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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19670
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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When my dog is doing bite work, he does not bite full the

Customer Question

When my dog is doing bite work, he does not bite full the first time. What technique would you recommend?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

What command do you use to have him bite down?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

okay so, you use this command to make the initial bite which is not a hard bite down, when the bite down becomes full do you give a command for that?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That's what I am asking you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying there should be more than one command for a full bite and one for a shallow?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

okay when you give the Stellen command the dog is associating it with a light bite so yes I would put a command to the harder bite so the dog knows the difference.Then what you may have to do is change the commands , the new command you chose to make a full bite as a harder bite and the Stellen bite for a shallow bite.

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

At this point you want the dog to know the difference.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe you are not understanding. It's not the pressure of the bite. It's full or shallow and I need to know how to get a full bite the first time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry if I did not explain correctly. I don't want to give my dog two commands. I mean would you tell your dog to "sit" and then "sit better"?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

you may need to give two commands, the dog needs to know the difference. Then you give the full bite command the first time

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What I want is my for my dog to bite full the first time. Are you a dog trainer or is your expertise as a vet?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

You can give a dog a sit command, but it may not be a straight sit, it may be a relaxed sit, so then you want to give a straight sit command so the dog knows the difference

Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.


Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Do you want a Vet?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. So you do not have to be a Vet to be a Dog Trainer expert on this site? What are your credentials as a "trainer" please ?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

if a dog is not getting a command to what you want the first time, when the dog does perform it at a different time then that is when you want to praise reward and put another command to it. If the dog is not performing to Stellen then he has not associated it with a full bite. To continue to give this command would have him repeat what he is doing now each time the command is given.

I am a trainer for 25 years, specializing in behavior, and therapy dog work and evaluation as well as akc work and evaluation

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have you ever been a decoy in dog training - say for like personal protection dogs? Or is your expertise in showing how to keep your dog from going poo in one place instead of the other?
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

It seems you are not satisfied, and questioning my training experience as well as a bit condescending to my career. I shall opt out and let another expert step in. I wish you the best with what you are trying to do.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I have worked with schutzhund dogs and trials. I understand the question here. The first thing to check is to make sure your dog does not have any mouth issues. That will require a vet visit. A broken tooth, or other dental issue can lead to a shallow bite. That is the first thing to rule out.

When there is no medical issue present, then the dog is often under stress which is causing the dog to not bite fully. In some cases, the dog might perceive the helper as a threat and thus not be able to focus fully on the sleeve and is more hesitant about that initial bite. This can also come from having an inexperienced helper who moves to fast on the Perceived threat stage of bite work. Often you can get a good bite if the helper is turned slightly away from the dog or moving away. This causes the dog to have more confidence and less stress and makes their bite fuller on first strike. If this does help him, you can work with him on this type of bite to get the firm full bite you want initially. Once he is doing well, sneak a frontal bite in. Even if he bites full the first time then, switch back to the other type of bite work or practice a different exercise to keep the training positive and have him succeed before again turning back to a frontal bite.

Another cause is often us, the handler. We can get a bit carried away encouraging and praising that we break the dogs concentration on the sleeve itself which can lead to a poor bite. It can even be a combination of the two factors. You might switch to a different helper that is less confrontational with the dog and see if he does better with the bite. You might also step back and practice some tug of war exercises to help get a good full bite going again. I did find a schutzhund page that describes the issue better than I can.

Generally my schutzhund dogs haven't had too much of a problem with bite work, but I have been around some and often a change in helper and attitude of the helper goes a long way to correcting the situation.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I wanted to add that often a dog associates a command with a specific action. In this case, what I think Sally was trying to get across is that your dog may now associate the bite command you are using with a shallow bite. I think she was suggesting using a different command in situations where your dog does bite hard and correctly so he associates that command the the subsequent reward with the full bite and thus when you use that command in the future, he'll do a correct full bite.

It is a trick that is often used for the recall command for your every day training. Dogs get used to not responding immediately to the "come" command but often when you retrain used "HERE" instead, you get a great consistent recall. I just thought I'd let you know what I think Sally was trying to convey.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** your time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sure that I have not clearly explained myself. I am seeking technique to have my dog bite full the very first time. That means I have not yet begun training. I know the command. I am not giving my dog a command for a shallow bite. It's not about the command, but rather the physical technique. Again, I appreciate your input but it is not what I am seeking in the way of how to get my dog to bite the very first time regardless of the command.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I understand now. Your question made it seem like your dog had been in training and was not biting correctly. Here is what came through in the question "When my dog is doing bite work, he does not bite full the first time." So how old is your dog?

Has he had extensive obedience training yet?

What training has he had so far?

Have you done any tug of war exercises, and pre bite work with him?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.


I'm following up to find out how things are going and to see if my answer was helpful to you. Your question was not very clear and I did supply you with links that would have helped you get even a young puppy into the right frame of mind for FUTURE bite work. If it was, please take this opportunity to rate me positively.

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