OFFICIAL Bitework/Personal Protection Debate Thread

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

Postby Nelson » May 22nd, 2006, 10:19 am

Dogs are very intelligent creatures and Pit Bulls are breeds that have thier lion's share in that department. The same way one dog can differenciate between a girl's arm and a tug, so can another differenciate between a suit and winter cloths.

At Chris Fraize's protection tournament in February, there were many "puffy" winter cloths and no dog (Pits or others) confused any of us with the decoys.

The APBT is a working breed. Bred and developed to fight (primarily) dogs. To imply that someone use a different breed for bitework than our Pit Bulls, is as foolish as asking someone to fight their Pits to prove their heritage.

The damage done to the image of the breed lies primarily on the mis-informed media fueled by the humane assosiations here and abroad. I've yet to see in my 45 years any exploitation of the breed by the media with anything having to do with bitework at any level; Personal Protection, Ringsports, Schutzund, IPO, RCI, KNPV, NVBK, PSA, etc.

Yet the breed still has the "bad rap" for being a fighting dog. And with it comes all the misinformation on why they are considered horrible as pets. Creating a whole realm of prejudices against our breed. History repeats itself when people who know little or nothing on bitework, (some have never even seen it done) state prejudice remarks against it as if it were gospel.

Nothing would break the bias barrier of the enemies of our breed than a demo of a dog with total control of their behavior. Showing to all that our breed CAN;

* Let go of anyone they're biting. Dispelling the myth of the "lock-jaw" theory so wrongfully published.

* Do obedience and show a high level of concentration on this task in presence of other dogs, especially with other APBTs present. Dispelling the other myth that they are blood thirsty dogs.

* Compete and get titled at different trials in obedience, agility, tracking, etc. Dispelling yet another commonly published myth that our breed is dumb and only know how to fight.

I really doubt that the "pit bull hysteria" would get any higher than it was in the 80's. That time is dead and no matter how the media has tried to revive it, they haven't succeeded. It's like beating a dead horse. Now they report it but don't blow it SO out of proportion as in those days. Because of this, I see no need to put limitations on our breed.
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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 22nd, 2006, 10:22 am

As I have said before, I do not worry about well trained dogs. I worry about dogs who are half trained and end up in the headlines.
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Postby SisMorphine » May 22nd, 2006, 10:23 am

dogcrazyjen wrote:I thought that some of the dogs looked like they were working with play drive. The actions were that of a dog which is being controlled through toy drive-smiling, bouncing, wagging the tail furiously, looking furtively at the decoy then back to the handler. The release to bite appeared to be the reward, and the dog was tugging hard. Most bullies I have seen were like this.


Some looked like they were prey motivated, they wanted to hunt down the decoy, upright stance, lunging, stiff, hard glares at the decoy. The dogs when biting were biting forward, not tugging as much. Shepherds tended to look like this.

I am sure there are many drives intermixing, pack drive, protectiveness, prey, play, etc.


But then again, what do I know?

This all makes sense to me. But what do I know either?
:rolleyes2:
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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 11:27 am

dogcrazyjen wrote:I would be interested in this myself. Corrections on a dog and corrections on a human may feel the same to a dominant dog, but will be labeled corrections on the dog, and aggression on the people.

I think this is the exact problem with our current definitions.

To me, I label anything as "aggression" if it involves growling, snapping, biting (or attempting to bite), etc. This could be dominance aggression, fear aggression, any of the aggression types.

I label "dominance behaviors" as the other dominant behaviors that don't involve aggressive moves (such as staring, heckles raised, placing paws on back, etc).

I personally use these terms interchangably whether they are directed at a dog or a human. Dominance aggression is always dominance aggression to me.


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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 11:31 am

dogcrazyjen wrote:As I have said before, I do not worry about well trained dogs. I worry about dogs who are half trained and end up in the headlines.

Agreed.

And I'm not so sure that the pit bull hysteria won't get bigger than it was in the 80's. Aren't there more places affected by BSL now than ever before? Or am I mistaken on that? :|


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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 11:35 am

Magnolia618 wrote:Here's a question...

Is a dog who looooves to play "tug" being aggressive? My Maggie sounds nasty when she plays. She growls and tugs and tugs and tugs and whines and snorts and growls some more.


Is she going to attack someone next? She she being an aggressive dog?

Tug of war on its own is not aggressive. As long as the dog realizes it's play, and you are able to get the toy back if you command it to drop it. Some of my dogs are very vocal as well during tug. It sounds scary!

You really have a problem though if the dog refuses to drop the toy. Also, try this: scream out in pain when playing tug. Your dog should be disturbed by this sound from you and stop pulling. If it does not, it might not see the difference between the toy and your finger if it were to grab your finger by accident. You don't want to be playing tug with your finger... :(

Anyone else have comments on this?


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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 11:41 am

Good aggression link.

My fear with the hitting the dog with the stick during the bite-work is that this is provoking punishment or pain aggression, and that this is therefore not quite a "sport" or "training".

Any thoughts on this?


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Postby Nelson » May 22nd, 2006, 12:05 pm

My fear with the hitting the dog with the stick during the bite-work is that this is provoking punishment or pain aggression, and that this is therefore not quite a "sport" or "training".

Any thoughts on this?


Yes, you are completly off. Learn about it first.

As in all, there is proper training and improper training. Proper training produces a happy, well balanced dog. Seek out the good trainers with proper training techniques and you and your dog will be in good shape.
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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 12:43 pm

Nelson wrote:Yes, you are completly off. Learn about it first.

As in all, there is proper training and improper training. Proper training produces a happy, well balanced dog. Seek out the good trainers with proper training techniques and you and your dog will be in good shape.

So what exactly is the purpose of hitting the dog with a stick? Sorry that I'm not seeing it here, and I don't think it is because I am uneducated...


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Postby babyreba » May 22nd, 2006, 12:49 pm

I just wanted to add a quick note on aggression, a word that I think a lot of people are stuck on here . . .

"Aggressive" does not always mean violent or vicious. An aggressive dog--a dog that does things forcefully and confidently and without hesitation--is not necessarily a dog that is about to attack.

So Chea's Maggie going to town on a spring pole or a tug toy is tugging aggressively, but it doesn't mean she's doing so in a way that's going to translate into an attack on a human being.

Sis's Wally may be forcefully (ie., aggressively but not violently) correcting another dog in a way that unnerves some people. But that doesn't make Wally a violent or dangerous dogs.

Some level of aggressive behavior--toward prey items, toward work--makes these dogs good at what they do. It's positive aggression, IMHO. If a dog has no aggressive tendency--no desire to get the job done swiftly, forcefully, and efficiently--then that dog isn't going to be good for anything. In my life, I have no need for a violent dog or a vicious dog, but I do want some properly directed aggression to be part of their personalities--it's what makes my old mutt Reba good at protecting her homestead and what makes my terrier/pit mutt pup Tucker good at keeping vermin out of my yard . . .

So let's not deem all aggression as violence. Clearly it's not, and I think a lot of people talking about aggression and thinking about it have a hard time recognizing it as a natural, normal, and healthy part of what a dog is. Violence, viciousness, and unpredictability are what makes dogs dangerous, but aggression not so much.
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Postby Nelson » May 22nd, 2006, 1:18 pm

So what exactly is the purpose of hitting the dog with a stick? Sorry that I'm not seeing it here, and I don't think it is because I am uneducated...



How many dog sport clubs and/or trials have you gone to? Have you seen the type of sticks used in dogsports? Have you seen or read where the decoys or helpers have to hit the dogs?

If you haven't gone and learned at least about 1 of them ..... then respectfully yes, you are uneducated on it as shown in your posts.
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Postby SisMorphine » May 22nd, 2006, 1:20 pm

babyreba wrote:I just wanted to add a quick note on aggression, a word that I think a lot of people are stuck on here . . .


"Aggressive" does not always mean violent or vicious. An aggressive dog--a dog that does things forcefully and confidently and without hesitation--is not necessarily a dog that is about to attack.

So Chea's Maggie going to town on a spring pole or a tug toy is tugging aggressively, but it doesn't mean she's doing so in a way that's going to translate into an attack on a human being.

Sis's Wally may be forcefully (ie., aggressively but not violently) correcting another dog in a way that unnerves some people. But that doesn't make Wally a violent or dangerous dogs.

Some level of aggressive behavior--toward prey items, toward work--makes these dogs good at what they do. It's positive aggression, IMHO. If a dog has no aggressive tendency--no desire to get the job done swiftly, forcefully, and efficiently--then that dog isn't going to be good for anything. In my life, I have no need for a violent dog or a vicious dog, but I do want some properly directed aggression to be part of their personalities--it's what makes my old mutt Reba good at protecting her homestead and what makes my terrier/pit mutt pup Tucker good at keeping vermin out of my yard . . .

So let's not deem all aggression as violence. Clearly it's not, and I think a lot of people talking about aggression and thinking about it have a hard time recognizing it as a natural, normal, and healthy part of what a dog is. Violence, viciousness, and unpredictability are what makes dogs dangerous, but aggression not so much.

:goodStuff:
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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 1:26 pm

Nelson wrote:How many dog sport clubs and/or trials have you gone to? Have you seen the type of sticks used in dogsports? Have you seen or read where the decoys or helpers have to hit the dogs?

If you haven't gone and learned at least about 1 of them ..... then respectfully yes, you are uneducated on it as shown in your posts.


I know that they hit the dogs. I have seen it. What I don't understand is the purpose behind it. I have asked what the purpose was, and did not get an answer.

It sure seems to me as if anyone who disagrees with this bitework in this thread is labeled as "uneducated" and our questions not addressed... :rolleyes2:


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Postby dogcrazyjen » May 22nd, 2006, 1:27 pm

I agree as well. I do not think all aggression is 'bad'. Corrections are still aggression, but controlled, appropriate aggression. We are aggressing to our dogs when we use compulsion training, yet it can be used appropriately.
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Postby SisMorphine » May 22nd, 2006, 1:43 pm

LindsaySF wrote:
Nelson wrote:How many dog sport clubs and/or trials have you gone to? Have you seen the type of sticks used in dogsports? Have you seen or read where the decoys or helpers have to hit the dogs?

If you haven't gone and learned at least about 1 of them ..... then respectfully yes, you are uneducated on it as shown in your posts.


I know that they hit the dogs. I have seen it. What I don't understand is the purpose behind it. I have asked what the purpose was, and did not get an answer.

It sure seems to me as if anyone who disagrees with this bitework in this thread is labeled as "uneducated" and our questions not addressed... :rolleyes2:


~Lindsay~

I think he's trying to say that you're uneducated in bitework, not uneducated in general. The whole process of the sport, including using the stick on the dog, isn't easy to describe (at least for me it's nearly impossible). If I gave you my answer, I can't be sure that I'm explaining it correctly because I really have no background in this stuff. What I CAN say is that after watching it all online and finding some stuff (like the use of the stick for example) slightly confusing, I just had to go up and see it for myself.

I now don't see the stick as hurting the dog. It's no like it's a two by four and the decoy is wailing the crap out of the dog. It's a lighter stick that is slapped against the dog. I would happily go out and have it slapped against me (no, not in a dirty way . . . unless someone's paying me :wink: ) to prove that it doesn't hurt.
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Postby Cuda » May 22nd, 2006, 1:52 pm

The stick used it usually a padded piece of plastic rod in all reality. The sticks are quite flexible and give easily. It really doesnt hurt the dog at all. It really wouldnt even hurt a 10yr old kid. Remeber that the people in these sports have spent TONS of time working and training their dogs. NONE of them want there efforts throw out of the door becuase of an injury that the decoy did with a stick.

In all reality i hit my dog harder slapping him when were playing around. He doesnt mind it, he doesnt even flinch.
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Postby SisMorphine » May 22nd, 2006, 1:59 pm

Ooooh, good explanation! I was hoping someone would show up soon with one. Thankya :)
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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 2:11 pm

SisMorphine wrote:I think he's trying to say that you're uneducated in bitework, not uneducated in general.

Oh I know that. And I freely admit it! :D But that is why I am asking questions, to get information, not just to be told I don't know anything...


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Postby LindsaySF » May 22nd, 2006, 2:14 pm

Cuda wrote:The stick used it usually a padded piece of plastic rod in all reality. The sticks are quite flexible and give easily. It really doesnt hurt the dog at all. It really wouldnt even hurt a 10yr old kid. Remeber that the people in these sports have spent TONS of time working and training their dogs. NONE of them want there efforts throw out of the door becuase of an injury that the decoy did with a stick.

In all reality i hit my dog harder slapping him when were playing around. He doesnt mind it, he doesnt even flinch.

I get that it is not a normal stick. You don't just pick up a piece of wood off the ground and start smacking...

But what is the purpose? Is it to get the dog's attention? Or is it to make them feel pain? I know that you aren't causing serious injury to the dog, but to cause pain of any kind to an animal for the sake of a "sport" makes me uncomfortable.

Can you train bite-work without this stick?


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Postby katiek0417 » May 22nd, 2006, 2:15 pm

Cuda wrote:The stick used it usually a padded piece of plastic rod in all reality. The sticks are quite flexible and give easily. It really doesnt hurt the dog at all. It really wouldnt even hurt a 10yr old kid. Remeber that the people in these sports have spent TONS of time working and training their dogs. NONE of them want there efforts throw out of the door becuase of an injury that the decoy did with a stick.

In all reality i hit my dog harder slapping him when were playing around. He doesnt mind it, he doesnt even flinch.


They can also be hit with clatter stick, jugs with rocks...

These are tests of courage. Part of being a sport dog is having confidence. Dogs that are confident will not flinch when hit with the stick.
In a competition, you are testing the dog's ability to not only protect you...but also stand up against pressure...in PSA, a 38 caliber gun is fired twice during the bite during the carjacking scenario....the dog should not come off the bite just because it hears the gun....

People involved with this type of training are very careful in how these things are introduced to the dog. As a puppy, Nisha was introduced to jugs of rocks during bite work....while she was in the bite, first my trainer would kick the jug on the ground a little...then he would push it close so she would hit it with her body during the bite...then he'd shake it a little over her head...then shake it harder, etc...

He does not hit her with the stick, yet...but he's introduced the motion of his arm during the hits, his arm coming down fast towards her...he's also introduced the "drive" (during which the stick hits typically occur)...with puppies, all environmentals should be introduced slowly, and with all positive results (either during the bite slowly, or with lots of food)...

Also, take a look at the KNPV Natl's videos...in KNPV, at stick is broken across the dogs back as it's coming in for the bite...this is a TEST....KNPV dogs are some of the best police dogs (why many police departments are going towards KNPV lines)...
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