As I mentioned a few months back, in an “experiment,” my trainer suggested we try my dog as a “leg dog.” Not like a “leg hound” of many jokes; simply a dog that bites on the legs instead of the arms. Fast forward to the end of the year, and it’s worked out quite well. I don’t know the reason, but King is biting somewhat fuller and with more energy.
For some dogs, it just happens that way. I remember a segment in Mike Ritland’s book Trident K-9 Warriors mentioning that he taught dogs to bite legs because there’s less chance of the dog missing the man/decoy since it’s not flying through the air. There may have also been a mention of leverage, but I loaned the book out months ago so I can’t look it up. Either way, don’t hesitate to pick up the book and watch the episode of 60 Minutes from last year that featured him.
I had already had a very good experience dealing with Thad Petersen at Ringsuits.com in ordering my bite suit, so I gave Thad a call to see what he had in the way of leg sleeves. Thad already had up on Youtube a helpful video explaining the different types of leg sleeves that Seynaeve made and that he sold. Thad had a double-velcro ladder style leg sleeve in stock that I ordered a received a couple days later. New velcro is stiff. Two bands of velcro even more so, and as King started getting more and more accustomed to biting on the legs, he could also tell when the sleeve was going to be slipped by Greg and would start pulling and thrashing some since he knew the “slip” was coming up.
I then picked up a leg sleeve with a leather pull tab. As Thad explains in his video, the pull tab is a MUCH faster slipping leg sleeve. As he also explains, it take a little longer to reset. My thinking was that the faster slip would prevent the dog from anticipating the slip as easily. While that was true, the reset process was even more difficult than expected. It’s a great sleeve, but we don’t use it very much anymore in bite work training. However, I can still use it as a target, and for some foundational training for things such as a guarding position (dog guarding the decoy), and leg sleeves are pretty easy to stand up on their own, so you can set it up as a target at a distance away.
In short, everything that Thad says in the video below is very accurate, and for my purposes, the velcro ladder works a LOT better. Just give your decoy the heads-up to pull hard to slip it.