Working to get my dog to get more serious - Page 1

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by Juno on 02 May 2018 - 16:05

I am sending you some links to some bite work I am doing with my 2 year old male GSD, Zeus van den heuvel. I am in Miami and it has been very difficult to get his training going (no clubs) – especially in protection training so I had to do a lot of the bite work myself which obviously was all in play mode and not serious. The main purpose was to make sure he had a firm grip – the flip side of it is with a dog like Zeus who has high prey drive he became very equipment oriented. Finally, I seem to have a good decoy (he claims to have done French Ring and showed me pictures in his native country) and the goal is to make this more serious and not equipment focus. This is the 3rd session with the new helper. His bite is really strong, deep, calm, not hectic, and the decoy tells me that he feels a lot of pressure through the sleeve during the bite

Any comments, critiques, and advise are more than welcome. The goal is to get him to be more focused on the decoy and less on equipment and as he progresses throw in different real life scenarios. I wish there were some PSA clubs nearby as that is what I would have really liked to have done with him.

by duke1965 on 02 May 2018 - 16:05

if you want the dog to focus more on the man and less on equipment, make the helper get rid of the whips, as they are equipment as well and the dog is triggerred by the whips,and most likely will loose interest when whips are tossed, or confronted with someone without jumping around and whipping.


good luck


by yogidog on 02 May 2018 - 17:05

There should be less movement and equipment should be weaned out. Decoy is a little to far away need to be closer and when the dog becomes aggressive decoy move away. Make sure the dog understands the bark command. In order for the the dog to understand this is not a game decoy may need to touch him in an aggressive manner. But depending on the dog and where he is at but imo a some stage of training this needs to happen but always fair on the dog. When equipment is gone there will be a different type of pressure and the dog should react differently. Best of luck

by Juno on 02 May 2018 - 18:05

Thanks Duke, Yogi - appreciate the comments. If I understand correctly - get rid of the whips, and a lot less movement. My dog understands the bark command and will bark if I tell him "pass auf!". Should the decoy be more silent, and stealthy in his approach or just get close to my dog and just stare him in his eyes till he barks or lunges at him? During the last session he started barking and going off on the decoy the minute he saw him even before he had started anything.

by duke1965 on 02 May 2018 - 18:05

a keyword like pass auf, is good, it will trigger the dog, and lets him know what you expect from him

the level of movement etc . from helper is depending on dog, so that is for the decoy to "read " and fill in as he goes


here is one I am doing, but this dog has higher civil agression level than yours

by ValK on 02 May 2018 - 18:05

During the last session he started barking and going off on the decoy the minute he saw him even before he had started anything.


yeap, dog already had developed pattern - familiar person in association with agitation. nothing more.

first mistake which erase all your objectives - agitation to build-up rage with... following discharge on equipment.
how in such way you and your assistant expect to switch the dog's fixation from equipment to live object in front of him?

by duke1965 on 02 May 2018 - 18:05

here is another example, Juno, of o PP dog I trained without equipment, starts about the 1 minute on the video

the developing of a pattern, or trigger dogs expectation is what you want, only not on equipment obviously present and used

by Juno on 02 May 2018 - 18:05

Thanks Duke - great video - I get the idea. That really helped, I can see the link between the decoy coming in the picture, the command, the decoy's response, and the reward. All without any equipment. Great!

Valk - I guess what you are saying is what I am trying to avoid. Will use Duke's video as an training tool - that was very helpful - to change the focus from equipment to man.

by Centurian on 02 May 2018 - 19:05

Juno Do not fret .... You must realize that every dog is different , develops differently. I want to say for this dog that I see in your video .. You have done right so far. When I look at that first video , I see man,mamny excellent features . What many many helpers /decoys do not understand is the value and meaning of "FOUNDATION" . Many jump to pressure on the dog to perform to seriously protect, putting the dog to soon to be highly suspicious . By doing such things , this has ruined many a good dog !
I like very very much the general presentation of this dog , in short. If the foundation is not correct for an individual dog , sooner or later everything will fall apart. Yes , some dogs get stuck in a pattern , they get stuck in playfulness , predatory behaviors . But the big BUT here is doing to much to fast before the dog is ready for seriousness is equally or even more damaging to the dog's development. When is the dog ready ? THAT is the key determining factor and question .. and the answer is simply : when it is ready . The dog will tell you and a good helper/decoy will hear the dog say it. Your dog is ready and in the video he is telling you that he has matured enough , learned to home his skill to be serious.
Yes , get rid of the equipment that you used . To add to the previous posts what I ant you to realize situations and contexts are a very very important key. So these are some things that i did with my GSs. Tie him out alone , let him realize that he has no pack support and have someone strange approach suspiciously , not your helper and when the dog reacts to them , have them run away. Work with your dog at night time.. This is very different to a dog, than day time.
Now whenever I work with people I always say your role is 50% . If you want the dog to be suspicious , you have to be suspicious . That is to say , the words you use are not enough , but the way you use the word ' Paus Auf , THAT is what is important. You have to say it in a different manner , whispering , suspicious tone and inflection . This won't come through writing, but something like you were to say " who's that ? " . Also you have to let the dog know that his behavior is what you want .. THAT is important . So I say to my dog's " that's right , good boy , who's that , [ bark bark bark ] good barking " ., By the way , this 1 word command bit is BS.. I always talk to my dogs i sentences.
If you work with the helper and the dog becomes to passive, have the helper come up and pinch his flank / butt .. That will teach the dog to not be complacent and get a reaction. However the helper has to get in and get out and fast , also position himself as to never be able to get bitten . That will , excuse the expression , piss your dog off and be not so friendly .
Enough for now .. can't give a seminar in writing here..


by yogidog on 02 May 2018 - 19:05

That's a good explanation centurion. Most angles covered. I have also used a table to build aggression  The dog is at the same height as the decoy and the power of the dog will be stronger . It a grate way to build confidence and also build fight. Bringing the dog to the edge of the table and he will teach himself to hump back with greater power. Sorry about edit posted by mistake . 


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