Bitework for the newbie - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Atreus on 06 December 2019 - 09:12

Hi everyone,

I was thinking about getting into bitework for my gsd and me (if we both got what it takes) the sport side of it at least. There are a couple of schools who offer a program and are available to me but my trainer who I have been with for the last 8 months mentioned to me that getting your dog into bitework changes the dog, or changes the psych of the dog. Is this true? He told me that he likes my dog the way he is because he's a big sweetie -albeit challenging me a lot lately- and that by getting into bitework may make him more on edge and my daily interactions with friends and family will have to change. Ultimately, the head trainer who runs the program will vet me and have the say whether I can join his class or not.

So my question is I was wondering if there is some truth to that. Or as long as obedience is solid and I am watchful then it won't be such a big change. I would love to hear some of your experiences with getting your working dog into protection work and whether it's your first one or you are an experienced handler.


by Hired Dog on 06 December 2019 - 10:12

An actual trainer who has trained dogs in protection understands that first, the dog must have the genetic temperament to be trained in bite work. Without that, its a moot point. Next, please understand that a genetically correct dog does NOT learn how to bite, it learns WHEN to bite and how to stop biting.
Finally, if the trainer knows what they are doing, your dog's personality will have no reason to change, unless that dog is not fit for bite work. Where will you be training at, what facility?

by Atreus on 06 December 2019 - 10:12

Hired Dog, yes the head trainer is very particular and will not just accept anyone into his program. And yes, I understand that it is dependant on the genetics of the dog we might not get into it if he has weak nerve etc. The name of the school is Gemini K9 run by Christopher Rollox.

by apple on 06 December 2019 - 11:12

Hired Dog,
For the most part I agree with you, but if you have a dog with some anger/aggression and in the correct stage of his training, seriously fight the dog to the point you are inflicting some real pain or threat, it can change a dog if he steps up to meet that increased challenge. I wouldn't say it changes the dog's temperament, but rather, you bring out aspects of the dog's temperament that are genetically there. Typically, you don't do that with a sport dog. As a result, the "when" to bite might have a lower threshold, so you have a greater responsibility in managing the dog.
Some of the things that might change in a dog that takes to bite work are suspicion can be increased in an overly trusting dog. The taboo against biting a person might be broken. It depends on the dog's genetics. Many dogs trained in bite work won't bite for real. Some dogs trained in bite work might become less discerning and more protective, but you also have to have excellent obedience on a dog taught to bite. I do sport with the dogs I have had, but have always tried to select from breedings that are likely to produce dogs that will bite for real outside of the sport routines because it seems ridiculous to put so much time into training a dog for sport that will not bite for real. The best way to train a dog in protection and protection obedience for sport is to find a very skilled and knowledgeable decoy/handler who is also a good teacher, but your odds of that are low. Do you want to say anything about your dog's pedigree? That can usually tell you if the dog has the genetics to be a man stopper vs. a sport dog, vs. a dog that is not capable of the training.

by Centurian on 06 December 2019 - 11:12

One word for you Atreus : ATTITUDE

Someone can learn to box and martial arts, but what is the difference between a martial artist and a boxer : attitude , either one undertakes this as sport with that in mind or you do this with the mind and intention of a professional in a vocation . What is the difference : Attitude and purpose .

We do not need to teach a dog to bite -  does not a dog know how to bite on it's own ? Of course. What is the difference between a dog biting a frisbee and a human ..... Intention , attitude and purpose. That is the difference . Differentiate Protection from Sport , a dog to do harm as opposed to a dog just having fun in a game . What is the difference : the dog's ATTITUDE .

When anyone has a dog ..does that person also carry the responsibility to oversee that dog , have that dog obedient ? Doing sport and interacting with your dog in a past time is one of the best ways to have a responsible dog , playing a game and at the same time becoming obedient . Nothing wrong with doing sport and doing sport has so many advantages !

The genetics of the dog will never change but the character of the dog can and most likely be changed - Depending on what is taught , how it is taught and why  it is taught !! ALL THAT ,  is related to Attitude . For example, when the dog bites , is the attitude of the dog , one in which the dog is serious and wants to cause bodily harm to a human or is it a game whereby the dog is biting an article non seriously? There lies the difference.

Real Life Protection and  Sport Protection are two entirely different endeavors . If you undertake real protection as opposed to sport then your dog will be changed , forever changed - if you make bite work  , serious work !  I say this to people that want to do bite work outside the parameters of sport : Once you take the dog down the Dark Side .. the dog is forever changed and there is no turning back ! In this repsect you have changed the ATTITUDE and Character of the dog and that change can never ever be reversed . You have changed the dog forever and it is never ever ever to undertake any decision to bite [ unless you teach an automatic defense exercise ] on it's own accord ,  EVER  !! You have changed the Character of the dog such that the dog is no longer a simple home companion pet ! The dog has become a Legal Weapon and that carries all the responsibility of owning a weapon !

Weak nerve ... that is to a generalized, watered down  , indescriptive expression ,  that means nothing . But I will state that if a dog is temperament deficient , then these are dogs that should and do need to be worked constuctively . Of course you need someone that is well versed in teaching dogs . Years ago we did not pride ourtselves on working dogs that had the genetic potential to perform protection tasks. Those dogs were a cinch to teach . The dogs that had problems , they were the dogs that we prided ourselves on improving their character , helping them to cope with their flaws and life through sports some of them through bite work sports. And we were always willing to help anyone that was an upright person and a person honestly willing to interact with their dog . BTW , do you know how may dogs have done Sch , IPO , IPG that were temperament flawed over the decades ... and also got titled too ?

So , I do not know the fellow or the program referred to .... but .... I was always more concerned about a shady person wanting to work their dog than the dog itself . So ... selective ? To me , that can mean different things -  I do not know , give me a dog that can put it's mouth on something and I can work with it .. So I do not understand what is meant by being selective in certain repects . If that means selecting dogs to do real serious work , that I can understand   that on,y a ferw dogs will be chosen for that teaching.. Those dogs neeand must have , what it takes . But a dog to do sport .. again,  that is entirely different ,  unless it is sport like PSA and the like...

by Hired Dog on 06 December 2019 - 14:12

The drama here sometimes can be a bit, the dog wont become a weapon, IF trained properly. It will be a dog that has now been trained to bite when told, end of discussion. There are two times a dog is allowed to bite on its own, when someone tries to break in your home and/or your car, period, end.
Training a dog for personal protection is more tedious then training one for police work and it does require a dog that is more stable then most police dogs working the street today.
I am talking about serious training here, with every scenario you can think of, not back tie a dog to a tree and antagonize until you get it to go into fear based defense and bite. I am also not talking about a dog that has been training to target a sleeve and its now supposedly trained for real life encounters.

This type of training requires a very genetically stable dog with the proper genetic drives to undergo a training program that will last for months and its not a cheap venture. That type of dog should be safely able to go anywhere on or off leash, be social or socially neutral with everyone it encounters, engage a threat that YOU determined needs to be engaged without a second's hesitation and "out" with a single command.

Yes, the dog will now enjoy combat with a human, but, that should not make the dog change its relationship with you or family members. It should not change the dog into an untrustworthy animal that needs to be put away when company comes over because then it would be useless, should you need it.
Finally, please do not listen or trust anyone who tells you that your dog "will know" when someone wants to harm you and act instinctively to protect you.....these are people who attribute anthropomorphic qualities to an animal.

by Atreus on 06 December 2019 - 14:12

These are the parents

Q Man

by Q Man on 06 December 2019 - 15:12

TEMPERAMENT is the #1 concern...

Good Temperament and if the training is good and correct you don't have a lot to worry about...


by Centurian on 06 December 2019 - 17:12

Anything ..... anythingggg that you use to harm a person is a weapon . Weapons are not limited to swords , knives , and guns . A dog's bite can be much much worse than a little cut from a knife ... Believe me when iI write : if you imprint and teach a dog to bite for real a person .. you have created a weapon ! I would like to have demo'd how much serious damage I can do to some one with a stupid little paperclip , what in the world do you think a dog could do with continous biting of human flesh ..

Listen , in my training program we learned to test to see if the dogs we were going to train would bite for real . All that we used was a hidden sleeve under a jacket. The handler made a mistake in targeting the dog and on the helper the dog came up and bit him... immediately we saw the blood flow from underneath his arm down his side. So if you ever think for one moment that if your dog would bite a human and that dog was not a weapon .. all that I can say is and my comment to that person who trains their dog for serious biting is that they are not worthy enough or squared away in the head enough to even hold a dog's leash ! If you train a dog to bite someone , or some other endeavor other than sport, you better dam well have 100% control over that dog ,and you lest not forget that dogs are not robots and they make mistakes .. BTW - how many times has a police dog even bitten one of the offcers by mistake ?? enough times ... Jusy saying ...

BTW there are many cotexts within the law , that we can train a dog to automatically , without any needed command to bite someone. The situations are not limited to only two ! That is just plum stupidity to make that comment . The dog can bite anyone pulling a weapon on you [ and that covers many situations . Because the 'act of' pulling a weapon on you implies that the not only has that person the intent too use that weapon but also is he going to use that weapon . Another context : anyone that strikes you to the ground ...

IMOp , If you think a dog biting as person is a game and it is as a weapon thinking it as being dramatic , then you are irresponsible, insensitive and lack the seriousness to be handling a dog of that caliber. A dog biting a person should be taken very seriuos just as you would be handling a fire arm , which is also a serious endeavor

by Hired Dog on 06 December 2019 - 18:12

Cent, I can sit next to you on your couch and tell you that I will cause you harm if you dont put $100 in my bank...your dog will lay there and do NOTHING.
I can sit on your couch and you can tell me that my cousin died and I become very emotional and distressed and I get off the couch and pace while crying and yelling. If your dog bites me, you are screwed. Again, cut out the BS.

Of course ANYTHING is a weapon, my pen and my fork are too, but, implying that a dog is can be taken in a very different context...
A dog biting a human is NOT a game, playing with peoples simple questions and blowing things out of control is.
What would happen if I reach in my pocket while in your presence to pull my phone, would your dog know its a phone, would it attack me believing somehow its a gun? What kind of genuine bovine excrement are you speaking of?

"The act of pulling out a weapon implies that I will use it"? Where did you hear that? What if I want to scare you with it and it works and you move on? I got what I wanted, case closed. Of course dogs are not robots, of course they need control, why is that some revelation? Who would train a dog in bite work and not be able to control it?
How many times do police dogs bite other officers? Too many as far as I am concerned...nice try...but, that is not one dimensional fault. Sometimes its the handler, sometimes its the dog and others its the officer that got bitten.

Save your insinuations and address me directly if you have something to say to me.


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