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by Koots on 19 September 2018 - 14:09

It's all about the dog.....It is imperative to identify the dog's natural dominant drive, and use this drive initially, then channeling the dog into the other drive(s). If the dog has stronger defence than prey, then you need to wait until the dog can mentally handle being worked in defence to start serious man-work. A good decoy will switch the dog between drives (if other drives present/strong enough), but start the dog in predominant drive.

For example, my dog has stronger defence than prey (his prey drive is good as well) so I waited until he was almost 2 yrs old before working him with a helper. Initially, the helper had to teach my dog to target a sleeve, rather than the man, but once he got it he became 'safe' to work on the sleeve. This does not mean that if needed, he would not bite if there was no sleeve, as it is in his nature to target the man, but we have just taught him that he gets his reward when doing sport by targeting the sleeve. I started my dog as a pup on a flirt pole, teaching him to target, grip and out (operant-conditioning at first), and then using the 2-ball method when having fun to reinforce the out.

Juno - one thing that may help with the out when the dog is on the bite, is to give the leash tug INTO the decoy when commanding the out. If you give a correction/leash pull away from the decoy, you will be reinforcing the dog's oppositional reaction of gripping harder. When correcting INTO the decoy, the dog does not go into oppositional reaction and it makes an out command easier for the dog to comply with. I don't know if you have been using this method, but something to consider if you haven't.

by joanro on 19 September 2018 - 15:09

Koots, your description of your dog gives confirmation to the genetic aspect of a dog that will rather target the man rather than the sleeve.....your dog is the littermate to the granddam of the ten month old (page two), your dog's dam is the granddam of the the two dogs showing teeth on previous page. And** the dog on the decoy in the tree is your dog's grandsire ( page 2)....Strong genetic natural aggression/ civil in these dogs!

by apple on 19 September 2018 - 15:09

I would like to watch the video. Having trained in IPO before and being new to PSA, I have learned some new approaches because the sports are very different. Re: the handling of the leash, in IPO, I would keep backpressure on the leash when the dog was biting and then give some slack to cue the dog to counter. In PSA, the dog is obviously pulling hard on the line to get a bite and as soon as he strikes, I let the leash go slack. He has learned the out quickly by offering a different wedge and as soon as I see him starting to loosen his grip on the wedge, I give the out command and there has been no conflict.

by Juno on 19 September 2018 - 15:09


The description of your dog is similar to fine. He has good prey drives but not over the top but has a very serious side to him. Last nights session we tapped into that using the car jacking scenario, decoy acting suspicious and wearing a mask. My dog really got mad and wanted to jump out but the window opening was not big enough (one of those where the window does not go down all the way), so I just casually opened the door. He took off after the decoy and went straight for his face, decoy dodged, dog missed, turned around immediately and went for the chest, decoy dodged again and dog did not get a good grip, and then readjusted and targeted that bicep. Obviously, decoy was wearing a full bite suit, and the great thing was that my dog did not give up till he really nailed the decoy. After that we just did sends and bicep and tricep bites and ended it later in the evening with a marathon 13 min session with the dog biting, outing, fighting, reciting without any breaks. Both decoy and I were beat but my dog wanted more. Every time decoy went passive he would bite in to get a reaction - which he did.
As for the “out” we got him to do it exactly how you describe it. He is not perfect, but he is outing now whereas not too long ago he would not even.

Appreciate your input.

by Juno on 19 September 2018 - 15:09


Here are the links. Since the session was so long it got broken out in to a 10 min plus and about another 2 min video. It is completely unedited so you will see all the mistakes and also the language could be a little colorful at times.


The first one is the long one, the second (might get a crick in your neck) is the short one, the end of the session.


My apologies, I did not want to hijack your thread and if you wish will be glad to move to a different thread.

by joanro on 19 September 2018 - 16:09

Thumbs UpJuno, this is what the thread is for, to stimulate conversation that is productive. Good job and appreciate your participation!

by apple on 19 September 2018 - 16:09

I watched the first one but the second one must be the wrong link. Your dog looks confident with strong, full grips. I would like to see him push/fight the decoy more. You might also want to give a down or sit command after the dog outs and then release him to bite again.

by Juno on 19 September 2018 - 17:09

Thanks Apple.

Here is the correct link.


Yes, we are working on the fighting more, in this case I was glad that he stayed in the fight for so long without letting up. We had started at 6, obedience then I played with him with a ball, and 2 bite sessions prior to this. Glad his stamin held out. Once he gets a full bite he has a tendency to not counter. Outing was a huge problem with him till recently.

Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated.


by Jessejones on 19 September 2018 - 18:09

Thanks for posting about your progress and the vids.
I mentioned a few months ago, how much I liked what I saw of your dog, and after these vids today, I still like him.

I commend you and your decoy for the thoughtfulness and calmness of those training sessions. Sure, you will have to train for points in PSA eventually, but nonetheless, I like how you are going slow and rethinking, and adjusting your training goals to suit the dog’s temperament.

How does he do in daily life? Walks in Home Depot or crowds, for example? What if a strange 4 yo were to run up to him to pet him, or a strange man tried to pet him while on leash with you, how does he react?

Lastly, one of the vids you posted started the recording in portrait mode (vertical), which cuts out a lot of view...even if one catches the mistake, and turns the phone sideways to landscape mode while videoing, the rest of the video will remain in portrait mode and just turn the pic sideways.
That can be easily fixed during editing, for example if you use iMovie app on your phone (maybe other editing apps too), you can just use your fingers on the screen to rotate the vertical film to horizontal right in the editing screen. It will snap into horizontal. You can then save it in horizontal mode.

by ValK on 19 September 2018 - 18:09

Juno what is an objective of that exercise for 10+ mins., what you're trying to achieve?

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