Bite work

Posted by Helkia
Dec 16, 2010
My male GS was good at bite work with reasonable drive, however his defense was lacking. The trainer decided to use another person to build his defense. This turned out to be disastrous. He came up to my dog in a threatening manner which is normal and then decided to whip the dog very hard, causing the dog to retreat. Now he is afraid of going in for the bite. I've brought him back to attacking on short distances but for long distance bites he doesn't want to go. Any suggestions?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 16, 2010
Hi there,

I'm not very familiar with bite training, but heres my initial thoughts:

Re-train in the manner you were working with before the whip incident. Build your dogs' confidence by rewarding him for reacting correctly and going in for the bite.

Once he's confident again, reintroduce the whip, but not directly with your dog. Have someone crack one in the near vacinity, so that your dog gets used to the noise and still knows to go in despite it. Praise heaps when he works through the whips' presence. This should help your dog understand that just because a whip is there, doesn't mean its ok to not bite. Try riling him up or getting him excited about bite training with the whip being cracked. You want him to recognize the whip as more incentive to behave defensively and still get in there, so egging him on even more when a whip is around should be a good way to start.

Once he's responding well with the sound of a whip, start bringing it closer and closer to interacting. It might be better to avoid full contact with him for now, until he's had more time and experience with this sort of training, after all, physical contact/attack is a punishment and if he's new to this it might keep deterring him until he's really grasped the concept.

Maybe another user is more familiar with bite training and can offer more advice, I hope this helps you at least a bit.