Teaching Cy the Object Guard

Weight pull, Protection, Agility, Flyball... you name it!

Postby katiek0417 » January 13th, 2008, 11:23 pm

In the Level 3's of PSA, one of the scenarios for protection can involve an object guard. The purpose of an object guard is to, well, guard an object. The "perfect picture" would be the handler telling the dog to guard a certain object, then the handler going out of sight. A decoy comes in and pretends to try to take the object. In doing so, they try to lure the dog off the object (throwing balls, using food, etc). However, the dog is supposed to bite the decoy if he comes within a certain (short) distance of the object. The decoy is supposed to fight the dog, and when the dog gets a certain distance away (still biting) the dog should automatically come off the bite, and return to the object to continue guarding...

The "object" can be anything from a notebook to a car (and everything in between). Well, we started to teach Cy the object guard yesterday. I started out handling him, then Greg took the leash b/c I just can't get my timing down for teaching it...but it's some pretty cool shots, and Cy was getting the idea of what he was supposed to do rather quickly...

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"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 13th, 2008, 11:26 pm

I can imagine that's very difficult to teach! And I love the 2nd to last shot - he looks just frozen in mid-air. lol
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Postby pocketpit » January 14th, 2008, 8:53 am

I learn more about PSA every time you post something. I had no idea that they had an article guard. Am I correct in thinking it sounds like the French Ring 3 article guard except for the added element of the different articles?
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 10:56 am

On January 14 2008, 7:53 AM, pocketpit wrote:I learn more about PSA every time you post something. I had no idea that they had an article guard. Am I correct in thinking it sounds like the French Ring 3 article guard except for the added element of the different articles?


ONLY the Level 3's have the object guard (so it's not in the lower levels)...But, yes, it's a lot like the FR3 Object Guard...however, in PSA you can have different articles...last year, a golf cart showed up more than once in an object guard...I was surprised that both dogs in the Level 3's who had to do it failed (in one case, the decoy stole the golf cart with the dog in it, and drove around...while he was driving, he had his arm around the dog and was waving to the crowd)!!!

And, yes, Liz, that 2nd to last shot is awesome...it's my desktop pic now. One of the girls, Annie, that trains with us took it on my camera...

It is a difficult "skill" to teach. The problem is that most people in PSA (or the US) don't teach it when the dogs are young (like they do in Europe), when it's easier to teach. So, what happens is you drill it into the dog that they're not allowed to bite unless they are given the bite command, and they are supposed to out only when you tell them to...In this one situation, though, they are allowed to do both those things. So, you're contradicting EVERYTHING you taught them to do up until this time...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby SisMorphine » January 14th, 2008, 11:07 am

I originally got Teeny for FR and started teaching her article guard by feeding her in the basket I was going to have her guard. But that only lasted a week and then chaos ensued and we never followed through.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 11:29 am

On January 14 2008, 10:07 AM, SisMorphine wrote:I originally got Teeny for FR and started teaching her article guard by feeding her in the basket I was going to have her guard. But that only lasted a week and then chaos ensued and we never followed through.


That's too funny....

We've been using a platform surrounded by a long leash. We lay the long leash about 2-2.5 feel away from the platform in a circle. This is the biting/out line. I have Cy sit on the platform, where I give him the command, "Garde D'Objet." He already knows that "Garde" means "Watch." So I figure now I'm just telling him to "Watch the Object." Then, the decoy walks around the platform, while Cy watches him. When the decoy reaches in for the platform, Cy is allowed to bite. The decoy fights him, and as he pulls Cy away from the platform and out of the leash circle, I give the out command, then with me standing right next to the platform (platform is on my left), I tell him "au pied" which means "heel." Then I give him the object guard command again. In this way I want him to learn to always return to the object...by the end of the session, you could tell him to out and he was returning automatically to the platform...

What's funny is this: at the decoy camp last year, the east coast asst director for PSA (Rick Furrow) had me do an object guard with the car with TJ. Well, TJ failed miserably...so, knowing that it might show up again, Greg and I started hammering it in to him...He was getting the whole idea to bite, but not the letting go and returning to the object. Well, at midwest regionals, Jerry was judging, and in obedience, he had me send TJ on top of a 4-foot high platform. There was a bite suit laying on the platform. I was supposed to do a change of position with a decoy walking around the platform, then TJ was supposed to demonstrate a food refusal (I think I have these on tape, if I do, I'll put it on YouTube). Well, when the decoy was throwing the food, he was reaching in with his arm. TJ must've thought this was an object guard b/c he reached out and opened his mouth to bite, at which time I quickly yelled no...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Drusilla SLUT- Pet
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Postby cheekymunkee » January 14th, 2008, 4:04 pm

Great pics! He's pointy. :)
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 4:06 pm

On January 14 2008, 3:04 PM, cheekymunkee wrote:Great pics! He's pointy. :)


Well, I am a pointy-eared hoarder!!! :wink:
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

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Postby pocketpit » January 14th, 2008, 4:09 pm

ONLY the Level 3's have the object guard (so it's not in the lower levels)...But, yes, it's a lot like the FR3 Object Guard...however, in PSA you can have different articles...last year, a golf cart showed up more than once in an object guard...I was surprised that both dogs in the Level 3's who had to do it failed (in one case, the decoy stole the golf cart with the dog in it, and drove around...while he was driving, he had his arm around the dog and was waving to the crowd)!!!

:backRoll:

I prefer to start the exercise with puppies but I usually also do some extra article work in the form of obedience.
I develop an association with the article using food and teach them to seek out their basket and run to it. Once they are reliably doing this behavior then I teach them to circle the basket while on or in it and work on increasing distance.
With Eve I've introduced the article guard bitework after just a couple of sessions of obedience style basket work. Instead of using a basket however we start with a really heavy object (in our case a 5lb water container filled with water) that does not move. I straddle the object and keep the puppy between my legs while the decoy agitates and then comes in for a bite. We allow a very brief fight (a couple of seconds) and then the decoy stops and stands still while I pry the puppy off. The second the puppy pops free the handler repeatedly give the "object" command and pulls the puppy back onto the object while the decoy retreats a couple of steps. When the puppy is back on the article the decoy comes back in for another bite.
I've found that if I do the foundation obedience style training the dogs learn the association between being on their article and the decoy returning for yet another bite much faster than if you simply start the exercise with bitework.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 4:16 pm

On January 14 2008, 3:09 PM, pocketpit wrote:
ONLY the Level 3's have the object guard (so it's not in the lower levels)...But, yes, it's a lot like the FR3 Object Guard...however, in PSA you can have different articles...last year, a golf cart showed up more than once in an object guard...I was surprised that both dogs in the Level 3's who had to do it failed (in one case, the decoy stole the golf cart with the dog in it, and drove around...while he was driving, he had his arm around the dog and was waving to the crowd)!!!

:backRoll:

I prefer to start the exercise with puppies but I usually also do some extra article work in the form of obedience.
I develop an association with the article using food and teach them to seek out their basket and run to it. Once they are reliably doing this behavior then I teach them to circle the basket while on or in it and work on increasing distance.
With Eve I've introduced the article guard bitework after just a couple of sessions of obedience style basket work. Instead of using a basket however we start with a really heavy object (in our case a 5lb water container filled with water) that does not move. I straddle the object and keep the puppy between my legs while the decoy agitates and then comes in for a bite. We allow a very brief fight (a couple of seconds) and then the decoy stops and stands still while I pry the puppy off. The second the puppy pops free the handler repeatedly give the "object" command and pulls the puppy back onto the object while the decoy retreats a couple of steps. When the puppy is back on the article the decoy comes back in for another bite.
I've found that if I do the foundation obedience style training the dogs learn the association between being on their article and the decoy returning for yet another bite much faster than if you simply start the exercise with bitework.


Most French Ring-ers teach it this way. The way I understand it, you're teaching a place a command first (almost)...the reason we chose to do it this way is because Cy already gets a little possessive if you reach for things that he has...and b/c Greg does a lot of the training (getting bit) we didn't want there to be any more guarding at home (especially b/c I have Cy out so much)...

But, luckily, he seems to already get that he comes off the bite, and comes back to the object...also, I'm using a word that he pretty much already knows rather than teaching a whole new word...

Now, with my younger dogs, I'll probably teach "place" first...then add in the biting...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Postby pocketpit » January 14th, 2008, 4:26 pm

Most French Ring-ers teach it this way. The way I understand it, you're teaching a place a command first


It's what I learned from the second trainer I worked with and I really like it but surprisingly many of the folks out in my neck of the woods do not teach it that way. They prefer to simply start right away with the bitework.
I know that there is a huge difference in how quickly the exercise made sense to Eve who doesn't get worked very often and the other people's dog who get worked multiple times a week. She gets so amped up when she know that there is bitework going on that I'm glad I am teaching her that way because it gives her something to draw on in term of thinking a bit more clearly.

What you are doing with Cy makes sense and it sounds as if it's just a modified form of the basic principle. Considering that he already knows how to bite properly and out I would probably do the same if he were mine.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 14th, 2008, 5:15 pm

Cy looks great! And I bet he is so happy to be able to bite now every weekend! I cant wait til I have some money to come up for training! I miss it so much!
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Postby ellie@ny » January 14th, 2008, 5:22 pm

Those are some great shots!
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 5:46 pm

On January 14 2008, 4:22 PM, ellie@ny wrote:Those are some great shots!


Thanks, Ellie....

Tina, he can't believe he bites 2 days in a row...he gets really pi$$ed if I am getting another dog besides him, though...spoiled brat!!! One reason we did the object guard this weekend was b/c I didn't want to do any long sends since he still has stitches in his nose...

It's what I learned from the second trainer I worked with and I really like it but surprisingly many of the folks out in my neck of the woods do not teach it that way. They prefer to simply start right away with the bitework.
I know that there is a huge difference in how quickly the exercise made sense to Eve who doesn't get worked very often and the other people's dog who get worked multiple times a week. She gets so amped up when she know that there is bitework going on that I'm glad I am teaching her that way because it gives her something to draw on in term of thinking a bit more clearly.

What you are doing with Cy makes sense and it sounds as if it's just a modified form of the basic principle. Considering that he already knows how to bite properly and out I would probably do the same if he were mine.


I've had a few trainers tell me to teach place first...it was actually a behaviorist (who does Schutzhund and other sports) who told me to do it this way....it's amazing to me how smart Cy is....I had the hardest time using this method with TJ (although he seemed to think he had it down perfectly since he started to do it during every food refusal)...but Cy seems to get it...
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Postby ellie@ny » January 14th, 2008, 7:10 pm

Your welcome!
We have a Mal at our club,who's being trained in FR ring,I always love to watch his training,sitting in the basket etc... :)
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Postby katiek0417 » January 14th, 2008, 7:25 pm

On January 14 2008, 6:10 PM, ellie@ny wrote:Your welcome!
We have a Mal at our club,who's being trained in FR ring,I always love to watch his training,sitting in the basket etc... :)


I love this stuff!!! It's funny, I have a great time teaching my young dogs...I mean, the excitement of going from sleeve to suit for the first time, etc...All these things are GREAT....but with an advanced dog it's even more fun!!! Watching them do these things always amazes me at how smart they are!!!
"Rumor has it, compulsion is evil."

Katrina
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Nisha CGC, PDC, PSA TC, PSA 1 - Crazy Malinois
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