Can I ask a dumb question?

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

Postby Jesseca » February 8th, 2006, 7:49 pm

I am probably way off base here, but what is the point of bite work? I was always under the impression that pit bulls shouldn't have human agression, which I'm sure is different, but I don't know. Please someone explain. :D
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 8th, 2006, 8:08 pm

Great question Jesseca.

To me Human aggression in Pit Bulls that occurs naturally (meaning bred in to the dog) is (to me) fear aggression. Fear aggression in any breed is bad. No dog of any breed should be trained (or allowed to live, in my opinion.) that has fear aggression. Bite work is not fear aggression.

Bite work done properly is nothing more than obedience. I call it mouth obedience. You might teach your dog to bite a Frisbee or tennis ball. I am doing the same with my dog and a decoy (bad guy in the suit). When you tell your dog to stop, and drop the ball or Frisbee he will. My protection trained dog will do the same with the decoy.

Later, as time and training go into the dog, we can do much more than the Frisbee or ball dog. We can compete in sports like Schutzhund or Ringsport or if it is so desired by the owner, protect our families and ourselves when the time comes and a real bad guy tries to do us harm. My dogs live with my wife and four children. We have a training business and many friends and family. Our dogs are under control and trained to play a game when asked. Yes, this game can get intense. However, any game can be intense. Control and understanding is key. There is more to bite work to this and I don’t mean (nor do I think) I can get anyone to understand from this small post. Find a qualified trainer and sit in on some classes, read, get videos. Even if you never train for bite work with your dog, seeking knowledge on the topic will help you to understand your breed (and dogs) in a way you never thought possible.

I am fond of saying, “Knowledge replaces fear.” Thanks for taking the first step to get knowledge about bite work! Good for you!

Safe training,
Chris Fraize
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Postby Jesseca » February 8th, 2006, 8:15 pm

Thank you so much for that explination. That does make sense. :D
Your dog is beautiful by the way
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Postby Romanwild » February 8th, 2006, 8:17 pm

Nice!

I have a interest in the sport. I don't think my dogs are the right "type" but I am going to have DemoDick and MNP13 evaluate them in the end of this month at their PSA seminar. I will also put the suit on to take a bite from connor.

What "drive" do you work your dogs in when doing bite work?
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Postby Chris Fraize » February 8th, 2006, 9:13 pm

The decoy (and when I decoy) working my dog works the dogs in many different drives. Drives can switch quickly and have many different levels. It takes a SKILLED decoy to read the dog and take (or train) the dog where you want them to be. Working a dog in one drive can make the dog one-dimensional.

Often trainers and decoys will tell you they are working a dog in one drive (take prey drive for example. The dog’s transition from one drive and back again can happen so quickly that they don’t see it. So, they tell you, “I only work this dog in prey.” When in fact, they are working the dog in many or a few different drives and don’t realize it. If they decoy misses (didn’t see) the transition from one drive to another, the decoy and dog can get frustrated when he or she can’t figure out why a dog is not doing what they (the decoy) wants.

Knowing and being able to “read” and “transition” from drive to drive in milliseconds is the difference between a good decoy and a great decoy.

Sorry, I got long winded there! The dog will tell you (thru their behavior) what drive they are most comfortable in and then you can go from there, teaching them how to work and be comfortable in other drives.

Safe training,
Chris Fraize
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Postby msvette2u » February 9th, 2006, 1:30 am

I wish I lived closer. Our youngest GSD has a lot of drive (ball crazy type-and sooo serious about his "guard" job) and I think would have been a great law dog. I'd love to have him evaluated!
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
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Postby DemoDick » February 9th, 2006, 11:45 am

Personally, I try to build a dog as to eliminate defensive behavior. I don't really like seeing dogs in defense on the training field. I prefer an offensive fight drive dog to a defensive one.

Defensive dogs are generally not as clear headed and safe as fight drive dogs. Unfortunately, a lot of people interpret heavy defensiveness as "seriousness" and end up creating avoidance by applying too much pressure because they can't read what they are seeing. Too much defensiveness can lead to fear aggression.

When I watch Chris' dog Rumble work, I see a very offensive dog, which I like very much. I want the dog to really enjoy what he is doing. Not to say that he can't enjoy his work and be serious; I consider prey the MOST serious drive as it is a drive of hunting and killing.

Just my opinions. Feel free to disagree.

Demo Dick
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Postby Pitcrew » February 11th, 2006, 11:18 pm

Hey guys, I must say... these are probably some of the best explanations I have read regarding bitework.
I completely agree with Chris and Dick.
I have competed in some schutzhund and bitework and I unfortunately find it rare to find trainers who understand the drive as clearly as they appear to.
I would love to see your dogs work someday.
If I can make it to your event I would love to have Vega evaluated and hear your opinions.
"Pedigree indicates what the animal should be;
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be;
But, Performance indicates what the animal actually is."
- author unknown
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