that there's no obligation to the public or the suspect's to use one system over another. Even if you have a BH dog who bites the suspect, if he's resisted or tried to flee, there's no extra liability attached.

One of the worst reasons to try and change methods of deploying the dog is out of concerns of liability and the resultant lawsuits. Yet this is the precise reason that many administrators want to change.
 

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I think the problem lies in the deployment because if a handler or agency has a B&H policy but because of the policy they will send thier dog to search on less serious crimes ie misdemeanors. Then they better be very worried that the B&H dog may not be as clean as they hoped. Especially when the sleeping homeless man on the bench inside the commercial yard he jumped the fence into and set off the alarm wakes up to a dog barking in his face and get startled and WHAMO you have got yourself a bad bite! because when you get on the stand and testify the dog will only bite if the suspect flees or atttacks the handler or dog, and then comes the surveillance video that shows (in the voice of Paul Harvey) The rest of the story, better get out the checkbook because last time I checked 2nd degree tresspassing didnt meet the Graham Vs Conner standard. I will stick to my philosiphy of dont send the dog OFF LEASH if you cant bite him!
 

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In the second circumstance, where the suspect is NOT available to be bitten, the FB dog who is supposed to bark when he can't get to the suspect, often, (usually, from my experience and what I've been told happens with others) will FIRST, before he barks, go looking for a "back door" where he can get to the suspect to bite him. This delay means danger for the handler. The suspect is present but the handler doesn't know it. Until the dog barks, and this can be seconds or minutes, depending on the dog and how determined he is to get to the suspect. It's possible for the handler to walk right up on the suspect before he knows he's there. I've set this up in training situations with Sims many times and gotten the handler "killed."
lou,

this is no more of a training issue than a well trained BH. i've seen many BH dogs do the same thing (looking for back door or visual confirmation prior to barking). the above scenario is a training issue for the dog and for the handler. for the dog, he must be taught, through training, that if he cannot get to the suspect, he is to bark. this is easily accomplished. for the handler, he must give his dog ample time to make the find.

again, another training issue with the BH is the biting of a passive suspect. without proper training, the BH dog has a much harder time biting a passive suspect. as david mentioned, training time is precious. i'd rather not have to worry about this and spend my training time elsewhere.

you bring up some good points lou. at least your arguments are coming from the right place. i don't like when the liability card is played when the BH/FB debate happens.
 

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Tim Martens said:
again, another training issue with the BH is the biting of a passive suspect. without proper training, the BH dog has a much harder time biting a passive suspect.
The problem I have see with B&H dogs that come from a strong IPO background, that go to departments that don't employ the bark & hold and don't know how to really "train it out of them", is that when the dog faces an obstacle or is somehow restrained from the bite (you can even see it tying the dog to a post and standing passive). The dog who was never trained in B&H will continue to lunch at the decoy in front of him, the B&H dog will revert to accepting that there is an obstacle or a restraint and sit and bark in a rhythmic bark. I have even seen this in muzzle work where a dog will accept that there is a muzzle and that he can't bite, so he goes into a hold & guard.

It is a training issue yes, but not all departments know what they are doing ;)
 

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<<<At the FIRST BARK the dog should be recalled to the handler. Now the handler knows that the suspect is present and his general location. If the FB dog has found someone who doesn't respond in the "classical fashion" he won't know that his dog has made a find. He might actually walk right into the suspect while looking for his dog.>>>

I understand this concept. It really is not a matter of not understanding. In practice however I see a couple of faults.

1. The dog barks and is recalled. This doesn't give the officer additional information about the location of the subject, except that he's somewhere.

2. The suspect also knows he's been found. He's still not visible or otherwise engaged.

3. If he is indeed of the fatal four, he's more prepared for your arrival than he was before the dog contacted him.

Tactical approach notwithstanding, the handler is at more of a disadvantage.

<<<will FIRST, before he barks, go looking for a "back door" where he can get to the suspect to bite him. This delay means danger for the handler. The suspect is present but the handler doesn't know it. Until the dog barks, and this can be seconds or minutes, depending on the dog and how determined he is to get to the suspect. It's possible for the handler to walk right up on the suspect before he knows he's there. I've set this up in training situations with Sims many times and gotten the handler "killed."

In the same situation with the BH dog, as soon as the dog gets to the strongest source of scent that he can, he barks. Now the handler knows that the suspect is present and his general location.>>>>

The training required to have a BH dog bark at strongest source of scent differs from a FB dog how? The objective is; when the dog can't get to the subject he gives an aggressive response. The strongest source would not be determined by a dog just because he was trained differently. Strongest is still strongest.

<<<One of the worst reasons to try and change methods of deploying the dog is out of concerns of liability and the resultant lawsuits. >>>>


Which is among the reasons I refuse to change. As you pointed out there is no case law preferring one method over the other.

DFrost
 
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