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An actual hierarchy of reward values would be different for any dog. However, among biting dogs, you can count on a few generalities: a food reward (in an adult) is going to be lower value than a bite reward; a small tug is probably going to be lower value than a bite wedge; a bite wedge lower value than a sleeve; and a decoy suited up or at least very active in a sleeve is going to VERY high value. Again, not true for every single dog in every single case, but I’ll let that set the framework for the following.

King Man’s competition-style obedience continues to improve at a good clip, and lately he’s gotten a better understanding of the jumps. In one PSA level 1 scenario, the dog is recalled through a tunnel and over a jump to heel, or possibly over the jump first and then through an obstacle such as a tunnel. I keep forgetting to bring my tunnel out, but hopefully we can add that soon. Anyway, we’ve recently begun layering in some basic obedience, i.e. attention heeling, into the bitework since he doesn’t need to be told to bite and you have to have obedience in your bitework in competition. Earlier this week we added another layer, heeling with attention, then sent to jump and then to a bite.

King Man is pretty smart at finding the path of least resistance, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had blown right around the jump to get to the bite. I may have been able to call him off that, but at a close distance he could have rewarded himself with a bite for a short while before I could have corrected it. However, he took to it very quickly and very well, and fortunately I have some footage linked below. He also got the GoPro dog harness for Christmas, which you’ll see him wearing in the footage. I’m still editing the footage off of that camera but wanted to include something to send you into the new year with.

You’ll notice some changes in pace and direction with the heeling- this is to ensure the dog is still paying attention. As you can imagine, they get pretty amped up in bitework and depending on the dog and its learning, they sometimes figure out how to not pay attention and just head down the field.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading.