Pulling instead of Pushing Bite - Page 2

Pedigree Database


by apple on 20 June 2019 - 11:06

I am so fortunate to train with such a skilled decoy. I don't see anything about the dog that is an issue, but, IMO, he has not been taught to target the bicep correctly. It probably does not matter that much in PP or police apprehension, but if you notice in KNPV and PSA, a correct bicep bite just below the shoulder and high, not toward the elbow or where the elbow bends. This causes the dog to be in even closer body contact with the decoy. Just like with the pulling vs. pushing, the correct way to teach that is for the decoy never to let the dog get a grip anyway but high on the bicep, which is a real skill. The decoy I work with does not use a Belgian sleeve to introduce the bicep bite, but waits until the dog is ready for the suit and introduces it with a competition suit, which is the only suit he uses so the dog can feel the muscles and tendons moving under the suit creating more of a mindset for the dog that he is biting the man. Unfortunately, there are too many unskilled decoys in PSA, even some who do trials who sidestep when they hold the arm up for the dog to target, which can throw a correctly trained dog off some. Also, before the bottle curtain work, we like to see the dog focusing on pushing repeatedly and having good control with the dog coming onto the field not in drive, turning him on via command, and outing quickly and downing or sitting in front of the decoy immediately after the out. We use a bottle curtain made of 16 oz. long neck aluminum beer cans with six rows of cans and four can per row with large gravel in them which are very loud and which can be more unnerving for some dogs.


by emoryg on 20 June 2019 - 11:06

Juno, thank you for posting the video of your nice dog. I see in the video subtitle you were also working on recalls and release commands. Are you working on a certification?

by Juno on 20 June 2019 - 11:06


This video is about 8 months old and at that point we were heavy into PSA. Also, to Apple’s point (and as I have mentioned in earlier and different posts) targeting has always been an issue with my dog as he naturally tends to go high for the face and chest. The decoy knows that hence he is always prepared for it. You may recall an earlier video where my dog nearly took the decoy’s face off. He has done the same with several decoys.

I am not training in PSA currently due to an injury I suffered and also I got disillusioned with the club experience. As it for bigger we were spending more time waiting than actually training (no fault of the club) and my main reason for joining the club was to have fun and spend time with my dog after a busy day at work. So I don’t go to clubs anymore but my dog and I have fun together - doing our own routines of obedience, playing fetch, using that to teach the “aus”, recall. I know my dog has all the elements to make him a really good service dog had we gone that route, but we did not but we both have a blast together and that to me was more important.

by apple on 20 June 2019 - 12:06

Having a small club is definitely much more desirable. We have four core members and on some weekends, people from other states come to train, which slows things down considerably and takes the practicality out of training.


by emoryg on 20 June 2019 - 12:06

Juno, so sorry to hear about your injury and wish you a quick recovery. Targeting can be difficult for some dogs. My face seemed to always had a big bullseye on it. My friends always joked and said it was an improvement to my appearance and it was my way of tricking the government into paying for facelifts.lol

Glad to hear you are staying active with him and having a blast. I noticed you didn’t mention tracking. This was, and still is one of my favorite things to do. Hope you just left it out of your post. You have dogs in your pedigree who produced, among other things, outstanding tracking dogs.

by Juno on 20 June 2019 - 14:06


Thanks for your well wishes. You are correct about my dog’s pedigree, but I don’t do tracking as I don’t have the patience for it. Although, he seems to do his own tracking when it comes to cats, possums, deer. Also, if my wife and our other dog have walked somewhere recently he has tracked them and pulled me along till I saw them at a distance. He has done it several times that now I recognize the signs when he is tracking them - it is typically a whip lash of his neck as he catches their scents and then he does some air scenting and uses both air and ground scenting to catch up with them. I am sure other dogs do that too but it is quite amusing.

by Centurian on 21 June 2019 - 17:06

Apple ,
I read your last post . I offfer to help you or at leat share my input. That is if you want a better bicep bite.

We also worked in a small group , we could have joined a number of clubs but one of the reasons I only visited clubs is that everything about trianing was a ceremonial same ol' routine. Get the dogs on work 'em , next dog. Dog after dog , one , two , three etc . I did not work my dog like that . We gave much thought and discussion about the teaching of the dog . We planned exactly before and after each interaction with a dog. So , in our way of thinking : Targeting : We discuss exactly how , when , why and where we want the dog to target. What the handler /decoy will do, with exact precision. Even if it was a 10 second rehearsal in our minds we communicated well with each other and the dog. We never went through a routine. So , when I hear a dog does not out , a dog does not heel correctly or the dog does not target correctly [ or as preferred] I ask two questions : why did not the dog target where and how we wanted it to the first time . Additionlly , if it does not , then why was that not addressed immediately and prevented from going on and on ? This was our mindset .

Targeting : let me explain how I learned about accurate targeting: : We gave a dog a bite : I was wearing only a tank top , pair of jeans and an arm sleeve doing police building searches , pitch dark inside an old decrepit building with broken boards and glass windows and without good vision . The dog came running for his bite . There was no room for any kind of mistake ! Personal Protection , we wore a suit jacket with hidden sleeve, the dog was let out for the bite ...you better not have made a mistake ! We were learning and believe me when I tell you : if we did not interact with the dog as we should , exactly executing , and if we did not target or present to the dog as we should , we paid dearly the price for our scew up , quite dearly! . A few learned the hard way when they got bit and the blood poured down their arms. But , they dam well learned . Similar stories with the leg bites .... Targeting : we took extraordinarily seriously !

Don't misunderstand ... Apple, I do not put this onto you : the dog not biting exactly how you want it to. ... But I get quite annoyed when someone does a high end , serious sport , and I see the decoys let things go and either don't teach correctly from the beginning or do not clean things up. In sports , is not the bite one of the most cardinal , important features ? Juno had his problem with decoys IMOp . I do not know if these decoys project themselves through the dogs or what .. I see a lot of ego tied up with decoys / helpers .

For new people coming to the threads. About Juno's last posted video : The decoy set the dog to bite going over the hurdle . For a first time bite that is correct to do, het close to the hurdle to let mthe dog bite . But... the big but is this : Juno's dog was reluctant to out immediately . My gripe is : if that is the case why did the decoy have Juno stand way behind the hurdle at long distance away from the dog , and require/ ask the dog to out ? Or,  if you wanted to teach the dog to jump hurdle and bite , the dog should have been on a line , then the decoy should have slipped the jacket and leave it at that for the dog to run with and Juno would have control of the dog . Don't work on the out and also teach the dog to jump for the bite at the same time[ same session /lesson ] , nor at the same time try to teach the recall to handler. Don't work on two, three , disciplines and skills in the same sessionat the same time ! Not only that ,  ' outing followed by an immediate recall to handler '  beahvior , was taught completely wrong . Because " if it was taught correctly then the  dog would have done it correctly . BTW , we never did anything with the dog just to mix it up from session to session and to try something new.We had a progressive step by step plan  for the dog in the teaching .  Everything is taught with a purpose and for a reason, correctly . So , I don't put what Apple wrote about his dog's bicep biting onto him or his abilities . I also wrote in another thread  that was the same for Juno - he was at no fault with his dog either. Some of these helper honestly don't know what they think they know, or as I wrote , the training sessions are such mundane ceremonial routines in many clubs that they plum just don't stop and think what the dog is telling them . They don't talk to the dog, in  dog talk that is  . If something is not going as you planned just stop. STOP . Put the dog up and then maybe take the dog out later when you thought things through . None of this BS always leave a training session on a good note, as they used to say,  because most often you just reinforce poor teaching/execution  . Remember this : In your mind the dog did not execute the way you want , but what is in the dog's mind is what matters . You may think he bit the bicept , so so,  and he thinks he did  great a great bite on the bicep ... Hmmm 

Dogs do not unlearn behaviors but they can be taught new behaviors. If the behavior is not to ingrained , sometimes a dog can very well learn to bite a different area or to bite better an area .

I attended a club and someone drove 4 hours to ask the director of that club for 30 years , how to clean up his dog's upper inner arm bite . The 30 year director of that club had no advice for that man . So as he was leaving I gave him my e mail address and gave him some direction to hekp solve that issue . Apple , I probably will not hear from you but if you want to work on your dog's upper inner bicep bite then through PMing I woud happily share my thoughts .. If not , that is ok ...

by apple on 24 June 2019 - 12:06

I think you misunderstood my post. I was saying I am very pleased with my dog targeting the bicep high because he was taught correctly from the beginning. I was referring to Juno's dog targeting closer to the elbow which is a pet peeve of mine.

by Juno on 24 June 2019 - 14:06

Apple, do you have any videos of your dog doing bitework?

You are really right in the video posted my dog targeted closer to the elbow because the Decoy is wary of the past history he has with him where he goes for the chest, or face, or neck. So he presents his arm in a rather awkward fashion. You will also notice during the rebote he had to jerk his head back and was leaning back in order to prevent getting a bite to his upper torso. We had at that time contemplated the decoy wearing a shield and a face mask to prevent my dog targeting there. The face mask back fired as my dog focused on that and wanted to rip that thing off. Targeting has been a problem with him, however; since I have not done any bitework with him over the last 6 months that is no longer an issue. We will however simulate a home break in with a different decoy and get him trained for those scenarios. No more PSA or any other sport for us.

by apple on 24 June 2019 - 15:06

I don't have any videos, but should be able to get some. IMO, the teaching of targeting the bicep should be done with the dog tied out so that the decoy can step into the dog and limit where the dog can bite. The dog is tied to a back tie and I also handle a short leash to help control the dog. A skilled decoy will be able to get a good dog to target the correct area the first time. Then it is multiple repetitions. We have not done a ton of bite work with my dog because he is more than eager to engage and the larger focus has been on correct static and moving heeling, sits and downs in and out of motion and engagement. We are now focused on building his drive in heeling. We do this by having someone holding him back on a long line. I stand in front of him a few feet away and crack the whip a few times, which significantly increases his drive and the holding back with me having the toy, builds more frustration and drive and then I call him to heel. When he is correctly at heeling we go into a moving heel with the toy under my arm and my left hand outside of his head. there is another shorter leash attached to his prong (he is held back on the long line by the agitation collar) which I put in my right hand and pop when needed to keep his head up. We will heel in a straight line and make left and about turns and stop with an automatic sit where I pop on the leash just before I stop and he sits. So there is a ton of repetition building the behaviors brick by brick. Initially, the bite work was with a leather pillow to extinguish pulling and to teach a pushing bite and then transferring the pushing bite to the bicep and the back of the leg above the knee for the escape bite in PSA.


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