Demo, this is the piece I mentioned
Posted by Ron on 2/19/2005, 7:21 am
I have been getting allot of e-mails lately from folks having problems getting expectable work out of there bulldogs (APBT, AB). Most have the same problem even if not the exact same symptom. SYMPTOM = doesn’t always bite, doesn’t always bite hard, doesn’t always bite the first time, becomes uninterested, uncommitted……..(this can all be regardless of the dogs happy stable disposition towards work) And I know there are many other's who think there dog is working well, but in reality have the same problem. It’s the same issue I have heard repeatedly over the years an a large part of the reason I insist on the level of intensity and commitment that I do. It’s why they aren’t considered working dogs.
This is not anything that I haven’t said here several times before. The nature of bull breeds is fundamentally different than that of a herder. As a result it is typical that a bull dog worked strictly by a herding dog mentality will not realize his potential and will seem sub-par to club members and a pain to train to the owner (next thing you know they get a dog who “wants to work”). In an environment where the trainers / decoys believe the way they have been taught to work there GSD’s or Mal’s is the way to work DOGS period, results WILL be limited.
It is not so much the actual technique’s (physical way’s of training) that are the problem. The technique’s can be used, reused, and applied in many way’s to serve many purposes. The real issue is folks applying there understanding of working dog behavior / training theory to dogs that are “not working dogs”. REPEAT = The real issue is folks applying there understanding of HERDING dog behavior / training theory to dogs that are COMBAT dogs. It’s not about being harder to train, it’s about opening your mind and seeing what makes your dog thrive, even if it DOESN’T make any sense by what all the typical / popular training ideology.
CASE in POINT:
The first 2 or 3 tries the dog doesn’t bite. After a few stick hits dog gets better. But, you can’t get to trial cause the dog comes out cold, can’t get started.
The decoys thought is to start every session with pressure, heating the dog up and giving a bite to relieve the stress. Eventually, the dog is supposed to learn to avoid the pressure by starting / biting first.
Technique wise, not that much different (maybe) than what I would do. But, what’s going to cause him a problem is his theory behind why the technique will work. Because it is likely he is wrong about what the dog is thinking (dog not thinking like a GSD) the results will be mixed, inconsistent, off the mark. Even though the technique may be sound the application ends up being improper.
Bull breeds typically thrive on the conflict, it is a mistake to think that the pressure is a penalty. They enjoy it, they don’t see it as a situation to be avoided. A herder (typically) will fight and enjoy it to some extent, but he sees the fight as just that, a fight where he might lose if the guy is too tuff. He doesn’t want, toooo much fight cause he wants to win. Pressure is a negative to him because it gives the impression that he might NOT win and that’s why he is doing it to WIN. The combat dog is the opposite. Yes he too wants to win (no one wants to lose), but the fight is what he really enjoys. He is not fighting because he wants to win, winning or losing doesn't occur to them until it happens. He is fighting because he wants to fight. The more fight the better. It’s not a penalty at all, it’s what they want (even if they don’t know it at first). As soon as they win they should want to fight again. Not, crap calmly with a full mouth and enjoy the win. And don’t mistake wanting to fight again with wanting to play again.
If you want your pit bull to be interested in protection he must be challenged from day one! Not dominated or nursed!
My personal opinion:
I love pit bulls. I believe they are great working dogs and can do it all. But, they are in a different mold than the herding dogs. And I like it that way! If an APBT doesn’t display the behavior I have mentioned, but does have enough to be a working dog and get titled…….. I am NOT interested. I want an APBT (physical & mental, not a GSD). I expect my dogs to behave as COMBAT dogs, the way I train is conducive to them. And it gives me a final product that I enjoy, one that can’t be scoffed at by anyone who witness’s. And, I believe the open mindedness that has allowed me to come to these conclusions has made me a better trainer for ALL breeds.