Dogs that spin vs. Dogs that don't - Page 1

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by AgarPhranicniStraze1 on 02 December 2007 - 00:12

Why do some dogs spin while doing bitework?  Is this something they start doing because of the way they were being worked (trained) or is this just a way that some dogs express being too amped up?  My bitch is a spinner but my male is not so I wondered why she does this.  Is this more common is dogs that are very civil?  We're working on getting her to break that habit but I think it's gonna take a little time.  It really bugs the hell out of me when she spins cause then I have to watch and pay attention more closely to her so she and I too don't get tangled up.  I'm learning a whole new meaning of multi tasking with her. lol

yellowrose of Texas

by yellowrose of Texas on 02 December 2007 - 01:12

Its a bad habit that has to be stopped immediately...your trainer , Im sure can tell you how...Mine discussed this with me only last week.....Ham v d Urbecke son is doing it....He told me what he does....and it has to be caught and stopped....

Its like chasing the tail , on our high working dogs.....



by AgarPhranicniStraze1 on 02 December 2007 - 07:12

But why do they do this?  Is this something they learned in the early stages of their training or just a bad habit they formed that never got corrected?  She doesn't do it until she sees the whip come out then she goes ballistic.  I like the reaction I get from her; just don't like the spinning crap she does.


by KYLE on 02 December 2007 - 07:12

Spinning during bitework can be indicative of a slight nerve/ dissplacement issue.  I've seen this alot with high drive females. Its not a big deal and can be fixed.  It should not be encouraged and looks like crap at a trial.  GO back to the pole/ tie-out.  Have the decoy walk straight into the dog for a sit and bark.  Not prey movements or slow and intimidating.  Just walk in not much eye contact.  Alot of prey movement can excite the dog and produce more spinning.

Good luck,


by eichenluft on 02 December 2007 - 14:12

I agree with Kyle but disagree that it can be fixed.  It is an indication of poor nerve-strength - the dog may be high drive but not have the nerve to handle the drive level - when they get "amped" they simply go brain-stupid and can't handle the load, they can't cap themselves, they can't think straight.  I can't stand spinners, especially when they do it in front of the helper, but also if they do it in the crate or kennel.  They just can't focus, are not clear in the head and can't handle their own drives.   Yes, with good training and helperwork, it can be helped, but it can't be fixed as it is in the dogs' makeup.  I prefer a dog that is very high drive but also very clear-headed, can work with focus even to the highest level of drive.  A dog such as you describe is always going to have a handicap in the work.


by AgarPhranicniStraze1 on 02 December 2007 - 15:12

Is it possible that a dog that was not trained specifically to do sport but yet trained more towards a PP or Police dog be more likely to react this way because of the amount of pressure that is applied to them and the trainer never addressed the spinning at the time since they did not intend to do sport with her?

We're working on correcting this problem right now with her.  The trainer did not seem too concerned with it and said "we'll fix it, not to worry".

Kyle- thanks for the input.  In fact this was one of the things he started to do with her.  She's very civil and I love her drives.  Her training from what I understood was not "sport oriented".  She's done a lot of suit work, hidden sleeve work.  I've only had her a couple months so we just now recently started getting into doing bitework with her to see what she's able to handle. 

Molly-  She doesn't behave this way in her kennel and doesn't pace or anything.  She's pretty calm when I bring her in the house.  My trainer gets frustrated when he has to go back and "fix" stupid things like the spinning.  He feels it would have been so much easier for the issue to have been corrected right when the dog began showing this behavior rather than let it go as not being a big deal regardless if the dog was gonna be a competition dog, police dog, or pp dog.  It's frustrating for me too because I'm new to begin with so having to work out quirks like this in a dog makes it a little more complicated for me in having to understand not only why it's happening but now learning how to fix it.

by Ravenwalker on 02 December 2007 - 16:12

I would tell him to put the whip away.

It sounds like the dog has enough drive in the first will be easier to correct the problem without the guy cranking her up even more with the whip.   It probably just makes her more crazy.

Ask your trainer why he feels it is so important to use the whip with this dog. 

If its a young dog you are setting yourself up for trouble down the road.  How old is the dog?

Just because you like the way she fires up for the whip doewnt mean it is good training

The fact I have lerned the hard way is you should take it nice and slow...dont get in  a big hurry.









by AgarPhranicniStraze1 on 02 December 2007 - 16:12

She is 3 yrs old and already titled.  The first week we did not take out the whip and did do exactly what you indicated- started slow since she was new to me and we did not want to do too much with her but yet enough to get a good handle on her bite and where she was at.  I didn't notice the spinning at that point.  The following week he felt comfortable enough to test her out on the whip and she was a totally different dog that day.  Much more civil.  She did what you said-saw the whip and went CRAZY.  Then the spinning came so he put the whip away and put the dog up for a break then tried to explain to me so I understood what I just saw happening.  When I asked "is this a bad thing" he said yes and no.  Yes because I'm not training for police or pp work but want to do sport with her so this is something we must fix.  The other thing we have to work on is she spits sleeves like pumpkin seeds. lol  But so far that is all we see that needs addressed immediately with her.  I asked him if he felt she had any nerve issues and he said he felt she had good nerves for me not to worry about that.  He's been doing this a very long time and has worked dogs for sport and also for police so I'm pretty confident in what he tells me.  He's not a bullshitter by any means and has no problem being honest with folks even if it's what they don't wanna hear.  If you've got a nice dog he'll be the first to tell you.  If you've got a dog that is not so good he'll tell you what your options are with the dog giving it's strengths/weaknesses so you can determine if you want to pursue a different venue with the dog, if the issues are "fixable" and then you can determine if you want to continue putting the time into that particular dog.

by eichenluft on 02 December 2007 - 16:12

IMO the spinning comes from a temperament/nerve problem.  It can't be corrected, it is who the dog is - doesn't matter, IMO, what kind of training she had before - there are plenty of PP or Police dogs who don't spin, who can think clearly and focus while they are in drive.  A dog who is "amped" and can't help but spin simply can't handle the drive, because of nerves.  Doesn't mean she has bad nerves in other ways, and doesn't mean she's fearful or weak - just means she doesn't have clear calm nerves that can handle the high drive.  Cracking a whip certainly won't  help her be calm and clear :)  Training can help but won't fix - it's like training a dog not to bark - dogs bark - you can train "quiet" but if the dog sees something they feel they must bark at, try to keep them quiet then - won't happen.  it's "in the dog" and can't be changed.  I would personally not own, or breed to a dog who is not clear in the drives and nerve strength.  Spinning turns the dog completely away from the helper/agitator/bad guy - for PP this can't be good either - a dog that is not focused completely on the threat can't work 100% in any venue.



by Ravenwalker on 02 December 2007 - 16:12

The dog is already titled and you want to do sport with it...correct?

My question is why is it so important to use the whip?  The dog is spitting sleeves and focus back on the it sounds like the dog works in defense.  She also sounds like she has a ton of drive.  I am just curious as to why the whip is so important. 

Even though helpers have been around for a long time they have different ideas of what they want.  Some think a more civil dog is great...others who are more sport oriented think they are more of a liability.....especially for inexperienced handlers.

Im not trying to come off like a jerk...but I have had a similar problem and know it can be frustrating.



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