Before commence second session of training exercise of handler and Ara bite targeting (triceps) and apprehension work we tested Ara reaction from pervious training session of improving bark “speak” command and staying with handler on command by desensitise Ara to decoy through decoy patting her.
Note – moving in too close to dog is a mistake if you want dog to give good barks for “speak” command & stay with handler – stay out of dogs critical distance to where a dog will take its bite to encouraging the dog to continue to bark/stay and build dogs confidence by decoy showing fear by cowering & running away from dog. BUT when setting a dog up to do target biting we move into the dogs critical distance to bite to teach dog where to target its bite. Decoy sets the dog up for the bite and on third setups the attempts of dog trying to get to the bite the handler release dog on a “take it” command for the target bite – using prey drive apprehension work.
Points of improvement – Ara is no longer worry of decoy in suit and is relax/comfortable and waiting for handler now to give command instead of stressing in anticipating for a bite by barking and pulling uncontrollably. The more I and Ara do training exercises the more desensitising she will become to the training the better of positioning target bites becomes and the handler skills at controlling the dog.
Points to remember – less talking – when dog is doing the command. Example handler gives command to dog “speak” dog does, handler says “good, dog” to reinforce so dog knows its doing the right thing – that’s it – let the dog perform. Talking is a distraction when dog is working.
Handler to give slight back pressure on leash to keep Ara on the bite – release pressure before the “out – come” command so Ara knows to release her bite and return to handler. (Nuno doesn’t use the out command because he goes straight to another commands. e.g. “Ara,take him” – Ara is biting on suit – “Ara, Sit” – Ara release bite to sit. It doesn’t have to be sit it can be any other command – come, down, etc.)
First attempt at this exercise handler mistake of putting tension on the leash before Ara was on the bite – therefore Ara return to me. WAIT til dog is on the bite before tension/pressure is put on the leash. Second attempt was good – Ara hit the target and Handler put pressure on leash while dog was on the bite – use “good dog” once to reinforce command – Ara out/come was good and handler release of pressure on leash before the commands… praising Ara for coming straight back to me as her reward for obeying
Homework – Both dogs learning to focus on me with positive reinforcement of food on their names with yes/food paired with “good, dogs” and patting til it becomes a conditional response from dogs – then start removing food and just giving “good, dog” with patting. (Note if both dogs are together when teaching also give other dog a treat for waiting). Also keep conditioning Ara/Tazer to the muzzle.