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Consider a dog who has not been conditioned to environmental stress during bitework. What would you say is the appropriate response if this was introduced to the dog all of a sudden? Obviously a dog who loses drive and refuses to bite afterwards would be weak...but once you're over the line, what signs would you look for to show the dog's strengths? Is showing slight concern, releasing and then rebiting elsewhere appropriate? Or must the dog only hold on regardless of the amount of stress applied on him?

I saw some hints of this discussion in the past few ones we've had on the board, so I'm just trying to stir the pot a bit. :)
 

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Lyn Chen said:
Consider a dog who has not been conditioned to environmental stress during bitework. What would you say is the appropriate response if this was introduced to the dog all of a sudden? Obviously a dog who loses drive and refuses to bite afterwards would be weak...but once you're over the line, what signs would you look for to show the dog's strengths? Is showing slight concern, releasing and then rebiting elsewhere appropriate? Or must the dog only hold on regardless of the amount of stress applied on him?

I saw some hints of this discussion in the past few ones we've had on the board, so I'm just trying to stir the pot a bit. :)
interesting question lyn. i'll give a go at it. environmental "stress" during bitework is basically a misnomer by most accounts. dogs that are brought up with these "stressors" like the rocks in the milk jug, hula hoops with streamers, tires, etc have been exposed to these from a very early age. they become part of the overall picture to the dog and offer no real stress at all.

now to the dog who is new to bitework and consequently new to these "stressors", will react to them in different ways. to me, the dog who releases momentarily and then re-engages is totally acceptable. it shows he was startled, but still willing to engage. this dog just needs more exposure to these types of things. the dog that refuses to bite afterward and has to be coaxed back on to the bite by serious prey stimulation is probably a weak dog, but could still possibly be conditioned to ignore these pseudo-stressors, but the handler must realize that it could occur again if something different than what was trained on were presented.

i guess it boils down to what you want to do with the dog. mondio, for instance, which is famous for these types of things. if you're looking for a mondio dog, obviously these things should all be a part of puppy training. if you got an adult dog with no training and all of a sudden wanted to turn him into a mondio dog and he exhibits the aforementioned weak behavior, it would probably be best to look for another sport or look for another dog.

so i guess the bottom line for me is that of course i'd want the dog who didn't let go and fought harder when FIRST exposed to these things, but i would not throw away the dog who let go and re-bit. the one who wouldn't engage afterwards, i'd probably discard...
 
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