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I have to ask this Question, please let me get some response

5629 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Nelson
HONESTLY people!!!
If we all DO NOT believe in CONDITONING a dog to sticks etc, then really shouldnt we be NOT using stick at all in our training? shouldnt we just wait and see how they handle it in a trial?

if they already know the stick then in trial will not affect them. that is conditioning.

What are your thoughts? To really test your dog, should we just not be really building drive have good nerve from puppy and bite development and NOTHING else! no stick drives until trial, etc...

Wouldnt this be the real deal????

People say Courage Test SHOULD NOT be trained day in day out in training sessions, they should just be able to walk on the field and DO IT. A real dog.

How many of us have done so at clubs, im one right here! but IF a dog did this test without any training and hit hard and not close eyes to the hits etc, would that not impress you more , in showing you what your dog has??? Why arent we doing this then????

Sorry but i have to think about this and have been for days!!!
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I don't think a dog should be conditioned to stick hits, but it should definately be tried in training. I don't think the first time the dog gets a stick hit should be at trial. Just for the reason, that its would be a waste of time, energy, not to mention embarrassing, if your dog comes off the bite. I think it should definately be tried in training.

I definately would be very impressed if a dog came to the trial with no previous training of courage test or stick hits. But think about it, its never gonna happen, nobody will ever do it.
How often is "tried" you think at least 1 time a session? maybe once a month? every session? I am really starting to think about it
I think a big reason people condition for that is because the reality is many dogs would FAIL without it. It would take a really strong dog to be able to do that and the reality is most dogs out there competing aren't really all that strong. That is my take but I hope you get some replies from more experienced people over on the training boards. I can't wait to see what they have to say!! Great question Tia and I admit that I have wondered the very same thing!!
So do we think that if a dog "needed" more stick hits then others, it may be "weaker" hw can we determine this, especially for a breeding program? Stick hits should be condtioned b/c most dogs would fail? what do we think about our own?
Tia said:
So do we think that if a dog "needed" more stick hits then others, it may be "weaker" hw can we determine this, especially for a breeding program? Stick hits should be condtioned b/c most dogs would fail? what do we think about our own?
I'm not experience by any mean, heck I ain't even a novice yet, lol. But my take on this is, If a dog needs to be conditioned for stick hits, he is a weaker dog. Would I stop working the dog? I guess it depends how bad it is, if I can get him over it, I would continue to work him, but wouldn't add him to my breeding program. ( I don't have a breeding program, but just saying if I did)

How often is "tried" you think at least 1 time a session? maybe once a month? every session? I am really starting to think about it
I don't know for sure, but once a month is probably good, just so you are confident in your dog.
Yeah i can live with that... Thanks!
Well, we train for french ring. Theoretically, we should then use only the bamboo clatter stick. However, we use a clatter stick, padded stick, whip, shaker bottle, squeeky hammer toy, or ANYTHING that we feel the dog will be freaked out by. Anything.

Why? Because it is training. It is conditioning. It is conditioned to see anything strange as a stimulus to fight harder. Isn't that what we what? We do patter train, to a degree. However, withing each patter, I like to introduce a NEW stimuli. The dog then EXPECTS the unexpected.

In fact, after the dog gets "used to it", a stick hit to the dog is a stress relief. In our club, the dogs are trained to bite deeper with each stick hit. The tapping goes on until it bites deeper. Again, it is all conditioning the dog.

Now, too much stick work at a pup stage, and you can ruin your dog. Not enough exposure can ruin your dog too. It is a balance.

Thick of it this way. Let us just suppose you NEVER exposed your dog to the stick and it sees a stick with the decoy in a trial. If your dog is HARD, your control will go out the window and YOU will fail the trial. Why? becaue your dog will basically go into insane fight and take it personally. You will look like an idiot with no outs. Now, I prefer not to look like an idiot. LOL.

Now, if the dog sees no pressure (and release of pressure) in training, how will you know? In trials? I suppose that is why I love working with strange (but qualified) decoys. I want to proof my dogs. At this point, I am not worried about their courage or nerves, but control.

Really, isn't that the name of the game/sport? Control. Isn't that why the malinois are the king of any protection sport?

I just think the introduction of stick, as well as all stimuli is part of good imprinting. How the dog reacts to pressure is set when the pup is before 6 months. He can overcome and win or he can avoid...........then avoid the rest of his life. The later is no good to me.

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Peter i agree with you, I do use stick hits, clatter,bottles,screw drivers etc for my dogs to see and see what they do. I do it as well. I just asked the question b/c i am SO sick of hearing trainers and handlers saying a "real dog" could do that courage test without training and never see threats (ex stick etc) then enter a trial and win, then i post the question why dont you then?
I know what my dog can do so far i document it and move onto another "stimuli" i just asked question b/c it was on my mind for soemtime.
No dog is perfect but i like to see dogs strengths and weaknesses.

Let me start off by saying that I am by no means an expert in anything. You asked for opinions and that's all I can give you.

I believe people train their dogs this way because that's what "training" is. We are mentally and physically preparing ourselves and our pets for a trial or test. Why not have your athlete prepared for as many scenarios as possible? Wouldn't it behoove you to know what your dog can do and what it won't before you go to get a title?

Would it be great to see a trial where something is introduced that could change the landscape of everyone competing? I guess it would be awesome from a spectator point of view but as a trainer I would like to know what is expected of me and feel confident in that I trained appropriately. Trust me, if people tried to make it a rule that stick training was illegal and could only take place in a trial...people would still do it. Everyone wants to perform @ 100% and some of those same folks are willing to do anything to make sure they achieve their goals.

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I agree with being prepared for trial and having your dog prepared .... yes i believe that is fine....
What i am pondering is...... the dogs who go out without training ( i see it and hear of it happening all the time people bring out their Abs for BSTs, Irondog, etc) and SOME prolly MOSt do fail yes because the handler was dumb for entering the dog, the dog wasnt ready,lack of training etc.. BUT some do pass! and these are people who are not hardcore trainers, they do the basic... Are these dogs considered "better"?? the ones who pass? or were they "lucky"?

I do train my dogs for different fields,decoys,stimulis so i do train this way AS WE ALL DO.... i am wondering if SOMEONE did not and did the question i asked Are they Crazy or is their DOG "real"?
Train PSA.

There is no set routine, except for the structure of the basic exercises. The distractions and the decoy pressure are always changing. Sounds like you like a PSA dog. Not pattern trained.

If I see a dog that barely passes with no training, why would I say that dog is "real"? I always see the dog and the handler as a team. A dog by itself is nothing, no matter how excellent genetic potential it has. NOTHING. A dog is nothing without will and the direction of its owner.

Many a time I have heard on the internet how GREAT a particular dog is. I go and see it for myself (at a show or its yard) and it is not good. Their excuse is always......"dog is raw. with proper training it can do it. " How do they know? It has never seen the stress of doing high level OB. That is why OB on ABs look so bad, usually. They cannot take the stress it takes to get its stubborn head into that tight control mode.

bottom line. You have to be prepared or don't show up. I hate it when people make excuses. If one did not have the resources to train his dog........the dog is listens like crap and acts like crap. Well, it is crap. I don't care about what it could have been.

Seriously, when I look at a dog, I think about the club, not the dog or its handler. One notices that all the dogs from the club bites the same way and have the same issues, usually. That is why having the right club and the right decoy is absolutely critical.

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Great post Peter. How many dogs have you seen that looked great during the bitework until the control came...lol. I have seen a few :lol: . Many people do not realize the stress that puts on some dogs. Your once intense, biting machine, with some control put on it don't look too intense anymore. I find you see this with alot of the big bully dogs. I can think of a few that have really been hyped over the years but what did they really accomplish? How many were actually forced to work through the pressure of control after all those pictures were taken of them biting and put up on websites, in books etc? I guess some people are easily impressed, but once you train a while and learn how hard some things can be on a dog and handler you aren't so easily impressed anymore..lol. I am much more impressed by a dog that has worked through pressure ( handler, helper, and enviornmental) than some raw dog who has just been given easy bites, allowed to work freely, always win, no distractions, demands from handler etc. A dog that STILL bites full and hard and with intensity AFTER its been through all that is what I call a "real" dog.... :wink:
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This thread brings to mind an article written by accomplished trainer Ron Marshall. EXCELLENT READ

I will jump on the band wagon and add another quote "Those who can, do".
This is not directed at anyone! Just in general to those who just "work dogs" to no measurable accomplishment. The post may be a bit sch heavy, but thats just beacuse thats where I have the most backgound. To me this applies to any NON-confirmation titles.
The little town of Indian Head, MD is full of NBA/NFL super stars as good as Michael Jordan and Barry Sanders. They all have their stories of greatness, they are all good, but the bottom line is if they had what it took..... They would go to the NBA/NFL, cash their multi million dollar checks, lead the league in scoring / rushing and carry their teams on their backs single handed for 10 years. They are all good, but they all lack something that is stopping them from accomplishing in a structured environment. Maybe the pressure to perform is too great. Maybe they lack discipline. Maybe they can't take direction, whatever it is they are coming up short of what it actually takes to accomplish / prove something with their talent.
This applies to trainer's, handler's, and dog's.
I'm not trying to dig on anyone, I just want folks to understand and respect the accomplishments and what it takes. Handler's, judges, and decoys have been allowing unqualified dogs to pass for so long that we are now losing the proper respect for these very note worthy achievements.
When you are training for "real world", it is perfectly reasonable to give 2 or 3 commands casually for anything. You can use body language, signals (on purpose or not), and all kinds of handler help under normal circumstances without issue or it even being noticed. As long as your dog is not being a complete ass and you stay calm and don't put your hands on him, the training looks wonderful for the "real world". These things are no big deal as long as the dog listens, it's good training.
The reason, structured sports are an accomplishment is because they are the next level. I have learned many things over the past several years training with Butch, not the least of which is that the German's didn't create the sch exercises and rules because they though it would be cool to do it that way. The decoy is not the only one testing a DOG in a sch trial, the obedience and tracking rules are designed to test the DOG (not only training). There is a reason that everything has to be performed in a very specific manor (not just to be point anal).
Many would be stunned at how the picture of their dog will change if they changed their training so that the dog had to respond with one command (no help). 2 is not acceptable. Let me be clear, I'm not saying train so the dog should respond with one command, but doesn't. I'm saying train so the dog responds with one command. Then after responding he has to be able to re-engage the battle with peak intensity.
Train so the dog doesn't chew or drop the dumbbell, weave on the track, stop on the track, take dirty bites, heel wide on turns, leave early on the go out, etc... etc.. etc... When these things become unacceptable, regardless of what techniques you train with, you are raising the DOGS responsibility to perform. He is being held responsible for his actions after you give a command. As we all know from our real life experiences responsibility brings pressure and stress. The more responsibility you have the more pressure you feel. Pressure Bust's Pipes! It's the same with dogs. The more structured the sport, the more responsibility the dog has. As those responsibilities add up you start to be able to see the true character of the dog as performs under stress.
So, it can be said that a "real world" dog is good and he may be... But he hasn't been proofed, proven to the level of a titled dog. So, if the titled dog is good too. It's hands down which dog has to be given the advantage.
This is why time tested titles are a necessity to me. They are a testament to the character of the dog as well as the fact that they can bite. Complete package, proven. It's the difference between the dad who stays through tuff times and the dad who abandons his wife and family cause it's too hard and he can't take it. That's a part of that mans character that you might not have otherwise seen without the pressures of job, husbandry and fatherhood. Training for sch titles brings out the character that you won't see without 3 phases and 23 exercises all in one day. It's another LEVEL.
And if the title is not proof enough, that's cool!! A truly good dog who is trained shouldn't have any problem being "real world", or doing sch, or whatever he is asked to do. After all, he is a good dog and he has proven he can be trained and accept the responsibility you give him. And it goes both ways. If your titled dog crumbles under the responsibility of having to listen, work, and perform in the "real world", then you have evidence of his short comings as a titled dog (or the fact that you titled a dog who shouldn't have been ).
But, titles should NOT be slept on! They mean allot!
"Those who can't talk shit", "Those who can, do"
Why not, you got a good dog and he is trained... Step up and get your titles.... What can it hurt? Unless you can't?
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When it comes to competing, you never want to leave anything to "chance". Always train giving the dog as much exposition as possible to anything and everything. Keep safety to a max. And expose your dog to stick, and other things. And by expose I don't mean beating your dog with it. The exposition should be something gradual. From moving it so the dog can see it during the bite and build it step by step until you get to the hit.

If done properly without skipping any steps in the training your dog should see the stick (or any other object) as a motivator to persevere in his action (bitework). This way you keep the guesswork out of trialing. You step into the field knowing that the stick will never be a problem for dog in qualifying for a trial. Hope this helps. Happy training!
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