Getting started in Bitesports

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

Postby Malli » February 22nd, 2006, 2:01 pm

I'm really becoming interested in protection work/bitesport and getting Oscar (my APBT) involved.
How much money can I expect to spend?
How difficult for me will it be to start a dog at 4.5 years?
My dog is dog-reactive, will that put us out of the running with most clubs?
The only local club I found that looks credible in my area is the Victoria Rottweiler Club, here:
http://www.members.shaw.ca/victoriarott ... index.html

anything else you have to add?

Malli
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Postby Miakoda » February 22nd, 2006, 2:20 pm

My honest opinion (& some disagree with me) is that you need to get a new breed--one that's designed & bred for protection work/bite work/guard work. The APBT was NOT bred for this purpose & has no business being used in these situations. It goes against everything they were bred for.
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 22nd, 2006, 2:53 pm

Hello Miakoda,

Have you done bite work with any breed? Do you understand bitework? What is your level of experience of dog sports that include biting? I do not ask these questions in anger. I ask to understand the experience level of the person giving such advice.

Thanks in advance.

Safe training,
Chris Fraize
Last edited by Chris Fraize on February 22nd, 2006, 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 22nd, 2006, 3:02 pm

When you say your dog is "reactive" what do you mean? I am curious.

To answer your other questions, The expense depends on the sport, trainer, and level you wish to achieve.

Older dogs can do well. They should be evaluated by a few trainers. One mans trash is another man's treasure! Meaning different trainers may have different opinions about your dog based on a great many things. Find one you feel comfortable with and never stop trying to learn!

I hope this helps.

Safe training,
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Postby Malli » February 22nd, 2006, 4:28 pm

I think Oscar's courage, drive, energy, ability to take new situations in stride, and our teamwork would make him a good candidate for this type of sport. I am fully aware of the purpose and breed history of the APBT and the other "Pit Bull" Breeds; I am also fully aware of their adaptability to become a "whatever you want to train for" dog. I would never expect my dog to guard my yard or my house, frankly, I doubt he ever would, besides one or 2 barks.

Chris:
Reactive with other dogs? He does not like a serious growl or snap from another dog, he will play 'till he drops and growling is fine then, but if they mean business, so does he and he will start a fight once provoked. It is my understanding that the term is "reactive" meaning they will not ignore aggressive or threatening signals from another dog :|

We would be in this for the fun. At this point, its just something new to try that we have not done before, nothing serious, I think it will be more fun if we keep it that way.

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Postby Miakoda » February 22nd, 2006, 6:04 pm

Chris Fraize wrote:Hello Miakoda,

Have you done bite work with any breed? Do you understand bitework? What is your level of experience of dog sports that include biting? I do not ask these questions in anger. I ask to understand the experience level of the person giving such advice.

Thanks in advance.

Safe training,
Chris Fraize


I do not participate in it, but I do understand it & have been to several trials & competitions.

It is just my opinion that people should not use the APBT for this work. I'm not saying they "can't" do it (the dogs that is), but that there are other breeds who are more apt to this type of work.

I don't in any way consider myself an "expert" in the area of the APBT as my knowledge is limited to 27 yrs with the breed & only 10 yrs of having my own dogs. I live & breathe the APBT & the breed's welfare is my number one goal right now. Including in that fight is presenting the most positive of public portrayals possible. Unfortunately, the general public does not understand the level of training that most (one has to admit that street training in these areas is very high) of these dogs go through. When people only post pictures of APBTs doing bitework, all most people think about is "there is the proof that those vicious dogs love to bite people."

Again, my goals with the APBT are obviously very different. I prefer to keep any sort of bitework out of their domain.
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Postby Patch O' Pits » February 22nd, 2006, 6:15 pm

The average APBT is not cut out for it, but there are some that really do excel.

I think finding a bully friendly trainer for the eval is key.
APBTs are onviously trained for it very differently than a GSD

There are many other aspects of ScH the dog could probably do just great in like Obedience and tracking if he was not suited for the other work.

Good luck in whatever you decide to pursue
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Postby pocketpit » February 22nd, 2006, 11:05 pm

Unfortunately, the general public does not understand the level of training that most (one has to admit that street training in these areas is very high) of these dogs go through. When people only post pictures of APBTs doing bitework, all most people think about is "there is the proof that those vicious dogs love to bite people."


This statement could be made about any breed of dog. Do you really think it makes a world of difference what's on the biting end if the person is against bitesports or is scared of dogs, doesn't understand dogs, etc.? Narrow minded people are usually just that. Narrow minded, meaning they would not be able to generalize enough to view JUST the APBT as a "vicisous dog who loves to bite people". They will share the same opinon of all the other breeds as well.

The APBT was not bred for the work but if you have a dog capable of perfoming sport work (please note I used the word "sport" I'm not talking about real man work here) then why not utilize that ability to profile the breed's intelligence and socialbility? A true sport dog just loves the game and must be sound in order to compete which in my book is a huge boost and opportunity for our breed to overcome the typical person's veiw of the breed. When they see how well the dogs perform, how well trained they are, and the fact that they can then come off the field and cover everyone with kisses is great positive publicity.

Anyone who's ever worked a sport dog knows the immense pleasure they get from training. My Dobes, Malinois, and SBT live for the game! Nothing is as much fun as their Ring training. Brooks (the SBT) loves agility, but she LOVES ring work. It's great physical and mental exercise.

Many SBT peope I know spout the same line about bitesports being bad for the breed but they have no real knowledge of a working dog at all. If they spent a few minutes watching Brooks work they would see how much fun she has. And if they had any inkling how many friends and fans she's made over the years at training and trials, how many minds she's changed and how many people now look at bully breeds in general in a much more positive light, they would all be running out to join a local ring club!
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Postby Miakoda » February 23rd, 2006, 1:56 am

Again, I absolutely mean NO disrepsect to people who chose to participate in bitework with their APBTs. I just won't ever like the idea nor accept it as a good one.

That said, I know many people are against us using our dogs as catch dogs in hog hunting, so I understand backlash.

Again, it's only my opinion.
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Postby Malli » February 23rd, 2006, 2:07 am

In my case, I'm not sure what it would matter, this wouldn't be a public thing anyway :| And its not like I'm going to go bragging about my Pit Bull trained to sick'em, or anything retarded like that.
I've heard of PB's evaluated in herding instinct tests, there are many who do SAR work and drug and bomb detection (our lovely Neville and Popsicle to name the most well known), they aren't bred for ANY of that, but they do it all well.
Is this work, is this a dog that likes to work? yes :) That is what I was thinking, something new and different, where he can excercise his brain and bod and maybe have a little fun.

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Postby Blitzkrieg Staffords » February 23rd, 2006, 11:14 am

pocketpit wrote:Many SBT peope I know spout the same line about bitesports being bad for the breed but they have no real knowledge of a working dog at all. If they spent a few minutes watching Brooks work they would see how much fun she has. And if they had any inkling how many friends and fans she's made over the years at training and trials, how many minds she's changed and how many people now look at bully breeds in general in a much more positive light, they would all be running out to join a local ring club!


...um, I've seen it. I'm not running out to join a local ring club. :|
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Postby mnp13 » February 23rd, 2006, 11:28 am

I don't see any problem with bitesport for any breed. Up until very recently, there was a JRT competing in PSA (cancer took him last summer). If the dog has the temperament and stability for it, what is the problem? Like others have already stated, bite sport can reinforce the stability of the dog. You have a dog that is getting mauled by kids one minute, doing bite work the next, then back to being mauled by kids.

Many other breeds - even the ones that are 'correct' for bite work - don't have that kind of level headedness.

There are people with Pits doing bite sport that know that their dog would never actually do the work if push came to shove. It is a fun event for the dog, a game. Nothing more, nothing less.

Some of the opinions expressed here sound as closed minded to me as the people who spout off about our dogs.
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