Working a Dog in Defense


Defense of Self vs Defenese of Pack – NOT the SAME

Why do we learn this now?

The goal with all training is to be able to prompt a behavor and keep it at the duration you need for.

An “aggression command” may be given at start of each rep.Β  NOT the same as a “bite command” used in play/prey.

  • Distance
  • Body Posture
    • Anterior vs posterior resentation
    • lean forward vs backward
  • Eye contact vs no eye contact – MUST turn head when at distance. Dogs do not see detail as well.
  • Add movement
    • lateral – working duration of defense without adding more pressure. Great for training New agitators
    • forward and backward
      • Speed – SLOW is better for forward, FAST is better for backward
        • experienced dogs can handle FASTER approach and SLOWER retreat
  • Use different combinations of movement, distance, posture, eye contact, and speed to “work the dog” to greater durations of defense with goal of bringing dog into duration of fight.
  • Keep track of the success of dog by counting “little wins” before “big win”.
    • Little win – dogs’ aggression causes our body language to become less confident
      • head turn
      • backwards movement
      • turn sideways
    • Big win – Total retreat or total disengagement (total retreat better for new dogs
  • Beginning dogs – (example)
    • single big win
    • (move only lateral) little win, big win
    • (lateral) little win, little, win, big win
    • (lateral) little win, little win, little win, big win
    • (slightly forward movement) little win, big win
    • (forward movement) little win, little win, big win
    • (forward) little win, increase duration slightly before next “win”, give a big win
  • SHORT SESSIONS!!! Goal is to make dog successful and a little better wach time. It is better to accomplish a little each session than to try to accomplish too much and the dog shut down.
  • Threatening arm movements/kicks (no contact)
  • Contact should not be attempted unless dog is in fight drive when within bite distance (that is for another class)


Jazz – Natural reaction to dog working naturally in fight:

It is OK to direct agitator since they do not always keep eyes on the dog

A little more pressure before a big win – A spayed female. Needs lots of work.

More pressure – Inretrospect this dog was never ready for a bite so used flank. Generally not necessary.

Agitation – No longer give tug for reasons stated

Goal – Dog will hit with muzzle. Ideally NO equipment present that the dog associates with biting!!!

Ideas of how this can evolve and have fun in class