Break Stick Response

The article I wrote opposed to break sticks is the highest rated post I’ve ever written. And…… It’s because everyone hated it.

I see the pages and posts that refer people to it, and they all think I’m an asshole.

Apparently, the way to unite the wannabe tough guy Pit Bull bro, and the “pibble lover” hippie, is to take away their fucking break sticks.

I stand by every word of that article. I don’t use break sticks. They are inefficient, and make aggression worse.

But, the mistake I made was in not giving the alternative!

Everyone, just kept going back to “If not that, then WHAT?”

I didn’t talk about how TO do it because, telling people HOW to break up a dog fight on the internet is dangerous. Not to mention, it sounds horrible.

That’s because I use the same thing to stop a violent dog, that I use to stop a violent person.

I choke them.

Yeah…… That sounds bad. That’s why the people who know it’s the answer, don’t talk about it. They’re worried about losing public opinion.

Almost every dog professional I have ever met or interacted with online will admit (if pushed) to going up on the collar in an emergency. Google that shit and see how may trainers advocate it out loud.

Fortunately for me, I stopped giving a fuck about what the public thinks when I was a kid.  And….. Apparently, NOT saying is pissing everyone off anyway.

So…… Here you go:

(disclaimer- don’t try any of this without hands on instruction form a qualified trainer. this is for discussion not instruction)

Slip Collar Lift.

ddcollar_tight

(Check out this description from Leerburg.com)

Rear Naked Choke.

index

It’s done exactly the same way on dogs as it is on people.

And, before you argue it’s efficacy, here’s an example of a 9 year old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student saving a friend using this technique.

What about the “Hind Leg Suspension” AKA “Wheelbarrow” technique? Isn’t it safer?

Yes……. If you have shit dogs. Curs. Chewy frantic re-grippers.  Yes….. That can break them.

If you outnumber the dogs. It can slow them down. I use it when handlers outnumber dogs. But, you still have to break the game dogs grip!

There are ONLY 2 choices.

Break Stick. And Choke. (don’t start with your e-collar bullshit. It won’t work on a game dog unless you go to a level that is quite damaging and dangerous. Same as hitting them. I actually DON’T want to hurt the dog hence these as the only options)

Break Sticks REQUIRE multiple handlers. Or at least some convoluted back-tying. And, they INCREASE drive and frustration. They do NOT change the economics of fighting. No dog gets pried off and thinks….. “Damn….. not sure I want that happening again”.

Chokes can be done done with slip collars on TWO DOGS simultaneously by a SINGLE HANDLER. Rear Naked Chokes must be done one after the other, which sucks…. But is doable alone. And, both versions give serious pause to the dog next time.

It is the ONLY correction that can have THAT deep of an effect……. AND doesn’t ADD adrenaline. Damage The dog. Or damage the relationship.

Period.

And don’t talk to me about safety.  Collar lifts have LESS risk than break sticks. And a Rear Naked Choke risk is no worse. No vital areas exposed. And honestly…… The dogs that make this a necessity aren’t chewy and re-gripping anyway.

Yes…… You should train and handle in a way that makes this unnecessary.

If you have to use this you failed the dog.

This is the “air bag” in your car. You DO NOT want to use it. But…… You will to save a life.

When all has gone wrong and the nightmare has begun……. Chokes are the ONLY thing that works when it’s life or death that doesn’t have serious blowback.

There it is.

The truth.

Flame away.

notonefuck

Jaxxy’s Transition To A Spring Pole

What do I do in a Blizzard?
Transition Jax to Spring Pole!
Lot of people tug. Not that many people use Spring Poles.

The way old school dogmen used them didn’t involve control. Let them at it….. Pry them off. All conditioning and gameness. No control.

But, I think they can be used as an obedience reward. Just like tug. Giving access to this type of activity to folks that can’t get in there and play The Game themselves. Plus it takes HUGE impulse control.
Jaxxy followed my typical process:
Tug. Ball On A String. Flirt Pole. Decoy Tug. Then Spring Pole.
Each progression requires more responsibility and control under higher and higher arousal, so there’s usually a little wobble in self control as they master that test.
The transition to the Spring Pole follows the same ramp up in responsibility.
The toy is kept low so the outs are easier, and I am fairly close, so it doesn’t challenge my area of influence too much.
As he gets cleaner & more crisp, I will raise the toy up, and myself away.
Eventually, He’ll be swinging like the old school pics.

But…. With solid obedience!
No collars. No food.
Only Social Drive and self control overriding Prey Drive.
Here’s Jaxxy’s first session.

And Here’s a follow up 2 days later. It’s his 3rd session:

Jaxxy Doing Work.

This video has two purposes. Well, 3.

One is celebrating my little idiot. God dammit I love that dog.

Two, is showing progress to anyone following his little story.

And, last, but not least….. Showing training doesn’t have to feel like this piece of shit chore. There was only about a third more of these activities that weren’t on film. This really is indicative of the amount of time I “worked” him.

Embed the training throughout the day. Train through game play.

Make it fun for YOU. And then you may do it.

Anyway….. Here’s Jaxxy doing some work. Enjoy:

Conditioned Relaxation Is NOT Massage.

OK……. Conditioned Relaxation is one of those hot topics going around. And, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 6 months…… you’ve seen it. Or, at least heard it described. The typical view of CR goes like this:

“CR is using massage to get a dog relaxed.”

Massaging a dog until they relax IS NOT putting relaxation on cue!

I mean….. Yes……. you do need to use massage to get the dog relaxed. But that shouldn’t be the way it stays forever.

Look at Sit. I can push the butt to the floor to “create” sit. But if someone says “Did you teach your dog to sit?”, you wouldn’t say “Sure, watch.”, then push their butt down.

If you’re still pushing their butt down…… That dog don’t know sit!

There in lies the rub (pun).

People see the massage wrong.

The first mistake people make in CR with “touch” is they pet, scratch, or stroke the dog. And that might be “relaxing”…… But not on a Therapeutic level. If I went to a massage therapist and they gently stroked my hair…… Not what I need.

Then, once people realize the therapeutic benefit of touch, they begin to go to “work” on their dogs.

AND IT WORKS!!!

Then comes the second mistake.

Since it works, they keep using it.

Like people that say “My dog knows sit”, but they have to have food in hand!

You can get your dog relaxed but you’re still relying on the inducting method.

You’re still pushing on the butt, or grabbing a cookie for sit!

Like all solid obedience commands….. You want to wean of needing to induce, or coerce!

Have had a number of conversations over the past couple of weeks that has made me realize that people don’t “get” the idea that it’s an “obedience command”.

Some examples:

Woman dreads the toll booth, cause her dog blows up.

I, after suggesting crating the dog till they’re past the issue, said “Cool, work his CR until you can use it a the Toll Booth”.

She asked, “How am I supposed to massage him from the drivers seat at the toll booth?”.

Last night, I was doing a little clinic for a local rescue. Several of the volunteers were clients. And I was talking about dealing with difficult dogs. CR came up. I got a gut feeling the above example wasn’t a lone misunderstanding. And, I said…. “You guys know that CR isn’t just massaging your dog till they relax”.

And, holy shit……. almost every single one of the people that I HAD TAUGHT were shocked. Like…. kinda upset.

Like…… “What the fuck do yo mean it ain’t massage?!?!??!”

Now I know break things down well. And, I know that I am very careful in my teaching to avoid misguided learning. And, if my own clients, I taught myself, are confused about that…….

There’s no way folks out on the interwebs trying to self teach aren’t fucking that up.

And there’s no way the skeptic “CR is bullshit” crowd isn’t using that as reasons to dismiss.

Hell, that WOULD be bullshit.

You can’t give your dog a 10 minute deep tissue massage every time you drive through the toll booth!

But…. you have to induce it to “capture” it.

Food goes up- butt goes down. Once that’s reliable you name it sit. Once they “know” it….. you fade off the food.

CR is the same…. Massage to induce relaxation. Name it. Fade off massage.

Both are oversimplified….. there is more to food luring & CR but, you get the point.

Anyway, if you’re still reliant on food lures, leash pressure, or butt pushing…… Your Sit isn’t “finished”.

If you’re still breaking out the massage table for a long session…… Your CR isn’t finished.

Yeah…. It’s kinda the defining feature.

But it’s not the “END”.

For more info on CR:

Go directly to the source. Kayce Cover!

Chad Mackin covers CR in his Dogmanship Workshop.

And I do it in several of my workshops as well!

Your partners in dealing with your difficult, hyper, or aggressive dogs.