I am binging back an old post, DECOYING
Red, let me first say this I feel sorry for you. Your trainer should have first began to teach you the art of decoying in a suit. For one, it sounds like, and looks like you where started in a comp-suit and you are a rookie. Trainers we all know this isn't how you start someone, first your going to hurt someone with an eager mind to learn, and second you risk the chance of also injuring your dogs. I'll be honest bruises, bites, and injuries do come along with the job, but stupidity in training a rookie decoy and turning him into a bite dummy doesn't make you a better trainer or funny it makes you ignorent. How as a trainer can you tell someone to take the time to train technique and move slowly and then take your rookie decoy and toss him to the wolves. Red, nothing personal to you but you didn't belong in a comp suit, and to top this all off did your trainer at least have the decience to lend you some neoprine gauntlets, or if he's going to put you in a comp-suit, teach you what slipedge means, or how to make a proper bite bar from the material of the suit. A comp-suit is for experienced decoys, not rookies.
Red as a trainer, I would have been much more interested in hearing you tell others about your first experience in the suit, more favorably. Start off telling us how you were trained to properly catch a dog, so to not hurt you or the dog. How your trainer worked with you on how to target the dog to specific areas of the suit, and presentation. If he worked legs with you, why to teach the dog to bite with his/her head on the outside VS the inside (to anyone who is unaware teach the dog to bite with his head turned out, a dog that bites with his head turned in can damage or break the dog's neck). To also share with us technique's your trainer shared with you to avoid injuries to yourself and the dogs.
Red the art of catching a dog and placement along with the knowledge to avoid injuries (proper equipment based upon your knowledge, how to slip the bite, under armour for added protection) can take quite some time no different then each dog is different, each decoy is different. Everyone brings in there own amount of atletic ablity, along with there knowledge of dog training. To everyone remember this a decoy today must also be a trainer the days of decoys as agitators only for the most part is old thinking. A good decoy vs a bad decoy can make wonders, between a good sesion and sesion where your dog regresses vs progresses. You want to see a good club I guarantee you will find good decoys, along with a strong core of decoys/trainers to train the future of decoys into somthing greater then we are today.
Trainers, we all agree in regards to teaching a dog technique, even if our techniques themselves differ, so why should this be different for our decoys. Are we not still training, and yes, I agree a human may be different then a dog/puppy, but would anyone train there puppy the same as we would the top dog in our group, no, we would not. So, what is truly the difference between a prospective puppy pupil and RED. IMO there is no difference.
Red if you are still interested in becoming a decoy, look for decoy seminars put on by a French Ring, Mondio Ring, PSA, Schutzhund or etc. type of club. Also Red look into purchasing a training suit, I know the temptation may be there to purchase maybe a semi-comp suit, but IMO you should start off in a training suit. I say this through experience, I do own a comp-suit (Eurochien), and don't get me wrong I also use it for training but it will not make you a better decoy when you are worried about the pain of the upcoming bite more then teaching yourself the importance of proper technique.
If you are looking for a good bite suit, look at Demanet, Eurochien, JM costumes, Euro Joe, Roca Sport or Costumes Freddy. All the suits I have mentioned are made from french linen except the Roca Sport that is made in Mexico. All these suits have earned a reputation in the training and compatition arena for ringsports. I prefer Eurochien and Demanet, and in regards to training I like the french ring suit over the Belgium suit, but those are my opinions. Also look into the inner gear under the bite suit, Neoprine (wet suit material) can be your friend, under armour long sleeve stretch shirts, plus pants aid in the slipedge of the suit (slipedge helps prevent those nasty bruises). I prefer a warm weather under armour gear due to how hot it is in the suit, plus Under Armour helps keep most of the sweat from getting in your suit. It dosent take much to have a nasty smelling piece of equipment no matter how much Febreeze you use. I aslo use neoprine on my legs when using a comp-suit, I get this piece from the sporting goods store. I buy the thigh and calf pieces used for strained muscles. I also like slidding baseball shorts underneath, plus these hold your most important piece of under equipment your CUP (Red just think what you would have felt if those bites you received were to your crotch versus your bicep area). I have also seen people use soccer shin guards for the lower legs. Now for the last Cleats, I prefer Soccer Cleats those with a very short cleat. I like a short cleat because I dont want my foot to be stuck in the ground when im supposed to be twisting the catch (I like my knees in place). I have also used football cleats but have found that a soccer cleat is better made for a side to side motion plus a front to rear motion, I find the football cleat primarily made for the front motion, and the cleat itself is deficult to find in a short cleat, but I have used both. I do like the ankle support of the football cleat, so to anyone purchasing a soccer cleat, also purchase extra ankle support (you can find this with most soccer shin guards). I also recomend a bag for the suit, get a lage hocky bag they can fit the suit and they are half the price of buying one on line from a dog equipment business. Hang the suit up after each training session to allow it to air out. I have never washed a suit and I wouldn't recomend it I would beafraid of the wear to the fabric from washing and drying (the same goes with drycleaning). To clean the suit I recomend a warm rung wash cloth, and febreeze, dry the suit immediatly.