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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Keep in mind that I'm pretty new to bitework, but there's something that I've noticed that to me seems counter-productive...

Typically what I've seen (in various bitework sports, police K9...) is that once a dog has a solid foundation in prey, the dog is threatened to illicit a more defensive response (methods vary with the decoy), the dog barks aggressively, and is then rewarded with a prey bite; the theory (as I understand it), is to show the dog how do handle pressure from the decoy, to learn to work outside of prey.

But is this really rewarding aggressive behaviour in a positive way? The reward to the aggressive posturing is a prey movement by the decoy, followed by a bite. To me, this doesn't show the dog that he can meet an aggressive decoy head-on, but rather teaches the dog that defensive posturing will "flush" the prey.

Isn't this simply rewarding the dog's "bluff"? Obviously great dogs are going to bite without a prey movement, but for a lot of dogs, this seems like it's only reinforcing defensive posturing, not an effective response to an aggressive threat. To me, most dogs still associate the bark with the threat, and the bite with the prey movement. What happens off the field when the agitator doesn't make prey?

Simon
 

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C'mon, ease up. If you think he's getting bad info, say why.
 

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Simon...for me the ways to "reward" aggression is the decoy goes down if a bite was allowed...and gets his butt royally kicked by me and the dog, and THEN walks away (choosing not to confront the dog further) or runs away (escapes in total submission), gets dragged away by someone else (making believe he's in a coma); or the decoy walks or runs away slowly...if a bite was not allowed. There are variations.

BTW, You are correct in what you say, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't believe I'm dissapointed that Jeff agreed with me :oops: .

I've seen this in nearly every facet of protection training, so I'm sure there are those here that train somewhere along these lines. Other than a way of making a weak dog "look" like he's got it for sport purposes, do you find any merits to training this way? Or is it simply a case of "well, that's how it's done..."?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Andres Martin said:
Simon...for me the ways to "reward" aggression is the decoy goes down if a bite was allowed...and gets his butt royally kicked by me and the dog...
Ever have problems with the dog redirecting on you? What if you were on the bottom end of the fight? I've heard horror stories that a lot of dogs (even dogs very bonded with their handler) will often side with the winner (kinda goes along with jeff's last comment I guess...).

I've jumped into some of the training scenarios without a problem with my dog, but the results were not nearly as positive with higher prey-drive dogs.

This area of training is important to me. While I kinda depend on my dog as a PPD, he's no man-stopper; a nerve-bag distraction at best, lol, so he needs all the teamwork he can get.
 

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In some ways I really miss training PP dogs. They usually are not the high end, and are really interesting to train. Mals are like the "retard dog trainers kit" they are so easy to work with.

We all come to a point where we realize that most dogs are exactly what you described: SHOW.

Even the strong ones will have trouble with a person that knows what is up. When people realize this, they start buying guns for protection.



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Ever have problems with the dog redirecting on you? What if you were on the bottom end of the fight? I've heard horror stories that a lot of dogs (even dogs very bonded with their handler) will OFTEN side with the winner (kinda goes along with jeff's last comment I guess...).
Not often at all, but can happen. I'm not sure it's "siding" with the winner. More frequently, the bites are quick and accidental. We train like this OFTEN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Andres Martin said:
Not often at all, but can happen. I'm not sure it's "siding" with the winner. More frequently, the bites are quick and accidental. We train like this OFTEN.
I've tested this scenario with a few different dogs in muzzle. Almost half the time the dog went for the handler if he was on the ground being clearly dominated by the decoy. These were not accidental bites. Take the protection equipment off and get on the bottom. Better it happens on the field.

Of the dogs that did this, I don't know them well enough to say whether it was a prey-related response (obviously the downed opponent was going to be easier prey) or a pack response to side with the victor. But it was definitely not accidental. This were all very high-drive, dominant animals.
 

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Simon...you can't expect - for the most part - ANY desired (unnatural) behavior AUTOMATICALLY. If someone in his lack of wisdom, chooses to fight together with his dog, placing himself UNDER the dog and the decoy THE FIRST TIME he trains to fight together with the dog...he shouldn't, to say the least. What you saw or "tested" was COMPLETELY inadequate training. A dog cannot be allowed to make that mistake even once. This stuff must be carefully built up to. Let me stress the word "carefully".

If you saw the results you say you saw, and nobody explained to you and the handlers, that you all shouldn't be doing that - that way - you need to find someone with expertise in that area to give you a hand. This will prevent problems between the dog and his handler at a later time.
 

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I was agreeing with him.

So much training depends on what you have in front of you. Many trainers realize this fact, but leave it unsaid.

A huge jump in understanding is seeing that you put many artificial things into a dog.

Many people talk about 100% prey, or DEFENSE, and when you look at the dog he is not in prey or defense when they are trying to get one or the other.

Soooooo, we see a lot of people that don't know what they are doing rewarding threat behavior.

There is also the basic fact that the dog starts to realize when the silly decoy is doing his "defense" thing that he will not cross that line.

I also see that a lot of decoys do not see that the dog has figured this out.

So no matter what people say with "defense" work (haha) the dog is the one that either has it to bite the everlovinstank out of you or not. These dogs do this wether you teach them or not.

I see people talking about training this or that, but without the dog to actually do it, I can see they are full of....well............poop.



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Jeff Oehlsen said:
A huge jump in understanding is seeing that you put many artificial things into a dog.
It's like Cujo, he's no killer dog, but with training we can make him believe he is, n if he believes, he will play the game n at least look good ;)
 

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Ok,I have to comment.If a dog bites his handler then there is one of two things going on.Either the dog does not view his handler as the leader or he is just playing and thinks its a game.If the dog is in a serious mindset and he is bonded with his LEADER, the handler.He WILL not bite his handler.If the handler has been doing too much playing and drive building with the dog therefore he thinks its just another silly game, it might make it more likely.

I hate to agree with Jeffery but I too believe the dog will bite or he wont and all the training in the world wont make a weak dog strong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mike, the false confidence that the dog has doesn't bother me so much, that's important regardless of the strength of the dog you're training, IMO. It's the false sense of confidence in their dogs that a lot of handlers and trainers get from this style of training that's scary.

Jeff Oehlsen said:
But what about the n00b that doesn't know any better?????
I don't think it's just the noobs, I'll go out on a limb and say that *most* schutzhund clubs train this way (not a schutz, bash, I've seen it everywhere, that's just the prevailing dog sport). It's like it has become "the" way to train dogs, and a lot of people are fooling themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Greg Long said:
Ok,I have to comment.If a dog bites his handler then there is one of two things going on.Either the dog does not view his handler as the leader or he is just playing and thinks its a game.
Pack dymamics are not static. Watching the pack leader get severely whooped may sway otherwise solid allegiances. Plus I think this may be as prey-related as pack.

Andres,
Completely agree with your comments about how stupid it was to test the theory. You're not the first person to tell me that, you won't be the last. It was corrected as best as possible during the scenario (decoy became VERY aggressive toward the dog at the first sign of handler targetting), but still not worth exposing the dogs to the possibility of handler aggression.

But rather than hide my embarrassment and not tell the story... My opinion is still that some dogs will naturally go after the handler in those scenarios, and I though it beneficial to share.
 

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[/quote]Pack dymamics are not static. Watching the pack leader get severely whooped may sway otherwise solid allegiances. Plus I think this may be as prey-related as pack.[/quote]

Ahhh...but I dont believe a dog is a true pack animal and even if I did I know that dogs know we are not dogs.I said leader not "pack leader".Youll probably say semantics and Ill probably say Bulls$#%.

THe dog either thinks that is what he is supposed to do because of prior silly games or he does not see the handler as his leader, its that simple.The bond is key and what that bond was built on will determine how hell interact with the handler.Most people dont have that kind of bond with their dog so I can definitely see this problem happening.
 
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