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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay gang, Zoso my nearly 18 month old Mal has been training in Schutzhund once or twice a week just about every week for the last 2 months or so. I didn't initially intend for him to get into sport or anything, it just kind of happened because he needed an outlet that doesn't include coursing my Aussie mix like a hare at a good 25 mph and hauling him down to the ground by the neck. I didn't play tug with him at all up until he was 15-16 months when we started, but we have now. He pulls on a medium sized jute tug nicely and likes to tug on the Orbee ball. Our TD/helper got him nice and worked up last practice and so he thought we'd try the sleeve on him. He didn't have a puppy sleeve with him at the time, so he tried the adult sleeve and at one point, he kind of tossed it at him (not right at him, but near him). He immediately went into avoidence and tried to retreat behind me. Was the sight of a big clunky sleeve coming at him too much too soon? I'd love to get the Leerburg Drive, Grip, and Focus and the Preparing the Dog for the Helper DVDs, but my credit cards are taking a serious beating this month with my wedding 2 months away. Any ideas?
 

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get the video preparing the dog for the helper

Get the video preparing your dog for the helper. i bought it and it is great. I am not an expert but just take it slow. I would start with a nice large tug. Next go to the bite pillow. next go to the puppy sleeve. the video preparing your dog for the helper will take you step by step. You can do a lot of the work yourself but be careful and keep the dog into prey. If your dog went into avoidance then you need to be very very careful and not let this every happen. He does not need the presure. Make it a big game and do not put that kind of pressure on your dog until he is ready. I am not an expert but just get the darn video and suck it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Agreed, I am a martial arts instructor and so it makes total sense to me not to throw a young, green dog in like that so soon just like you don't throw a white or other low ranking belt in to spar with the upper level colored belts for a few months, but I tried going along with our TD. :) Zoso seemed interested in the sleeve as he was swinging it back and forth above his head, but just was not sure of what to think when he tossed it near him. We're keeping it in prey so far of course, but I think tossing the full sleeve in his general direction wasn't the best of ideas. Can you drag a smaller sleeve or whatever around on a small rope like you could with a tug or rag to activate the prey drive?
 

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Have you used a sissy stick to build prey drive? That's a piece of 1" pvc pipe with a rope attached. The other end of the rope attach a piece of burlap or leather (rag).You should have a hook that attaches the burlap or leather so you can take it off and he wins by running around with it. You can build prey drive at home with this by yourself. Back tie him to a fence and swish it by him a lot. Get him to go for it, DO NOT let him get it for the first coulpe of days. Remember frustration builds drive. On about the third or fourth day let him get it. Pull on the stick to make the rag alive. (If you let it go dead he will most likely turn it loose.) Work your way down the rope to the rag, still tugging and keeping it alive, unhook the rag and fight with him, turn it loose, let him run off with it and give him a lot of praise. This is his reward. Oh forgot this, you'll have to unhook him from his back tie before you let him run around with his prize.
 

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Jeff Oehlsen said:
At his age, and worked up in drive, going into avoidance is not a good sign, being that the sleeve didn't hit him in the face or anything.
Jeff thanks for the words I couldn´t find, i agree.
 

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I agree also, build up the frustration. Also if you can bring him to training and let him observe other dogs take the sleeve, and maybe do a little group agitation also, a lot of times that is all they need. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
At his age, and worked up in drive, going into avoidance is not a good sign, being that the sleeve didn't hit him in the face or anything.

Obviously he is really sensitive, so you should back up his training a bit. However, and not trying to be mean, don't expect much.
Well, keep in mind he's been at this for only two months. He's not a dog I've groomed since he was 8 weeks old or anything to be full of piss and vinegar. It's not like he tucked tail and ears and attempted to flee, he just retreated a bit behind me. His ears were not back against his head. One was up and one was back, similar how horses ears can go when they are not sure of the situation. I think the TD just skipped a step or two from going between the medium sized tug and an adult bite sleeve. Is that something you would have tried?

Besides, I'm not expecting anything of him at all. :) For a $90 pound puppy with unknown background, our TD thinks he's otherwise doing just fine. It's a hobby for me (and of good use dealing with working dogs when I am a vet later on) and a fun sport for him, so no big deal. 8)
 

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I agree with everyone else. Back up on his training or start over. It want hurt. It may even be better for him. Like was said, take him out and let him watch. (Monkey see monkey do.) Agitate in a group, they tend to feed off each other. Don't rush a dog like this. Have fun....... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Jerry, you're right. Forgot to mention two things. First, we got him pretty worked up for the tug (he was doing his "look at me jump 5 feet straight in the air!" jump on the end of the long line) and then the TD asked me how old he was, I told him almost 18 months, so he said, "Okay, he's old enough...let's go try the sleeve." I wasn't anticipating even trying the sleeve for another month or so at least. Anyways, so he had to run to his car to go get the sleeve and put it on, which took like 30 seconds at least, so I'm sure Zoso's drive went down a bit in that time. The TD kind of swung it back and forth and he seemed interested in it. He tossed it about 10 feet away from him and Zoso retreated just a foot or two but then immediately went to smell it. He tried it again but tossed it closer and a little harder (within about 2-3 feet) and that's when he went into avoidence (went behind me, one ear back, one ear forward). However, forgot to mention this, we immediately switched back to the medium sized tug and he went after it like usual. I don't think any permanent harm was done (hope not!), but I'm trying to keep it real fun in the mean time just tugging on the tug and the Orbee ball.
 

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I don't think being 18 months old can make up for a lack of expierience, particulary if you have no idea about the background of the dog.
Going right to a sleeve with just a couple of months with the tug is also a littel fast for this dog, IMHO.
don't skip any steps unless your sure the dog can handle it.
 

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Yes, defiantly to much to soon, you have to start from basics and work your way up, he is a “white belt” – love that part -and you are already introducing to a “double flying kick” here, I will also just stand back and go – ohhh – [email protected]

Dog training is no rocket science, but the Shc. trainers have one philosophy – and that is slow, no pressure, no this no that – and it works for them – yes I am making a blanket statement, but your dog requires foundation imo, and it seems he is judged on his age and not so much on his training maturity.

We all know what happens if you go shopping and you try and shove all the heavy stuff into a plastic bag, the bottom falls out.
 
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