Work Any Dog In Bite Development

Yes we can work with our own dog in bite development.


B Anderson

5/27/20232 min read

The question that is the most asked by those that are new to protection training dogs. The answer is YES; Teaching a dog proper bite mechanics, targeting, bite intensity, attack angles etc etc do not require the trainer be a "Decoy"
I am not a decoy. However I understand how to build and teach the dog so he can fight the decoy.
A decoy practices the mechanics of being a decoy and the art of building and shaping whatever dog is there. Some practice training the dog some practice training and trialing the dog either way they are working with the dog in both prey and defensive drives where we, as the owner, will restrict ourselves to lower play/prey drive states when teaching bite mechanics.
Moral of the story: We can work on bite mechanics and the rest ourselves in lower drive states with any dog even our own. Then when the decoy steps out our dog has an idea what to do next and how to go about it. THEN the decoy can take the dog to the next drive level and work with the dog there to complete the picture for the dog. Stay tuned for an upcoming article where I will detail some ways you can give your dog an advantage in protection training.

Can I work with my own dog doing bite development?


  • Always work in lower drive states with your own dog

  • Use every opportunity to teach proper bite mechanics even when playing tug.

  • Try to avoid training where the dog turns to you as the owner for a bite (reward). This will create problems when confronted with the decoy

  • Use the proper equipment for bite building and shaping at all times. I carry a complete array of bite training equipment for all occasions in the shop.

The bottom line on "working our own dogs" lies in understanding the difference between the dog being in a playful state or one of frustration and aggression. We can color that idea up with fancy dog trainer lingo, all we want, but in the end that is what it boils down to. An experienced decoy will take the preliminary ground work we have laid as the dogs owner and kick it up to the next notch!

Be certain the Decoy(s) you choose, especially early in the development, are experienced and understand how to build the dog.