What would you do?

  • Hi Everyone,
    I am a newbie to the forum - don't know how quiet it is typically, certainly seems quiet.

    Anyways, though't I would try and start a discussion.

    You have been asked by a friend to go along and help assess a dog he/she are interested in buying. The vendor assures them pre visit this dog is a real man stopper.

    Your friends requirements are for a dog who will ALWAYS focus on the man, and not just the sleeve etc they are wearing.

    In the interests off discussion re this forum, you are allowed by the vendor to test the dog only once.

    How / what would you do? :thumbsup2:

    (There is of course more than one way to skin a cat, but will be interesting to compare thought's / tactics)


  • Good question Gee,

    Forum goes quiet from time to time then fires up for a month or so-that's how it seems to work here.

    What I would do?

    1) Take dog to neutral place it has never been before with familiar handler.
    2) Have handler and dog explore area for 5-10 minutes
    3) Approach handler and dog in a friendly way, briefly saying hello and ontinuing on my way. Goal here is to look for a dog that is neutral or firendly.
    4) Come back to handler and dog and act in a suspcicious/agressive way looking to get the dog to engage and act agressively.

    I dont need a dog to bite a sleeve to know it will bite. I only need the eye contact and vocalizations of the dog to know what it is made of.

    A man stopper is more of a physical component of a dog rather than a mental one once you have washed out all barking dogs. People label dogs a man stopper just because it will bite a man and not stop-that is not a man stopper.

    Man stopper=dog that stops man....period. You let your brain do the math.

  • Hi Brody,
    Good reply, I especially liked -

    "I don't need a dog to bite a sleeve to know it will bite. I only need the eye contact and vocalizations of the dog to know what it is made of".

    I would go further and say - the mistake far to many buyers make is, they let the seller dem the dogs capabilities on the sleeve or suit, quite often using the sellers own decoy, potentially masking many cracks lol.

    As stated in the original post there are many different ways to skin a cat, to that avail I would personally add:

    1, I want to see the dog engage ME, whilst muzzled. (this will nullify any fears of an equipment oriented dog, whilst also show casing the dogs confidence or lack off)

    2, Ideally this should be off lead and circa over 100 yards, the decoy not running away, but either in situ or running towards the dog. (the reason for the distance is two fold - firstly to see how hungry the muzzled dog is to engage, and secondly see number 4) I fully appreciate sending a PPD in pursuit of a man is a no no re liability, but I still want to see how much is really under that bonnet.

    3, Ideally the dog needs to over come a physical obstacle ie wall/fence to get to the decoy. (for exactly the same reasons as number 2)

    4, Finally, I want to see what control the seller has, if any, when the dog is working so far away from him, for instance an out and recall. (hence the request for distance)

    Now many sellers would not entertain such a request, but hey ho, one mans floor is another mans ceiling. :)

    Hopefully other's will suggest further possibilities to keep the ball rolling.


    The post was edited 10 times, last by Gee ().

  • Hey there again gee

    Most of the time, well end up buying a pup for practical reasons since there are few specialized breeders arround. This is more so if you are looking for a specific breed.
    In this case, testing the puppy is not an option. The only valid proof I would accept would be the parents. Good working dogs usualy breed more good working dogs :)

    Now if its a fully grown dog with no training, the Koehler's test is usually what I go for. It will offer you more than enough info on wether that dog will stop a man or will he run for the hills when the time comes :nono:

    Lets talk about a fully grown trained dog, this is what you are asking if am not mistaken.
    Ive never been fond of buying a fully trained dog, thats just me, I preffer to traing the dog and bond with him as much as possible. Some people dont know how to or just dont have the time to train his own personal PD and thats what keeps trainers like us in bussiness :cool2:

    I would test such dog in the usual manner, unknown location and heavy, improvised atack etc etc..

    The muzzle and the sleeve are relative, if the dog has the right temperament. Equipement fixation can be corrected, the drive can always be redirected to the man. So I dont let that discourage me when judjung a dog. As broddy said, most can be said from the dgs posture and vocalization. Put some extra pressure during the test if you still in doubt :thumbsup2:

  • Hi Seregio,
    Some good points. :thumbsup2:

    Would have to disagree though with - "Equipement fixation can be corrected, the drive can always be redirected to the man"

    It can some times, but by no means always, I have encountered quite a few dogs whose fixation on the sleeve is all consuming, and no amount of redirection will solve that. :(

    I agree with you whole heatedly re training your own dog as opposed to buying a fully trained K9 - much more fun, and the buck always stops at you. :thumbsup2:.


  • Good topic and great points from everyone! I also prefer the puppy route over a "trained" adult dog.
    Last weekend I picked up a female pup and had the opportunity to spend 3 hours with the with parents and litter. This puppy was in no way being advertised as any type of protection or sport dog. When I got there I asked if I could "test" the sire and dam. He looked a little puzzled and after I explained he agreed. The sire was in the backyard so I walked up to the fence and acted like I was trying to lift the lever. The second the he saw me he ran to the gate with a thunderous bark and missed my arm by about 6 inches. He was nothing but forward and would rather break the gate down to get at me instead of standing his ground snarling or showing teeth. About an hour later I asked him to bring him out to the front of the house and I hid behind a tree. Once he got about 50 ft from me I walked toward him fast and animated. With zero hesitation the dog was on his hind legs, forward in anticipation of engagement. His leash and collar were not up to par so it ended there.
    Unfortunately this dog has never had any type of training OB or PD. But the body language said it all, confident natural guardian.
    When the dam came out and saw me with her pups that was enough for her to bark and show some good aggression. Within 5 minutes she calmed down enough for me to pet her.

    Overall I liked what I saw and decided to roll the dice! :)

  • Agree with Chad-some great points on this thread.

    I agree with Sergio 100 percent-I want a dog that I have trained thus know the mistakes I have made with it and what situations the dog flourishes in and which one's are not bullet proof.

    Gee-not sure I would go with the obstacle with the muzzle on. I think if the dog is eager enough to go after me with the muzzle on I dont need to throw the obstacle in the way. My personal dog hates the muzzle, but he'll fight in it so IMHO he has proven his point (not to mention he has nailed someone for real). I honestly dont know how he would react to a greater stimulus if I had someone over a fence or something he had to navigate over top of while wearing the muzzle. My feeling is that he would become frustrated with the muzzle and start ripping on it. What is the purpose of the test? To proof equipment or to understand the level of eagerness a dog has to go after his target? For me you don't need to test them both at the same time or you could eliminate a strong dog who is just not that comfortable with equipment on but otherwise a cold steel fighter....but maybe you have a point or angle I'm not thinking of. I would compare it to goalies fighting in hockey-some are agile enough with equipment on but would prefer to fight without it for obvious reasons.

  • Gee, to be clear are we looking to assess a dog that is supposed to be a man stopper or has the potential to be a man stopper? Two different things to test in different ways. To me a man stopper would've required training, it's extremely rare to find a stable natural man stopper, it's more likely to be over the top aggressive and as such be high maintenance with limited use. If it's a trained dog we're talking about then it must be tested using a reasonable scenario; strange place/off his property, willingness to engage at a distance, demonstrate that he can take serious physical pressure, and well.. really stop a strong man that's giving it an all out try to get through the dog. A true such dog is a tall claim, and is worth a lot of money IMO. I prefer to develop the dog myself.

    A good dog even if locked in prey can always be switched to defense. Sometimes you have to break the dog down first, very careful work here, there are few people that can do it without ruining the dog. But if it truly can't be switched over it means the dog never had what it takes in the first place.

  • Hi Guys,
    Thanks for all the feed back. :thumbsup2:

    Yeah the hypothesis was a trained dog. (Should have made that clearer - apologies.) :)

    @ Brody - re purpose, it takes a very confident dog to engage away from the handler over distance and obstacle, ESPECIALLY whilst muzzled, also the dog would need superb control to work at that distance, also proves the dog was only ever focused on the man, because the decoy is wearing NO equipment. So for me my friend, that test would tick all the boxes. :thumbsup2:

    @ Dan - yes that is a tall order and an expensive dog, and yes like you I train my own dogs. (have never bought a trained dog, however have tested/assessed quite a few for others) ;)

    Here is a vid of my stud dog, trained by me, doing that very test.



    The post was edited 10 times, last by Gee ().

  • Brody- haha, with a 14 month old and 3 Dogos sleep is a thing of the past lol

    Gee- Cool video! It was a little soft and too short of a fight for my taste to consider that a manstopper "test". I really didn't see any pressure put on the dog and he has clearly been trained in a muzzle before. He seems very controlled and obedient. He looks like a large Shepard how tall is he and what is his weight?

  • Hi Chad,
    Yes, he has been trained in the muzzle before, IMO a vital tool.

    Agree there was no pressure put on him by the decoy, but he went the distance and engaged, would he have sunk his teeth in having gone to that effort if not muzzled, what do you think?

    The problem with many dogs would be two fold :

    1, Getting them to engage whilst muzzled - at all.

    2, Natural drive over distance to civilly engage whilst muzzled.

    A quality PPD should be able to work in the muzzle and MUST have excellent control.

    Re pressure - I can assure you I put a lot of importance on EXTREME pressure, which would send the majority of dogs into shut down - all breeds lol. :thumbsup2:

    The dog is 25" tall and weighs 90lb, you will get a better idea of condition on the leg bite vid posted on this forum, category - Bite Work, posted 31/10/15 in that vid the dog is much closer to the camera. :)


    The post was edited 9 times, last by Gee ().

  • Just caught the video now-nice control.

    I think that would be enough to test what one would be looking for in a muzzle attack. "Will the dog bite?" in this case aboslutely and with pleasure.

    No more pressure need apply with the muzzle on IMHO. I just dont believe the dog has the same playing field to engage harder and redirect his bite based on the blows it is recieving. The decoy should always do exactly what this one did-submit to the dogs agression. If you push a dog too far it it gets stressed in the muzzle fight you could be months repairing the damage-just not worth it.

    When it comes to hard pressure save that for the hidden sleave and the suit.

  • @ Brody - you make some very knowledgeable points in the above post, wise words friend. :thumbsup2:


  • Good morning guys,
    I totally agree that a muzzle is a very important training tool but is commonly overused.
    IMO once a dog uses a muzzle a few times he learns it's a training tool and it loses any type of validation integrity, no different than that sleeve he loves to bite. Once muzzled his mindset is changed into ok I know what's coming Im ready to go I know this routine.

    And to answer your question if I think he would sink his teeth in, I couldn't tell you based on that video. Let me tell you why. For the last 2 years I have trained alongside a very nice Shepard. He works amazingly while in training serious leg bites, tracks great, completely off leash trained, and he really shines in muzzle work. He is the star of the show on the field. I've seen him go over a hundred yards and work a decoy muzzled one on one with great intensity. With that being said I invited him to come train with Dan and I so he showed up. Once this dog was taken out of his comfort zone put out on a strange street he looked like a different dog. He had the courage of a pet dog and wouldn't stand up to agitation once it started to get serious. There is no question that this dog wasn't a manstopper and will never be a manstopper, but he sure works great in a muzzle!
    Your dog very well may be the real deal but this one wasn't and sure had me fooled!
    That's why IMO you can't make an accurate evaluation based on a video of a trained dog doing trained muzzle work.

  • Hi Chad,
    What you describe sounds very sports orientated until you mention the muzzle.

    Seems strange that the owner would put so much training in to that dog, then neglect what should come way before bite work - environmental conditioning.

    I would also add a REAL man stopper will engage even when he is faced with EXTREME distraction/duress - I know I have one lol. :thumbsup2:


  • @ Chad, you said - " IMO once a dog uses a muzzle a few times he learns it's a training tool and it loses any type of validation integrity, no different than that sleeve he loves to bite".

    Have to say that statement is nonsense, when a dog bites a sleeve he gets satisfaction/reward. When a dog is muzzled - he mostly gets frustrated.

    You could take ten dogs, show them a sleeve, most will bite it.
    Take the same ten dogs muzzle them - most will try and rip it off.
    I am not saying a dog who works in a muzzle is a super star, I am saying however that as a proofing tool and training tool - IMO it is invaluable. :)

    Re the muzzle compromises - "any type of validation integrity" absolutely no offence intended here - but that is bull shit, and let me tell you why.

    If we look at your Avatar pic as an example - the decoy is bare legged, yet the dog is biting the suit.
    Why is that - obviously it's because the dog is conditioned / trained to bite the fat suit.
    The muzzled dog on the other hand CHOOSES which body part he will take, absolutely no compromise there.

    It's the polar opposite off what you are doing, a muzzled dog thinks for it's self and is not orchestrated by the decoy presenting a jacket etc.
    Also I think you are taking the word trained and using it perhaps in a systematic routine context.

    The way I train is to work with the dogs natural civil fighting abilities and put him in many different / uncomfortable scenarios. (Sure these are mock up's, but they are a million miles away from the training field you are describing).


    The post was edited 5 times, last by Gee ().

  • Gee- could you please post a video of your dog working under this EXTREME duress you speak of?

    When the dog is muzzled and time and time again he gets the satisfaction of dominating the decoy, is that not a reward? He may not get the same satisfaction as a bite but is still rewarding and confidence boosting. Do you not think the dog looks forward to that once he sees the muzzle? I agree that the muzzle is a excellent tool to proof a dog but how many times do you need to proof a dog?

    In my avatar pic the decoy is in shorts only because it is very hot here in south Florida. Notice the dog is on leash thus controlled so he can only have a arm bite. He is far from a sleeve oriented dog and will bite anywhere.

    You are taking what I said out of context calling it bullshit. I meant a dog comfortable and regularly trained in a muzzle worked in muzzle does not prove anything more than just that.

    Now if you slapped a muzzle on a 2-3 year old dog for the first time to PROOF him and he engages a decoy with everything he's got, that'll impress me.

  • Hi Chad,
    I will certainly post a vid of my dog working under extreme stress - if you can do the same? :thumbsup2::thumbsup2:

    Would also be good if you could show your dog in the muzzle?