Teaching the "Out" ... Nelson method

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

Postby Nelson » January 15th, 2009, 8:46 am

After much thought (and some persuasion from my wife), I guess I'm at a time in my life where I can feel comfortable in showing my way teaching the "Out". Since I mentioned the article and some people have asked me about it ... well here it is. Hope you enjoy it.

Teaching the Out

Our martial arts school would be addressed many times on the reaction to real life threats. As you may know, many hot-shots will think they’re invincible because of their ability, power and what not. Our oriental master would always tell us the winner of a match is the one who thinks the most. A perp with a knife who makes an attempt on someone has an “aggression” mind set. So if you meet him head on, you’re increasing the percentage of probability of provoking him to do you harm. On the other hand if you take that away by saying to him “it’s ok I’ll give you what you want”, now his mind set most likely will focus on not being seen/caught. That’s the time he’s most vulnerable. My master would also reiterate that whenever you choose to defend your life, you’re also risking to loose it.

Same applies to a dog. A high fight drive dog with a decoy who provokes him in front of him, will also put the dogs’ mind set off the chart. Without the proper foundation of what an Out means AND implies, you’d be asking way too much from the dog in those circumstances. Only if the dog fully understands that an Out will give him as big or bigger reward than the one he already has in his mouth bite, will he willingly give up that bite in a subordinate way. I never had good or great dogs who would want a ball, toy, tug or food more than they wanted the bite. So I never thought of any of those options as my 1st option to start off an “Out” training with.

When I went to give a couple of seminars I chose a high drive pup to teach the Out. The pup was a monster biter and if a non conflictive prep foundation for the Out wasn’t established, he could be a candidate for hecticness in a near future. That’s one of the main reasons to pick that dog out of the rest. He’d get that tunnel-vision mentality when it came to biting which was very nice and impressive to see. That and the fact that he had little or no training on the Out was the other reason I did it. I videoed that session but I can’t find it anywhere. >:-/ when I find it I’ll post it in the Files section.

I start the Out by taking it away from the “fight & conquer” mentality dogs get when they bite a decoy. Too much emotions overwhelm the dogs for them to be completely receptive to instruction. Depending on the dogs’ level of fight, prey, defense, pack, territorial & other drives it will affect how he can learn and execute in those situations. So I make sure I have a nice serene environment without distractions so the dog can concentrate better. This is where I’ll train the Out predominantly in play (not prey) drive. Depending on the pup or dogs’ level of training or not, I’ll use from a burlap sack, towel, shirt …. to a tug.

I’ll have the pup/dog back-tied and will start playing with him with the tug. Giving him several bites with releases from me so he can stay with it. Once he lets it go I’ll take it and re-start the process all over again. The most important part here is incorporating body language into it. The play must always be non-confrontational to the pup/dog. Many side, crouch and low stances must be employed besides lots of joyful movement of the rag, tug, etc. the pup/dog must be convinced that playing with lively objects is the fun part. Once I see the pup/dog “happily engaged” (meaning that he’s eagerly playing and very enthusiastic about it, and not in any way feeling it’s a serious bite session), that’s when I’ll incorporate a series of stances and eventually say “Out” repeatedly in a calm, low, soothing voice. Now, for the dog this is new and he’ll have absolutely no idea what you’re asking of him. Meaning will be conveyed by stance and body posture with the repeated Out command as a vital cue.

Dogs respond much better to body language than verbal language. This is where the incorporation of the body language will tell the dog much more than our words can. I’ll take the tug and pull both ends together making it quite difficult for the pup/dog to remain biting it. At the same time the play postures I was doing during the game (side stances, nothing frontal) ease into a frontal and very vertical (dominant) stance. This way the dog will go from: lots of movement to a total stop in the action. I’ll also be stepping slightly into the dogs’ area so there will be a slight slack of the leash or back-tie. Since this will be new to the pup/dog, he’ll show signs of mild stress & conflict. He might growl, squirm, chew, re-bite, etc. but eventually he’ll let go. This is the most important time of the session. That’s when I immediately “open” the play object and re-start the enticement for the pup/dog to re-engage it. The instant he grabs it, I let it go and follow him to pet and praise him.

The pup/dog might react nervously and try to get away. Yet, since he’s tied he can’t get far. Again my body posture is low and my petting is limited to the pups’/dogs’ back. This way he won’t feel menaced thinking I’ll try to take it away from him. He must be reassured that it’s his reward and you’re encouraging it. Patience is the key. Now I have to wait it out. I’ll wait until the dog releases it before I take it away to resume the process all over again. When you take it away hold him by the collar (which btw should be a comfortable buckle collar NO TRAINING collars for now). After a couple of times the dog will start getting the idea and before long he’ll automatically start letting go and doing the Out in that same 1st session.

Remember, this is new to the dog so the most common thing a high drive dog does when he lets go is rebite asap. This is where the backtie & buckle collar is key to ensuring a low stress training session. In your “set” stance where you pull both ends of the tug together you should be slightly bent forward, arms extended almost to the fullest, with the tug at the dogs’ head level. If he Outs and tries to lunge at it you must make sure he doesn’t get, pull it into you. Which means you’ll have to calculate the distance he can and can’t get to it. You don’t want to imprint in his mind that it’s a matter of pulling wildly until he get the rebite. You should strive to get into his head that he must wait for the reward. Timing is everything in dog training. Make sure you reward as soon as you see restraint from his part. Then your talent in reading and reacting to him will carry you through it. Subsequently it’s just a matter of molding & perfecting the finer skills of how you want him to perform it. Be it standing, sitting, between the legs, etc…

After 25 years of training I’ve never had a dog, bulldog or otherwise, who wouldn’t have a reliable Out with this method. You can take a peek @ my dog's "Out" here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGUoKQGI ... annel_page
Hope this helped!

Happy training,

Nelson
"Ah grasshopper, how is it that you cannot?" Master Po

Mean Martha's Dragon (aka Drago): FCI CD, CDX International Champion
Lasko de la Virginie (Malinois) CRA 2000 French Ring III Grand Champion
SCC Certified Level 1 FR Decoy
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 15th, 2009, 9:18 am

Great article Nelson. I could watch your dogs work all day long!

You had referenced a video of that first session you did with the pup - did you find it, and if so, could you put it here? I know a lot of us (myself definitely included) learn a lot better by seeing something done. Even though my dog has a pretty decent "drop it" I still know it could be improved and maybe trying this would help. As it is, she'll slowly drop something out of her mouth, chewing as she goes. For a pet dog, this really isn't critical, but I would still like an immediate dropping or outing of the object. God forbid she ever pick up something dangerous.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Nelson » January 15th, 2009, 9:39 am

Hi. I do but I have it as a private video on YouTube. To see it suscribe as a Friend and I'll add you into it so you can see it. Take care.
Nelson Rodriguez

"Ah grasshopper, how is it that you cannot?" Master Po
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/WorkingPitBulls/
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 15th, 2009, 9:51 am

I hit the subscribe button - is that all I need to know? My name there is, shockingly enough, pitbullmamaliz. :wink:
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Working out in the buff causes chafing
 
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Postby Nelson » January 15th, 2009, 10:31 am

Hahahaha .... well that's simple enough to remember! There should be a button to the left side that says "Add As Friend" or something. When I get home I'll deal with it. I have no access to YouTube @ work. :| Take care.
Nelson Rodriguez

"Ah grasshopper, how is it that you cannot?" Master Po
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/WorkingPitBulls/
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