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The most common question I get is. How do I teach my dog to bite on command? Training a dog to bite on command is very easy. The hard part is getting your K9 to let go.
WARNING – Before I get into this topic I must warn you to check your local and state laws regarding this type of training. And more importantly, understand that once a dog crosses that mental line where it knows it can bite a human and get away with it, your dog will never be the same and will be a danger to community if allowed to roam free outside the family.
From a very young age a good k9 will have demonstrated signs that it loves to put everything and anything in its mouth and retrieve things. In fact this characteristic is highly preferred when accepting an elite working dog into a training program. The dog must have an insatiable desire to pick things up in its mouth regardless of texture. This includes, steel, timber, plastic, and even rock. So naturally this kind of animal will be a biter if the environment you create for your dog allows this behavior to flourish.
To better illustrate this drive it, I would liken it to a food addict being in the presence of food after a two day fast. There would be no question that without restraint the food addict would plow into the nearest morsel of food. The K9 is the same. Given an option to bite, the K9 will always choose to bite.
The essence of training a dog to bite on command is to reinforce restraint until the command is given. There are other nuances involved in this training like the full mouth grip or the targeted bite area and of course the all important ‘Release’ but I’ll save those topics for another day.
So what you should be focusing on is the restraint component of the training. Once the dog is released the dog will do what it wants, which of course is, you guessed it – BITE.
Tools used are tugs which act as the bite object. Naturally you would not use a person or other animal. The transition from the tug to another object is easy as long as the other object is moving. A dog will bite a moving object because it is similar to prey and motionless objects appear dead and don’t warrant a bite – hence why you stand still and motionless if ever confronted by an aggressive dog.
In summary – Offer the bite item. Then restrain you K9. Then release your K9. Your K9 will bite on the release command. The release command in this exercise is the bite command. Remember the WARNING.
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