improving bitework - Page 1

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by oso on 03 May 2004 - 22:05

Our 2 year old dog doesn't consistently bite well, sometimes he is fine, but other times he bites well at first but then begins to let go so that he is just holding the sleeve with the front teeth instead of a good full grip. I have been told one way to improve is playing wih the jute roll and only give it to him if he bites properly. Problem is, although he is always keen to bite the roll, he is not that motivated to have it as a reward. I appreciate that this has a lot to do with temperament, but anyne any ideas how we can improve his bite?

by Hucklebuck on 03 May 2004 - 22:05

Oso, the bite is always the reward. It should only be given as a reward. Never for chewing, etc.. (just incase you do it!) I would really suggest building drive with a ball on a rope (leerburg has these). Work the dog up into a frenzy and give the ball when he barks. YOU HOLD ONE END. Then he tugs and pulls. I suggest keeping him on leash while building drive. Do not allow him to chew the prey item. Once you let go of it, "cradle" him. If he drops it, he loses it. Do NOT let him pick it back up. This will begin to teach him, that if he wants a good grip, he better do it the first time! Its his only chance. Same with the jute roll, rag, etc.. But it sound slike you need to build his drive & focus more. Leerburg also has a great video made with Bernhard Flinks called, "BUilding Focus, Drive & Grip". After you watch it, you will be amazed at truly how easy it is to do, & do correctly. The results come quickly. * Usually, when an older dog does not bite full, he knows he has time to play with it over & over. So, my best suggestion is to be very limited when giving the "reward". ALWAYS give the reward but, build him up. ONe way, is to tie him out and you stay outside the area of reach. Swing and toss the prey around, make noises "get it!". Whatever gets him into drive. Then when he just cant take it anymore and starts barking, he gets it. This is a crucial point now, he must always win, but be contained. You should cradle him in your arms, not allowing him to put it on the ground to tear and chew. You eiher ocmmand "out" or wait until he drops on his own. Then kick it out of reach, walk back over and start over. * * * ALWAYS stop before the dog has had enough. Leave him wanting more every time.

by Hucklebuck on 03 May 2004 - 22:05

Oso, the bite is always the reward. It should only be given as a reward. Never for chewing, etc.. (just incase you do it!) I would really suggest building drive with a ball on a rope (leerburg has these). Work the dog up into a frenzy and give the ball when he barks. YOU HOLD ONE END. Then he tugs and pulls. I suggest keeping him on leash while building drive. Do not allow him to chew the prey item. Once you let go of it, "cradle" him. If he drops it, he loses it. Do NOT let him pick it back up. This will begin to teach him, that if he wants a good grip, he better do it the first time! Its his only chance. Same with the jute roll, rag, etc.. But it sound slike you need to build his drive & focus more. Leerburg also has a great video made with Bernhard Flinks called, "BUilding Focus, Drive & Grip". After you watch it, you will be amazed at truly how easy it is to do, & do correctly. The results come quickly. * Usually, when an older dog does not bite full, he knows he has time to play with it over & over. So, my best suggestion is to be very limited when giving the "reward". ALWAYS give the reward but, build him up. ONe way, is to tie him out and you stay outside the area of reach. Swing and toss the prey around, make noises "get it!". Whatever gets him into drive. Then when he just cant take it anymore and starts barking, he gets it. This is a crucial point now, he must always win, but be contained. You should cradle him in your arms, not allowing him to put it on the ground to tear and chew. You eiher ocmmand "out" or wait until he drops on his own. Then kick it out of reach, walk back over and start over. * * * ALWAYS stop before the dog has had enough. Leave him wanting more every time. Eventually, he will learn to get a good grip the first time. I havent even touched it all here, but this is a start. So, first - BUILD DRIVE UP. BUILD FOCUS UP. Then,, work on grip. And I strongly suggest that video, it's great! Here is the link - http://www.leerburg.com/101e.htm

by DKiah on 03 May 2004 - 23:05

This is why a good training helper is soooo... important.... do you have a good helper in your club??

by oso on 04 May 2004 - 01:05

Many thanks for both replies and suggestions. I will order the video, it looks good. Trouble is that we live in Ecuador, and we have no good helpers nearby, but recently a small group of us are bringing a helper from Quito most weekends, he has 10 years experience, and I think is good. We also work / play with the dogs most days. My dogs were trained in Quito and my other two don't have problems with their bitework. This dog was always a problem though he is v. good in structure and obedience. He did not have much prey drive as a puppy, he is much better now than he used to be, plays with and retreives balls etc. He get excited, barks and is always is keen to bite, but his grip is often not very good.

Dog1

by Dog1 on 04 May 2004 - 01:05

Reward the rebite. Hopefully he does this. When he has the tug, keep tension, pull againt him. release tension and he should bite full. When he does, immediately release for the reward. Hopefully he will get the idea the objective is the full bite to get the reward.

by Louise M. Penery on 04 May 2004 - 02:05

I encourage bitebuilding with a biteroll/tug. The very nature of a ball on a rope tends to encourage "munching" if the ball is carried and tension is not maintained. At least, this has been my observation-- even after viewing the Flinks tape and teaching with his method. With the tug, the dog also learns the vital calm "hold" command (without munching) which carries over to retrieve of the dumbbell. With the tug, the dog learns that an "out" (either inducive or on command) gives him an immediate reward rebite--as Dog 1 discusses. This preliminary training carries over to protection work. To build prey/play drive, the ball on a rope is better when using two balls. After the dog learns to drop (with no pulling) the ball on an "out" commmand (the prey is dead on the ground--not in your hand), the second ball is thrown as a reward. Basically, I don't use any balls on the training field as balls tend to make the dog hectic and munchy. A HIDDEN tug is a much better reward (IMO) for correct obedience. This is the way I've been retraining my dogs since I began working with Jim Dobbs.

by oso on 05 May 2004 - 04:05

Many thanks for all the comments, I have ordered the video but will bear in mind Louise' s comments about balls on strings and "munching' (he does that sometimes).

by Sue DiCero on 14 May 2004 - 18:05

Definitely the building drive and focus. That will augment the bitework training. But, I would work on correcting the bite, not with a sleeve, tug or ball, but with leatherwork. This is what husband does with young dogs for the foundation work and any re-work that has to be done on older dogs with a lazy bite.

by oso on 14 May 2004 - 18:05

That's interesting, please can you clarify a little about the leatherwork as I am not familiar with this. Many thanks.





 


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