My wife sent me this video over the weekend and I gasped when I saw it. I didn’t gasp like I usually do when watching workout videos because this guy pulled it off. Having been a head trainer, kennel master and head instructor at the military working dog school, I have seen some very bad training in my day. Top to bottom though, this guy in the video was spot on. This dog is not an “aggressive” dog. He is a dog whose instinct for play and instinct for prey have been manipulated at the same time… badly. Sometimes it works very well. Other times it leaves a dog confused about its mission if you go through the building stages too quickly.
These types of dogs like to work. They want to go, go, go. So when a dog handler tries to teach them protective techniques before enough obedience is in place, this is the result. The basic starting point for all dog training is basic obedience. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to train dogs to find bombs, drugs, or attack people. Basic OB is the starting block for all of this. So if you upgrade to more advanced training, you may be fucked for a while. This dog tries to “attack with or without command”. Eventually, with sufficient training, dogs can determine the threat and respond to it without command from the handler. This dog was introduced to this concept long before he was ready and now he’s an ass eater. Unfortunate, but not a death knell.
The previous trainer didn’t have enough buy-in on several commands. The first is obviously “no”. We all know what “no” means to a dog. Sometimes “no” can be used almost as a placeholder correction or a mild “you did wrong” type of correction. For example, telling a dog to “lie down”. If the dog hears the command and does not perform the action, the handler will verbally correct the dog with the “no” command and then give the action command again. “Down.” The “no” is the dog’s reminder to pay attention. “No” can also be used as a blocking word. A definite “NO” should stop dogs in their tracks. It didn’t happen here. My first course of action would be to retrain basic obedience commands but, before you can do that, you need to safely regain control.
That’s what this guy does so well. He easily controls a dangerous situation. The guy takes the leash and choke chain and pulls them straight up in the air with his hands so the dog’s face isn’t directly in his face. The manager does not panic. He acts calm and holds the dog with constant pressure from above above the dog’s neck. Why though?
Dogs have what is called the opposition reflex. The opposition reflex refers to your dog’s instinctive reaction to any physical pressure. Pull your dog towards you and it will automatically pull in the opposite direction; try to push them back and they will automatically push you back. So when you want a dog’s ass to rest on the ground, shoot it in the air. Their natural instincts will cause their butts to go to the ground pretty quickly. If most people had this level of skill, there would be far fewer ER doctors performing stitches. Learning to manipulate the natural desires or behaviors of dogs is how you become a good trainer. This guy has it.
Well done, coach. To like.
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