Ron Marshall's approach to bitework training w/bull breeds

This forum is all about training and behavior. Everything from potty training to working titles!

Postby Leslie H » June 7th, 2006, 9:01 pm

Demo, this is the piece I mentioned
The Problem
Posted by Ron on 2/19/2005, 7:21 am
63.159.48.33
I have been getting allot of e-mails lately from folks having problems getting expectable work out of there bulldogs (APBT, AB). Most have the same problem even if not the exact same symptom. SYMPTOM = doesn’t always bite, doesn’t always bite hard, doesn’t always bite the first time, becomes uninterested, uncommitted……..(this can all be regardless of the dogs happy stable disposition towards work) And I know there are many other's who think there dog is working well, but in reality have the same problem. It’s the same issue I have heard repeatedly over the years an a large part of the reason I insist on the level of intensity and commitment that I do. It’s why they aren’t considered working dogs.
This is not anything that I haven’t said here several times before. The nature of bull breeds is fundamentally different than that of a herder. As a result it is typical that a bull dog worked strictly by a herding dog mentality will not realize his potential and will seem sub-par to club members and a pain to train to the owner (next thing you know they get a dog who “wants to work”). In an environment where the trainers / decoys believe the way they have been taught to work there GSD’s or Mal’s is the way to work DOGS period, results WILL be limited.
It is not so much the actual technique’s (physical way’s of training) that are the problem. The technique’s can be used, reused, and applied in many way’s to serve many purposes. The real issue is folks applying there understanding of working dog behavior / training theory to dogs that are “not working dogs”. REPEAT = The real issue is folks applying there understanding of HERDING dog behavior / training theory to dogs that are COMBAT dogs. It’s not about being harder to train, it’s about opening your mind and seeing what makes your dog thrive, even if it DOESN’T make any sense by what all the typical / popular training ideology.
CASE in POINT:
The first 2 or 3 tries the dog doesn’t bite. After a few stick hits dog gets better. But, you can’t get to trial cause the dog comes out cold, can’t get started.
The decoys thought is to start every session with pressure, heating the dog up and giving a bite to relieve the stress. Eventually, the dog is supposed to learn to avoid the pressure by starting / biting first.
Technique wise, not that much different (maybe) than what I would do. But, what’s going to cause him a problem is his theory behind why the technique will work. Because it is likely he is wrong about what the dog is thinking (dog not thinking like a GSD) the results will be mixed, inconsistent, off the mark. Even though the technique may be sound the application ends up being improper.
Bull breeds typically thrive on the conflict, it is a mistake to think that the pressure is a penalty. They enjoy it, they don’t see it as a situation to be avoided. A herder (typically) will fight and enjoy it to some extent, but he sees the fight as just that, a fight where he might lose if the guy is too tuff. He doesn’t want, toooo much fight cause he wants to win. Pressure is a negative to him because it gives the impression that he might NOT win and that’s why he is doing it to WIN. The combat dog is the opposite. Yes he too wants to win (no one wants to lose), but the fight is what he really enjoys. He is not fighting because he wants to win, winning or losing doesn't occur to them until it happens. He is fighting because he wants to fight. The more fight the better. It’s not a penalty at all, it’s what they want (even if they don’t know it at first). As soon as they win they should want to fight again. Not, crap calmly with a full mouth and enjoy the win. And don’t mistake wanting to fight again with wanting to play again.
If you want your pit bull to be interested in protection he must be challenged from day one! Not dominated or nursed!
My personal opinion:
I love pit bulls. I believe they are great working dogs and can do it all. But, they are in a different mold than the herding dogs. And I like it that way! If an APBT doesn’t display the behavior I have mentioned, but does have enough to be a working dog and get titled…….. I am NOT interested. I want an APBT (physical & mental, not a GSD). I expect my dogs to behave as COMBAT dogs, the way I train is conducive to them. And it gives me a final product that I enjoy, one that can’t be scoffed at by anyone who witness’s. And, I believe the open mindedness that has allowed me to come to these conclusions has made me a better trainer for ALL breeds.
User avatar
Leslie H
Queen of Weight Pull
 
Posts: 372
Location: NW CT

Postby Marinepits » June 7th, 2006, 9:44 pm

Okay, at the risk of sounding like a moron, what is the definition of a "combat dog"? :? Does this go back to the idea of "gameness"?
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
User avatar
Marinepits
Proud Infidel
 
Posts: 15621
Location: New England

Postby Leslie H » June 7th, 2006, 9:46 pm

A dog that likes to (and was bred to) fight.
User avatar
Leslie H
Queen of Weight Pull
 
Posts: 372
Location: NW CT

Postby Marinepits » June 7th, 2006, 9:50 pm

Leslie H wrote:A dog that likes to (and was bred to) fight.


Thanks! I was hoping it was that simple and I wasn't missing something, LOL. :wink:
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
User avatar
Marinepits
Proud Infidel
 
Posts: 15621
Location: New England

Postby mnp13 » June 7th, 2006, 11:07 pm

very interesting piece. It should be required reading for the furry dog people! :)
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
User avatar
mnp13
Evil Overlord
 
Posts: 17234
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby Cuda » June 8th, 2006, 1:13 am

I liked the info but he never explained what he did different in his training for bully's as opposed to herders. Am i joining this late or from somewhere else?


When training Cuda i used the technique from Balabanovs "The Game" From the beginning when the tug was introduced as a pup he never got the tug unless he tried as hard as i thought he would try at that moment. And then once he had the tug, knowing the pittie is a fighting breed, you make them fight like a dickens to win it.

That transfered right over to the sleeve for us.

Anyone wanting train a Sch or other bitework dog should check out his tape "The Game". Its well worth the time and money.
User avatar
Cuda
Snot Nose Bully Pup
 
Posts: 143
Location: North Jersey

Postby pocketpit » June 8th, 2006, 1:47 am

Thanks for sharing Leslie :)
User avatar
pocketpit
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1201
Location: WA

Postby dogcrazyjen » June 8th, 2006, 11:22 am

The combat dog is the opposite. Yes he too wants to win (no one wants to lose), but the fight is what he really enjoys. He is not fighting because he wants to win, winning or losing doesn't occur to them until it happens. He is fighting because he wants to fight. The more fight the better. It’s not a penalty at all, it’s what they want (even if they don’t know it at first).



What an astute comment. I spent years trying to tell people in sports (agility, flyball, disc, freestlye) that bribing or punishing a dog for disinterest in a sport is just not going to produce a top dog. You need to either find a sport your dog naturally is passionate about, or find a way to make the sport an object of passion for the dog. They need to be worked so they are enjoying innately the sport itself. Train towards the enjoyment of the particular dog.

I have spent many years watching dogs run out of the agility ring out of complete disinterest and stress because the owners were trained by bordercollie/aussie people who did not understand that non-working breeds cannot be trained the same as herding breeds. The drives are totally different. You can indeed get equitable performance out of them, you just need to approach it differently.

You really have to take off the border collie/GSD stencil and look at the dog you actually have, rather than bemoan what you do not have.

Great article, even for a non-pp person.
dogcrazyjen
Devoutly Bully
 
Posts: 922
Location: FingerLakes NY

Postby Malli » June 8th, 2006, 1:43 pm

The trainer I worked with in my "professional" trainer's course(I have a strong hatred for this man, though I did learn a little) had this issue. He had Border Collies, and I really got the impression that he fully expected that I should be able to get my Pit Bull to act like a Border Collie :( Trust me, this was just the beginning of our issues, but I won't get into that.

I think that was a great quote and this is a great thread. I totally agree. Bull Breeds enjoy the physicality of it all, win or lose. Its not like, if they always lose they are not going to enjoy the physical activity anway, winning would simply be a bonus.


:clap:
User avatar
Malli
E-I-E-I-O!
 
Posts: 6341
Location: CANADA EH?

Postby DemoDick » June 8th, 2006, 3:02 pm

In general I agree but would take it one step further:

Bull breeds tend to have a different "personality" and outlook on the world and their work than herders. However, a trainer/decoy/handler must be able to read the individual dog in question and tailor the training program accordingly.

If this is not done, then we run into the same problems as the trainer who refuses to see that Bulldogs are different than herders. He's trying to train the breed when he should be training the dog in front of him.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby Malli » June 10th, 2006, 3:29 am

agreed :thumbsup:

different tecniques for different dogs. Thats why there are so many different training devices and methods out there.

Excellent addition to the thread...
User avatar
Malli
E-I-E-I-O!
 
Posts: 6341
Location: CANADA EH?


Return to Training & Behavior

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot]