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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems pretty unanimous that muzzle training adds all sorts of positives to bite-training. My question is...

Can you train a reliable PPD through mostly muzzle-work?

Assume the dog has the genetics for it, and is desensitized to the muzzle. Could you get away with doing 90% of the protection training in a muzzle? Obviously some training/testing on a sleeve or suit to make sure the dog outs without the muzzle.

Since I ditched the sleeves and upped the muzzle-work, my dog's learning curve has sky-rocketed. I think the reason this has worked so well for me are:
1. My dog never had much drive for equipment, despite a lot of drive building.
2. The inexperienced helpers that I often work with seem more comfortable working the dog in a muzzle then posted with a sleeve. (My dog will come right under/over/around a sleeve if you let him.) Wish I had consistent access to a bite-suit, but I don't.

Looking forward to others' thoughts.

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
quote"No"

Why not?

Not trying to start an argument in my first thread, lol. Just want to know what pitfalls I need to address in my training.
 

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i don't see why you couldn't. once the dog has demonstrated a good grip on the suit and that he will out on the suit, you only need to go back to it occasionally to make sure those two elements are there....
 

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Simon Mellick said:
Not trying to start an argument in my first thread, lol. Just want to know what pitfalls I need to address in my training.
Nah, start one, Jeff will happily initiate one with you. :wink: Arguments are welcome here. When they go to personal insults is where we try to tail them off...so usually they all last for a good 3-4 posts. :lol: If they last that long without me taking them off-topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, here goes nuthin'...

I don't think muzzle-training is as limiting as people think... Most trainers seem to use it to either test their dog's willingness to engage without equipment, or to teach a dog to fight with skills other than its bite.

BUT...

A lot of dogs forget they are wearing a muzzle when they're in drive (be it prey, defense, fight, whatever...). They still try to bite. If it's this behaviour (attempting to bite) that is rewarded by the decoy, then I think it encourages the dog to bite.

I agree with Tim Martens whole-heartedly that you still have to test outside of the muzzle to ensure a decent grip and out on a suit or sleeve.

My dog's grip and commitment has improved a lot without much suit or sleeve work, but working almost exclusively in a muzzle. This could be for a few reasons:
1. The dog is much more confident as he as been allowed to totally domitate the helper (muzzled).
2. Helpers have been better able to reward the correct behaviour as they're not as worried about getting a dirty bite.
3. Frustration from working in the muzzle and not being able to grip the helper.

For what it's worth, the muzzle that I'm currentlyusing doesn't have a bite-bar. I'm interested in hearing people's opinions on the necessity of a bite-bar. Basically I couldn't find an agitation muzzle with a bite-bar that fit properly. He's finally got a muzzle that fits great, but no bite-bar, and no metal reinforcement on the outside. It's the gladiator muzzle from can-am K9. Just had to punch a few extra holes for ventilation.

 

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I won't get into an argument, I will say however that training only with a muzzle is like shooting only blanks during qualification. Sure you can learn a few things when shooting blanks, but it's not putting live rounds down range. Sure the dog learns certain things during muzzle work, as well as the handler, it can also teach some dogs to be inhibited when biting.

DFrost
 

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Quote:Helpers have been better able to reward the correct behaviour as they're not as worried about getting a dirty bite.

PPD dogs shouldn't be allowed dirty bites for one thing.

Another arguement is that it is unbalanced training.

Another arguement is that a lot of dogs will wrestle and use their body, but when it comes to actually using their mouth..........

It is a "part" of training that some people use really well. If you can find someone who has done a lot of training this way, and use it as a balanced "part" of the overall then it is usefull. If you are not experienced, then you get dogs that knock the guy down, but don't necessarily bite.

And as always, most of this depends on the dog. I have used it in the past to get a dog to use his body more. It just never occured to him to do so, 'cause all he was thinking of was the bite.

I don't really use it anymore, but that is just me, and the fact that my cool muzzle was lost years ago. :wink:



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Jeff Oehlsen said:
Quote:Helpers have been better able to reward the correct behaviour as they're not as worried about getting a dirty bite.

PPD dogs shouldn't be allowed dirty bites for one thing.
Think I used the term "dirty bite" incorrectly. I don't mean biting when he shouldn't, I mean biting unprotected areas. That's addressed by having the dog posted, or muzzled, or when possible, on a suit.

Hypothetically...

Let's say I could only train on a sleeve once a month, and a suit every 6 months...

In your opinions, would training in a muzzle every week be more detrimental than only doing any kind of protection work every month?

Very appreciative of the responses so far.

Simon
 

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Using his body isn´t what you want in the muzzlework, a biteattempt with a strong hit with the mouth is wanted, not a dog that bumps with the chest or side of the muzzle, that is what I´ve learned anyway :wink:
Bitebars inside the muzzle I see no use of, isn´t that only used for letting the dogs frustration runs out into a preybite, whats the difference between that and working the dog in an open muzzle on a suit, that some does, often because theeir dogs have a problem to work with the muzzle and showing attitude to the man.
 

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Simon...I can't say if "mostly muzzle" works or not...because I have neither tried it, nor seen it. I feel reasonably sure that there would be a bunch of subtleties involved, and that it would be VERY dog dependent, and VERY, VERY decoy dependent, though. If it works for you, please keep careful records and share your progress. It's interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hopefully I'll get some video in the next week so that I can get some feedback on it. The tougher part will be capturing the audio.

The dog really drives the front of the muzzle into the helper, and you can hear him trying to bite. It's tough to explain in a post.

I'm not trying to re-invent dog training here. If this dog had responded well to conventional training steps I would have stuck with them. He had no interest in playing tug with anyone outside the "pack". From the age of about 8 months old, if a stranger waved a tug in front of him, he'd respond "defensively" and try and nail them anywhere other than where he was supposed to.

Obviously there's some nerve issues, and I generally don't like really defensive dogs. But once this dog turns on, always very forward in his aggression. Although I havn't really pushed it, he only turns it up under pressure. Lately I've tried to add more and more "prey work" to the agitation, and it seems to be helping his confidence. (By prey work I don't mean encouraging the sleeve as a prey item, but having the decoy move differently to try and illicit a prey response.) Today he did a sendaway of about 30 yards on a passive decoy and hit him pretty well considering his primary combat drive seems to be defense.

Again, really appreciate the responses. This isn't something I've seen or heard of someone trying (probably for good reason, lol), so any input I get is great.

Simon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought I remembered something along these lines...

http://www.leerburg.com/ubbthreads/...Kevin+Sheldahl&topic=&Search=true#Post4147378

The end of Kevin Sheldahl's first post:

"There is a simple old idea though that maybe people could keep in mind.It only takes a fur saver, a muzzle, and a six foot leash to train a dog for police work/personal protection. The rest is sport stuff or convenience stuff."

Not trying to support my training with quotes taken out of context (hell, I'm not even trying to support my training, just want other perspectives on it). I think all that what Kevin Sheldahl was getting at was that people can go overboard with equipment, as the thread was about how expensive training is... Still, thought it might be food for thought.

Simon
 
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