Pit Bulls Doing Bitework

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

Postby realpitbull » June 27th, 2006, 4:38 pm

For those of you working Pit Bulls in bitesports and PP, what registries/ categories (gamedogs, rescue, etc)/bloodlines do you have and/or mainly see?

Do you find there is difficulty getting the dogs into defense drive?

Do you feel there is a "conflict of interest" (for lack of a better phrase?) working Pit Bulls in sports that were created for breeds with entirely different temps?

Do you feel there is a difference between working in sports like schutzhund where the dog can largely be kept in prey drive, and training a dog in PP where you might work in defense drive more often? Is one ok for this breed and not the other?

Do you think it's ok that breeders produce APBTs with temps that would make them suitable for bitesports?

I have my opinions, but I'm going to keep them out of this thread. I'm deferring to the working dog people and would like to hear what you all have to say.

Thanks! :)
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Postby DemoDick » June 27th, 2006, 4:54 pm

Do you feel there is a "conflict of interest" (for lack of a better phrase?) working Pit Bulls in sports that were created for breeds with entirely different temps?


No. Pit Bulls do very well in bitesports (as they do in most any organized dog sport).

Do you feel there is a difference between working in sports like schutzhund where the dog can largely be kept in prey drive, and training a dog in PP where you might work in defense drive more often? Is one ok for this breed and not the other?


There is a big difference in training for PP vs. an organized bitesport, although it isn't really about drives. There are Schutzhund dogs that will tear you up for real and there are Schutzhund dogs that won't. It depends on the dog and how he was trained.

Do you think it's ok that breeders produce APBTs with temps that would make them suitable for bitesports?


They've been doing it since the breed was created (albeit unknowingly). I'm sure this will anger a lot of people but in my experience the very best dogs for bitework are the same dogs that excel in the Pit. They possess clear-headedness under pressure, drive, gameness and courage. It's just a matter of training them to engage an animal that walks on two legs instead of four.

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Postby DemoDick » June 27th, 2006, 5:03 pm

One last thing...the single most important trait for a bitework dog (actually any dog) is temperament. The dog should be confident and solid so that he can be safely trained and trusted. Again, game dogs are hard to beat.

My experience is admittedly limited though.

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Postby realpitbull » June 27th, 2006, 5:03 pm

Thanks a lot for your response. :)

Can I ask you to clarify your interesting statement about gamedogs (bred for gameness/aggression towards other animals) excelling in bitesports and PP? How does gameness/aggression towards animals transfer to aggression directed at people (assuming we are talking PP or a situation in which the dog is really tested and threatened by a *person* and is not just sleeve-happy)?

Also, do you know of actual pit dogs that went on to excell in bitesports? Which game lines are you seeing?
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Postby DemoDick » June 27th, 2006, 5:18 pm

How does gameness/aggression towards animals transfer to aggression directed at people (assuming we are talking PP or a situation in which the dog is really tested and threatened by a *person* and is not just sleeve-happy)?


It doesn't. I'm talking about the raw material, i.e. the untrained dog. The dogs that I have seen, in general, have a real calmness and focus under pressure and distraction. They can be trained to handle a lot of pressure (especially environmental). As for PP, it depends on how the dog is trained. Lots of people think that they are training for PP when in fact they are not.

I'd also like to add that "aggression" really doesn't have anything to do with bitework. Most people equate aggression with visciousness and instability, which is the opposite of what you want in a PP dog.

Chris Fraize's dog Rumble is a good example of what I'm talking about. I don't doubt that he will bite for real. His temperament and confidence are the bedrock of his performance.

Also, do you know of actual pit dogs that went on to excell in bitesports? Which game lines are you seeing?


I don't know of any dogs that were fought. I don't associate with those types. I have seen dogs out of game lines though. I don't remember which ones though, as I don't really get into bloodlines.

For the record, my dog is a rescue and he does pretty well. I'm sure he'd do fine in the pit, but I have no interest in matching him. Bitework is safer and more humane.

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Postby realpitbull » June 27th, 2006, 5:23 pm

Ok, cool, so what I'm getting is that you are suggesting that training involves getting a dog to bite and hold, not "aggress" per se.

FWIW, although limited, I do have a tiny bit of experience with bitesports and definitely an interest in them. I know that temp is of utmost importance (stability) and that "viciousness" or creating an "aggressive/dangerous dog" isn't what you want when you are doing it right.

Stuff to think about. :)
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Postby mnp13 » June 28th, 2006, 9:01 am

realpitbull wrote:FWIW, although limited, I do have a tiny bit of experience with bitesports and definitely an interest in them. I know that temp is of utmost importance (stability) and that "viciousness" or creating an "aggressive/dangerous dog" isn't what you want when you are doing it right.


I hope you'll be able to make it to the Bull-ympics! Chris and Megan are doing a bitework demonstration.

Of course, you could also plan to head up to an event or seminar at K9STS and see it first hand - and maybe catch a dog or two :wink:
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Postby realpitbull » June 28th, 2006, 9:40 am

I am starting to think about making a trip up there; I would love to come.

I'm also def, interested in the K9STS get togethers. The lure of getting into a bite suit is quite strong! LOL
Mary Harwelik, CPDT
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