For Miakoda.

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

Postby Chris Fraize » February 23rd, 2006, 12:46 am

I know that sometimes, over the internet people can read things with an "internal voice". Depending on thier mood and how strongly they feel about the topic the voice can be an angry one. I do not intend this post to be read as if I am"angry".

RANDOM PUBLIC STATEMENT- “I don’t think anybody should be allowed to own pit bulls. I think pit bulls are vicious and can’t be trusted with humans. They are born killers and should be banned in all 50 states.”

Miakoda, I think you would agree that the problem with the above statement is the fact that the person that makes this statement doesn’t really understand the breed. It’s a misinformed comprehensive statement that is made in fear because it’s easier to make the statement than to try to understand something that frightens us, in this case the A.P.B.T.

The general public is frightened or scared of Pit Bulls because of the small amount of information that they get from watching what the media puts out and believing that they understand it because the media are trusted as “experts”. Couldn’t the same be said for your statement about bite work, Miakoda?

Your statement, and I quote “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.” “I do not participate in it, but I do understand it & have been to several trials & competitions.”- Miakoda

With all due respect, I do not believe that anyone could understand bite work from going to and watching several trials and competitions. Saying that you understand bite work from just a small exposure to it is (in my eyes) like the general public saying that they understand the APBT because they have seen a few APBT attack news reports on T.V.

Surely you can see how making this kind of statement about bite work is similar to the statements you are fighting against everyday in your battle to get the APBT more clearly understood.

[i]“Again, my goals with the APBT are obviously very different. I prefer to keep any sort of bite work out of their domain.”-[/i] Miakoda

I believe my goals are the same as yours. I just use different tools to get the job done. To me (and many others) bite work IS obedience. I understand bite work. So it does not scare me. When I can teach others about it, the have their fear replaced by knowledge. When they know how to confront and understand their fear they accept. What better way to show them that the APBT is misunderstood than to show the dog doing bite prevention seminars?

I would invite you to look at the two links below. The first is an interview done with U-WP, U-CD, ‘PR’ Punchlines Bronx Tale ASR EL, PrPD, ID, CGC/TDI and myself for three local T.V. stations after a bite prevention seminar done for the USPS (United States Postal Service.) in Portland Maine. The press was extremely positive for the breed and had the added bonus of helping the general public avoid dog bite from all breeds. Take a look. http://www.k9sts.com/bronxtv/

This next link is a newspaper article from the day after the Bite Prevention Seminar. The press was again very positive and led to even more interviews and helped to fight breed specific legislation when it came to my town here in Maine. http://www.k9sts.com/news/ By the way, the man (A postal employee) that was attacked by an APBT and said he would NEVER trust the breed is the one getting a kiss from Bronx (One of my A.P.B.T’s) in the picture at the bottom of the article. We changed a few minds that day.

Bite work can and does help change minds about the APBT in a positive way!

Thank you for brining up a great topic and giving me the chance to respond. It is appreciated!

Safe training,
Chris Fraize
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Postby Miakoda » February 23rd, 2006, 1:44 am

You're right. I have no real knowledge of bitework. I do understand the strict obedience required when done correctly. But I also know that no amount of convincing will make me change my views on this topic. An APBT doing bitwork whether out of predetory/aggressive actions or as a "play" reward is not acceptable to me.

Again, I mean no disrepspect to anyone who participates in this with their APBT. But I will never approve of it.
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 23rd, 2006, 8:09 am

Good Morning Miakoda,

Let’s change just a few words in your post. Yes I am changing the subject in your post and these are not ALL your words, but the sentiment is the same. The “spirit” of your original post remains.

CHANGED POST- “You're right. I have no real knowledge of the American Pit Bull Terrier. I do understand the strict obedience required when a person owns one. But I also know that no amount of convincing will make me change my views on this topic. An APBT out in public whether at a dog show/ weight pull is not acceptable to me.

Again, I mean no disrespect to anyone who owns an APBT. But I will never approve of them.”

You admit you have no real knowledge of bite work. Then you say -“But I also know that no amount of convincing will make me change my views on this topic.” This is the part of your post that alarms me the most. It says to me that you are unwilling to learn. “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

Isn’t it this same “closed minded” and “unwilling” way of thinking that keeps our rights to own this breed in question everyday? Whether it’s learning about the APBT or learning about bite work, the point is the same. I can’t argue with a closed mind.

If your mind can’t be changed, so be it. It is your loss. Bite work has given me a deeper understanding of dog behavior. It has also given me a better understanding of how to communicate with people and dogs. The greatest advantage of all is that bite work has deepened the friendship I have with my dogs to a level most never realize or even consider possible. It is sad that you will miss out on these things.

I will not try to persuade you further as I respect the right for you to have your opinion. However, you are missing out on some of great stuff by thinking this way. Just as the closed minded public that is unwilling to learn is missing out on the greatest breed on earth!


Safe training,
Chris Fraize
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Postby Blitzkrieg Staffords » February 23rd, 2006, 11:02 am

Chris Fraize wrote:Good Morning Miakoda,

Let’s change just a few words in your post. Yes I am changing the subject in your post and these are not ALL your words, but the sentiment is the same. The “spirit” of your original post remains.

CHANGED POST- “You're right. I have no real knowledge of the American Pit Bull Terrier. I do understand the strict obedience required when a person owns one. But I also know that no amount of convincing will make me change my views on this topic. An APBT out in public whether at a dog show/ weight pull is not acceptable to me.

Again, I mean no disrespect to anyone who owns an APBT. But I will never approve of them.”

You admit you have no real knowledge of bite work. Then you say -“But I also know that no amount of convincing will make me change my views on this topic.” This is the part of your post that alarms me the most. It says to me that you are unwilling to learn. “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”

Isn’t it this same “closed minded” and “unwilling” way of thinking that keeps our rights to own this breed in question everyday? Whether it’s learning about the APBT or learning about bite work, the point is the same. I can’t argue with a closed mind.

If your mind can’t be changed, so be it. It is your loss. Bite work has given me a deeper understanding of dog behavior. It has also given me a better understanding of how to communicate with people and dogs. The greatest advantage of all is that bite work has deepened the friendship I have with my dogs to a level most never realize or even consider possible. It is sad that you will miss out on these things.

I will not try to persuade you further as I respect the right for you to have your opinion. However, you are missing out on some of great stuff by thinking this way. Just as the closed minded public that is unwilling to learn is missing out on the greatest breed on earth!


Safe training,
Chris Fraize


I know it is just hypothetical, but you are way off here! No offence, but anyone who chooses to work pit bulls in this type of sport will never truely understand the breed.
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Postby Maryellen » February 23rd, 2006, 11:18 am

ok, i am going to respond to all this about bitework.. please bear with me.

i have watched some bitework stuff myself.. while i can say that the majority of dogs that do bitework are rotts/shepherds, and other breeds and while i can admire the training and dedication that goes into this kind of work, i do not like that apbt are being used to be trained for bitework, whether for fun or for titles.. why? because this is showing the idiots and scumbags that get the breed for the wrong reasons that the dog CAN be trained to be human aggressive... which truly SUCKS. a apbt should never be used for bitework/shutzhund/any kind of those sports as it is showing the breed attacking a human wearing a sleeve.. i dont care how much training is put into it, an apbt should NEVER EVER be one of those bitework dogs.. gsds, yes, rotts, yes, dobes, yes.. but a pit bull?? NEVER NEVER NEVER... it shows that the breed can be trained to bite a human.. why would anyone want to show this when the breed was bred to never bite a human, and we as trying to save the breed from banning and bsl tell people the dogs were bred to never bite a human, show a dog doing bitework?? it just doesnt agree with me.. and it never will.. bitework is fine for anyother breed BUT not for an american pit bull/or a staffy bull.. it just blows the history out of the water with a bully doing bitework.. the media sees the bully doing bitework, and says, oh shit, look at the force on that dog.. and it instills in their minds that the dogs can be trained to be human aggressive, and it enforces to the idiots/gang bangers/drug dealers that bullys CAN be trained to bite humans...
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Postby Romanwild » February 23rd, 2006, 11:43 am

I can see both sides. As usual. :rolleyes2:

Originally I came from the "no bitework" school. After reading and talking and watching I came to the conclusion that bite work is maybe the best working arena for a APBT. The reason is that it shows how versitile, intelligent and athletic they are as well as how well they work with a human.

The arguement that they are not bred for it has some merit. Most APBT/amstaff/sbt don't have the correct temperment for it. Not only that but you have to train them differently then you would a shepherd or other drivey dog.

That being said when you do find the right pit bull they are amazing at this kind of work.

Neither of mine are made for it. But I am going to have Demo and Michelle test them just for curiosity sake. :)

I have the belief that agility and weightpull are 2 great ways to work and prove a dog without the ignorance of the public seeing a pit bull bite.

Demo's Connor is a joy to watch work. He loves it and is very good at it. And getting better all the time. Connor is also a great ambassadsor because of the high level of OB he has FROM doing protection work.

I can truly respect both sides of this discussion. For me it comes down to being RESPONSIBLE.

Image is very important to the breed right now. Perception is everything. Connor is awesome in public and no one knows what he can do. He's very friendly and is in every way a typical pit bull.

Compare that to any other typical pit who is a couch potatoe but it's owner goes out in public with a gigantic chain around his neck or lets their pit bull run loose!
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 23rd, 2006, 11:52 am

I know it is just hypothetical, but you are way off here! No offence, but anyone who chooses to work pit bulls in this type of sport will never truely understand the breed.

These are not my words. (above)

I said, "Bite work has given me a deeper understanding of dog behavior. It has also given me a better understanding of how to communicate with people and dogs. The greatest advantage of all is that bite work has deepened the friendship I have with my dogs to a level most never realize or even consider possible. It is sad that you will miss out on these things."

What you think I said and what I actually said (typed) are different.

I think that doing ANYTHING with your dog can deepen the understanding and bond between you and your dog. Cutting yourself off from something that my help you understand your APBT better is not smart. For the record, I compete in Competitive obedience, Agility, Conformation, Weight Pull, Rally O, Therapy and anything else I can to gain experience on dogs and dog behavior.

I apologize if you took something different from it.

Understanding bite work doesn't mean you have to participate in it with your APBT. Getting information from training and trialing with another breed can help you to understand your dog better. If you NEVER do bite work again after you gather and understand the information you have attained from your bite work experience, you will understand your dog better and have a better understanding of dog behavior.

What do you have to lose? If you don’t like it don’t do it again. If you don’t want to do it, that is fine too. However, if you do, I guarantee you will learn something you didn’t know before. But to have such STRONG opinions on a subject with no practical experience is risky.

Is it just me or do folks have strong negative opinions (based in fear) about the APBT without really knowing what they are talking about? I believe so.

Doesn’t it seem that the same opinions without knowledge based in fear (the fear of what the public thinks) are being expressed here about bite work?

Safe training,
Chris Fraize
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Postby Miakoda » February 23rd, 2006, 12:37 pm

My opinions do not come out of fear nor do I think my opinions should alarm anyone.

EDIT: Geez, I never knew so many people would take offense to my opinion. My beliefs are NOT formed out of fear or lack of education. For that reason they will not change. I love the obedience aspect of the work. Tracking is great, SAR is great, etc. Bitework, IMO, is not. Again, it's what I believe so please save the arguements for someone else. I stand firm in my beliefs on this breed & that it should remain the breed of old days.
Last edited by Miakoda on February 23rd, 2006, 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 23rd, 2006, 12:45 pm

But from what I understand they are NOT biting humans, they are biting SUIT. Take the suit off & they will not bite.
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Postby mnp13 » February 23rd, 2006, 1:12 pm

cheekymunkee wrote:But from what I understand they are NOT biting humans, they are biting SUIT. Take the suit off & they will not bite.


That depends on the dog. Some will, some won't. Connor quite happily went after the hidden sleeve the first time he ever 'saw' one (well, he didn't see it, but that's the point). However, he was on a training field and working with the same person who had just had a sleeve on so that may have had something to do with it as well.

Geez, I never knew so many people would take offense to my opinion.


I do not believe anyone has taken offense to your opinion. I think they are 'debating' based on your blanket statement that bitework is 'bad'
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Postby cheekymunkee » February 23rd, 2006, 1:20 pm

I don't think anyone is upset with you, we appreciate good conversation with different views.
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Postby Maryellen » February 23rd, 2006, 2:06 pm

i think this a good discussion going on... we can all learn more...
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Postby DemoDick » February 23rd, 2006, 2:56 pm

Chris is correct when he writes that bitework provides a deep understanding between dog and handler. I can more clearly see the world as my dog sees it because of the training and real world application that he and I have been through together. Because of this, I can assure you that he is less likely to ever take a bite out of turn than your average pet. I don't believe that any other discipline allows you to get this "in tune" with your dog, or allows you to develop the same level of respect for what he is capable of.

When the average person on the street sees bitework, regardless of the breed, they have a negative reaction. Why? Because the perception is that "good" dogs don't do those things. "Good" dog's don't display any human aggression at all. Most people think that "stuff" should be reserved for the Police and Military only. To argue that Pit Bulls should not do this because of the way the public sees it is to ignore the fact that the public is generally ignorant in the first place.

The fact that my dog does bitework is an opportunity for me to show anyone who is willing to learn (and that is the real key) that this breed is much more than a vicious monster, or even a human aggressive "junkyard dog". The person who refuses to actually look at what we do and try to understand it is a lost cause in my opinion. Those people on the fence about bitework, or Pit Bulls in general, can be turned into allies by demonstrating control under stress and distraction.

The biggest problem with the public's perception of Pit Bulls is that they are "good for nothing". They are seen as aggressive, unpredictable, and dangerous animals that can't be trusted. The reality is that a properly bred Pit Bull is just as versatile and useful a dog as the GSD once was. Connor, Rumble, Bronx, and others provide us all with the opportunity to show this to the public.

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Postby Maryellen » February 23rd, 2006, 3:04 pm

so how do you determine which dog is sound enough for bitework? once you decide, how do you start training? how do you get the dog to understand that biting the sleeve is ok, but biting a human is not?? now, if a dog is bitework trained, how do you prevent the dog from biting say someone attacking you, or do you want the dog to bite someone attacking you?? how do you get the dog to realize a real threat vs a working threat??
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Postby DemoDick » February 23rd, 2006, 3:06 pm

Maryellen,
I'm going to be late for work as it is, I will gladly answer your questions when I get done tonight. Thanks.

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Postby pitbullpony » February 23rd, 2006, 3:11 pm

First of all; the general public is well aware of the fact that "pitbulls" bite humans. Check any given wire service any given day and some jerkoff reporter is yet again reporting a "pitbull" attack. Whether the dog is a "pitbull" or not is not the issue; the story bleeds (and contains that Pulitzer Prize word; pitbull); therefore it reads.

Anyone who has spoken, interviewed or read any variety of "pitbull" history is also aware of how erroneous the statement; "pitbulls don't bite humans" is in fact. History has shown that manbiters were kept, fought and bred. I think it is dangerous for us as a group that is against BSL to keep spouting that statement.

G. Public is retarded about pitbulls; they also are retarded about dogs in general. Most bitework is done at competitions and clubs, not in city parks; at least I hope not. Schutzhund, and FR people do not go out of their way to let G. Public dwell on the fact that their friendly, obedient dog is also involved in a sport that has "decoys/bad guys" being bitten.

I have seen a kick-ass little black Norrod dog from New York state do some schutzhund work; about 5-6 years ago. He was actually being used as a demo dog from a different breed (than rotties or gsds) by a renowned NY trainer. What a wonderful dog; everything I would want in a "pitbull".

Please do not play the us against them card; anytime someone suggests that this activity or that activity is better suited to another breed; you just give ammo. to those that want to deliver us to the shackles of BSL. Take away schutzhund; give it to the gsd, take away herding; give it to the acd, take away weight pull; give it to the Husky; take away obedience; give it to the golden. Take away rally-o, agility; give it to the border collie, :wink: Might as well just get rid of them damn pitbulls; can't do nuthin' with 'em.

I would dearly like to see bite statistics that have all these "registered, obedience trained, performance titled" "pitbulls" being suitably identified. That I would like to see.

I think we would be better served to educate people in the fact that these are powerful dogs; no matter their size, they generally have very stable temperaments; but should always be socialized/desensitized to all sorts of situations, and as they have the distinct possibility of dog on dog aggression as do so many breeds; perhaps their owners could be encouraged to keep them under control; and on a leash. Obedience training is HIGHLY recommended.

As far as I've seen, no one has ever straight up suggested to a newbie pitbull owner that they should take up bitework. That comes way down the line; when newbie pitbull owner has done lots of obedience; their dog is not suited to agility, likes to eat other dogs, likes to eat cattle and this dedicated owner hooks up with a club that has a few members that do schutzhund or fr or whatever dog sport; these other club members say "wanna go one night" to newbie owner; newbie goes and gets hooked; asks decoy and trainer if he can bring his dog; they say "what's his obedience like?" Newbie owner says "great, long down, long sit, excellent recall" They say; "will he OUT?" Newbie owner says "don't know, never tried" They say; "train him and bring him, we'll let him try."

Remember folks, the idea is that the decoy live to see tomorrow, they especially want TRAINED dogs to participate; they are not there to be eaten by schmucky dogs, whose jerkoff owner doesn't work their pet -- any breed.

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Postby mnp13 » February 23rd, 2006, 3:36 pm

Here are some pictures from PSA nationals. They were the only three bull breeds there, and all three were as stable as any dog I have ever met.

http://www.grastaleather.com/JenCurtis/

http://www.grastaleather.com/TimSantos/

http://www.grastaleather.com/BillyMickey/

These dogs were having a fantastic time.
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Postby DemoDick » February 24th, 2006, 1:02 am

so how do you determine which dog is sound enough for bitework?


Generally I look for stability of temperament, the ability to handle stress without avoidance, and a high level of prey or tug drive. These three things, in my opinion, are prerequisites for starting a dog in bitework. Puppies are a crapshoot by the way. A ten week old pup that looks like he has everything can do a 180 temperament wise as he matures, despite his parent's working ability or titles. This can be genetic or the fault of poor training and development. One thing that should disqualify a dog, especially a Pit Bull, from this stuff is fear aggression, or aggression based in avoidance.

once you decide, how do you start training?


Depends on the dog's temperament. Most trainers start puppies by back tying them in groups and doing rag work with them. The "decoy" or rag motor will tease the dogs by shaking and swinging the rag on a length of rope to frustrate them and get them barking. This is done to stimulate the pups into the highest level of drive (excitement) possible. When they commit 110% you allow them to bite the rag and trash it. Here is also where you can lay the foundation for a counter (biting deeper and deeper) by releasing all tension from the rag and allowing the puppy to win his prey when he rebites deeper. Working the pups in groups allows them to feed off of each other's frustration. At the same time the dog should be exposed (SLOWLY!) to as much environmental stress as he can handle. There are other ways to develop dogs, but this is generally accepted practice.

how do you get the dog to understand that biting the sleeve is ok, but biting a human is not??


Most don't even have to be taught. How do you get your dogs to understand that biting a springpole is okay, but biting a person is not? Both the springpole and the sleeve can be used as prey objects that the dog is taught to bite, fight, and release on command. The sleeve is simply placed on the arm before the bite. There are plenty of Schutzhund titled dogs that would never engage a person unless he was wearing a sleeve, and their handlers are perfectly okay with that.

now, if a dog is bitework trained, how do you prevent the dog from biting say someone attacking you, or do you want the dog to bite someone attacking you??


Personally, I want the dog to engage a threat, and my dog is trained accordingly. But it is also entirely possible to develop what we refer to as a "sporty" dog that will never engage outside the context of the "game" he has been taught. Again, it depends on the dog and how he is trained.

how do you get the dog to realize a real threat vs a working threat??


Most dogs instinctively know and do not have to be taught. When they see the jute sleeve or the Michelin Man, they know what's up. At the same time, there are very specific ways to break a dog's equipment fixation and build his "civil drive" (i.e. his willingness to engage a decoy who is not wearing visible equipment). This is where "sport" bitework begins to become "personal protection" bitework. A lot of Pit Bull people who do "sport" bitework do not believe that Pits should be taught to "cross the line" as it were, but I am not one of them. As long as the dog is happy in his work and remains clear headed with no avoidance, I don't see a reason why the dog can't be taught personal protection. This also requires that the handler bear a lot more responsibility as well.

You would really have to meet Connor face to face to see what I'm talking about. His bitework is intense (with or without equipment), yet he is hands down the most stable, safe, and confident dog I've ever known.

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Postby DemoDick » February 24th, 2006, 3:14 pm

Not to beat a dead horse, but I just thought of something else.

I have heard from a few people that they feel that weight pull is cruel. "Look at how hard they make that dog strain into the harness," etc. It never occurs to some poeple that our dogs actually like doing this stuff. So they see a Pit Bull straining, all the muscles flexing and his handler urging him on and they see cruelty (or even fight conditioning). As I posted above, the average viewer will do one of two things when they see something they don't understand; they will either seek to learn more about it or they will immediately write it off as "bad" or "wrong".

This is a good discussion.

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Postby Jenn » February 24th, 2006, 3:41 pm

I don't know much about the sport to truly form an absolute opinion on rather it should be done or not.. Though highly respect the discipline and time spent on training, working with these dogs or any other dogs.
I do however have much reserve and issues to the idiots that run out and buy a sleeve then claim to have "protection dogs" etc. It's these idiots that think just because there dog plays the "game" and attacks as told, they are suddenly protection trained and use this to sell pups, and make profit. I've seen a site where they posted so called "training" videos and the dogs noticeably did not and would not follow commands. Nothing but an accident waiting to happen! Those people should NOT be doing any bitework or even be allowed to own a dog in my opinion... Owners such as those are what I believe create a "bad taste" towards APBT's doing such work.

Now, I'll make a new thread for those pictures so as to not hijack this one. ;)
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