I just started teaching my dog (Malinois 9 mths) for sch hold & bark... after reading all the posts... I still need some advise as I am facing some challenges. Initially, I started the hold and bark with a decoy. He started in front of the blind, I give the command & send her in, she barks, but she can't hold (mean she doesn't sit), and want to bite even the sleeve is hidden at back of the decoy...
But later, I find that this method may not be suitable, as I don't correct her but just to restrain her from biting because this is just the initial phase. I thought she will learn to hold after many many time of repetitation but doesn't seem the way.
Now I am teaching her to bark at myself instead. If I the "revir" command, she will bark and again she can't hold & sit. Can someone advise me what is the best way to teach to dog to hold ? give a "Sit" command then follow by a bark command and what is she break the sit ? do I correct the dog ?
I don't like either approach. I don't mind teaching the dog to bark on command for a toy as a youngster and even do so with others at the end of puppy searches for dogs I expect to put into police work. It is a low stress approach to getting the dogs to possess the framework for the Bark and Guard (notice here I say bark and guard, as the dog is not simply indicating like a S&R dog in this role, it is challenging the bad guy, guarding against an assault or flight, and doing it in a serious manner).
I start the dogs simply at the end of the leash, the handler being a good post. The grip development is well on its way but not so far as to so developed that the dog is simply preying on the sleeve. I begin by waiting the dog out, the dog should try to grip when I am active of course so I stand still, this causes a bit of stress in and of itself for the majority of new dogs, body language can help. When the tenor of their voice changes and they are setting back out of the leash, a natural behavior for a dog who is challenging a combatant, then I create action and when they once again fully engaged in prey work they will usually get a grip but not always. In the case of very powerful dogs of strong nerves I may create some situation where they are stimulated into a fighting behavior instead of prey, this can be spooky place, new places weird places, or simply increasing the power of my own body language. Some dogs may benefit from a prong collar in this exercise, others from a harness, depending on character. On some rare cases, and when I dog is fully along or if the dog is destined to police service work I will vary things to increase the stress on the dog within the standard I need to propagate.
Frankly, the bark for fun approach does not do justice to a mature working dog in any form, sport or police service and trying to start the work on a decoy to equate to such a feeling to the dog is simply...well yuck!!! Now there are variations on the theme on bringing the requisite seriousness into the work and I like the work where when the dog is ready and mature enough to do it from the start we do then begin.
Ok, now back to teaching the skill. The dog has figured it out, on a leash of 6-10 foot the dog will hang into the collar or harness and pursue the active decoy. When they figure out that to make that happen they must challenge the decoy to fight they will set back out of the collar or harness tension and do that the moment the decoy freezes up. Now it is time to get the dog moving to the decoy. It starts the same, but instead of the decoy stopping in front of the dog and close enough to simply step in for a grip, the decoy steps back a few quick paces and freezes. The handler now moves to the decoy, checking the dog just in front of the decoy (here is the most common error, the handler not having the strength or coordination to do this or worrying about the distance to the decoy too much and misjudging the stop point) This then just gets bigger, and if the dog doesn't get it you repeat the earlier steps. Many dogs come into prey strongly as they run. This is good, but they may need a shift and often I institute a prong to do that but I always go back and do a bunch of foundations on the prong with the dog and handler. We want the prong to activate the dog, not diminish the dogs behaviors. This isn't done by just slapping a collar on the dog. The same is true for the handful of dogs where the e-collar is the best tool.
Ok, this is the readers digest version of how I currently teach B&G in its foundations. Whew, I can't believe I typed all that already!
thanks.. for the explaination. as I am not very clear the last part what if the dog doesn't hold the position in front of the helper because when I move the dog to the decoy with a leash, she will jump and wanted to go in for the bite. How can I teach her to hold the position while barking ?
That is your job, the dog must be checked prior to a possible bite in route to the decoy until the dog anticipates and sets up in front of the decoy. Once the dog is getting the hang of it they may not get a grip on the sleeve unless the dog comes in without testing, they either set up and bark or they get nothing and the decoy moves back and it goes again. You should be at a point where the dog now understands the skill and if the dog attempts to bite an unmoving decoy the dog is corrected and the skill begins again with out a bite until it is done correctly. Handler skill is important here, for a dog to bite then be corrected is a failure on the part of the handler. It must be corrected in the attempt! Then not allowed to attain drive satisfaction until it does the entire skill correctly.
"This week's video is of Cindy, Rush and our good friend Jeremy Norton. Cindy and Jeremy start the video by training Rush the “accessory attack for Mondio Ring.” This is followed by video of Rush's first ever training session for the bark and hold on a helper. Cindy has prepped the dog herself with marker training and tug games. This training session graphically demonstrates how handlers who don’t have helpers can prepare their own dog for future helper work, if they know the exercises to work with."
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