What is “switching gears”?
- Making the dog “civil”
- From the play versions of aggression to the mature versions
- or going from mature versions to play versions of aggression
Factors to consider
- Genetics – Some dogs just CAN”T and others can but with limitations to their aggression even when working at a high potential. For example, you can’t train any dog to “real full mouth bite” on a person.
- Age – you can start shifting and dabble but need to be CAREFUL. It is unreasonable to have any dog under 2 years of age fight with the ability, confidence, and commitment that the same dog may be able to do when older. Dogs get better with age, especially after 2 and some dogs mature even slower. In my experience 3 is when dogs really show what they are capable of.
- “Dominant” dogs tend to progress a little quicker when all else equal – related article on the owners “perception of dominance”
- May want to shift the other direction
- aggression rehab
- may want a safe outlet for “aggressive” play.
Increase “trust” in the command
Example of a fast “on/off” switch
- Obedience as a prerequisite a MUST
- Quick and easy for dogs that have some experience in protecting their owner or defensive agitation.
- Pros – great on a leash
- Cons – some dogs may retreat if off-leash since it primarily directed at them
- The alternative is to attack the owner on command
- Example in the video had about a 4:1 variable ratio of “good” encounters vs “aggressive encounters” (video only shows aggressive encounters.
Play drive on suit or sleeve to “real fight” drive
- Agitator flanks AFTER the suit or sleeve is slipped
- Return with hidden sleeve (must be slippable or dog knows “out”
- Proof on the muzzle
Skin grabbing and escalating “attitude” while on the suit.
- brings out more fight when dogs have mostly been in play
- Can be a grey area between this and “desensitizing” the dog to aggressive intents
- usually still needs a plan to fully proof separately with a muzzle and hidden sleeve
Getting a feel for a young dog without “ruining it”
- avoid flanks on young dogs
- can dabble with defense if the dog is able to successfully “win” and you are not seeing calming signals
- triggering barrier frustration can assist in getting an initial bite