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Thread: Intimidation

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    Senior Member Darin Westphal's Avatar
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    Default Intimidation

    Question.....whenever there's a judges thread regarding what handlers can or cannot do, at some point the word "intimidation" is used. Someone will say that if a handler does ABC that they will judge that as intimidation, and that's always how it is, the poster defines intimidation by the action of the handler. Judges are given quite a bit of leeway it seems when it comes to judging intimidation which I have no qualms with. But I do have a question.... what is intimidation? Is it the action of the handler.....or is it the response from the dog to that action?
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    Senior Member Ted Shih's Avatar
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    ​"Intimidation" is not in the Rule Book. "Threatening gestures" are.
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    Senior Member RockyDog's Avatar
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    "Intimidation" is not mentioned in the AKC Field Trial rule book. It is, however, in the AKC Hunt Test regulations under Serious Handler Faults: "9. Threatening Gestures - or any form of intimidation made to the dog. "
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    Senior Member Darin Westphal's Avatar
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    Interesting Ted! Thanks for pointing that out! I see the HT rules mention intimidation, but the FT rules do not (although the HT rules use it in the sentence as threatening gesture so I'm not sure what exactly the difference is). So it's solely up to the judges discretion what they deem as a threatening gesture (be it verbal or physical) and the dogs response to that gesture is completely irrelevant? That seems like wording such as that can really leave some grey areas. A judge may deem a single word or action to be threatening, but if the dogs response is indifferent, then how could it be deemed as such? Regardless I guess it becomes a decision by the judges as you couldn't possibly outline every possible reaction that a dog may have to whatever is deemed as threatening in the rule book.

    "No handler shall (1) carry exposed any training equipment (except whistle) or use any other equipment or threatening gestures in such a manner that they may be an aid or threat in steadying or controlling a dog"
    "If you have watched a pup learning the game, I do not have to tell you what it is like, and if you have not, I probably can't."- Datus Proper

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    Well... seems to me the word "NO" is always considered threatening... or is that considered training on the grounds? I guess after you say "NO" that's what the exercise has become. And this has me curious because when I'm training and trying to line the dog up, sometimes I "no" her off one line then "here" her to another. Perhaps a bad habit that could get me DQ'd? Or does the "no" have to be NO!!!?

    Anyhow... I agree with the OP, some of these things aren't crystal clear to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darin Westphal View Post
    Question.....whenever there's a judges thread regarding what handlers can or cannot do, at some point the word "intimidation" is used. Someone will say that if a handler does ABC that they will judge that as intimidation, and that's always how it is, the poster defines intimidation by the action of the handler. Judges are given quite a bit of leeway it seems when it comes to judging intimidation which I have no qualms with. But I do have a question.... what is intimidation? Is it the action of the handler.....or is it the response from the dog to that action?
    I believe it to be the gesture, the action of the handler...Just because the dog doesn't perceive it to be a threat by exhibiting a certain behavior doesn't mean it wasn't meant to be one....Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tulip View Post
    Well... seems to me the word "NO" is always considered threatening... or is that considered training on the grounds? I guess after you say "NO" that's what the exercise has become. And this has me curious because when I'm training and trying to line the dog up, sometimes I "no" her off one line then "here" her to another. Perhaps a bad habit that could get me DQ'd? Or does the "no" have to be NO!!!?

    Anyhow... I agree with the OP, some of these things aren't crystal clear to me.

    The word used in a proper setting and volume is fine ...But, any words used with an excessive volume and body movement could be seen as trying to influence the dog in a threatening manner....I'm sure the BACK command has been given in this manner on more than one occasion...The same command and the dog is 300 yards away would not be viewed in the same light...Excitement in the moment can cause some handler to become loud ...Steve S
    "Your dog learns as much by doing his work right,by your praise and encouragement, as he does by your displeasure and correction." DLWalters

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    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tulip View Post
    Well... seems to me the word "NO" is always considered threatening... or is that considered training on the grounds? I guess after you say "NO" that's what the exercise has become. And this has me curious because when I'm training and trying to line the dog up, sometimes I "no" her off one line then "here" her to another. Perhaps a bad habit that could get me DQ'd? Or does the "no" have to be NO!!!?

    Anyhow... I agree with the OP, some of these things aren't crystal clear to me.
    Where is the word no described in the rules? Is a word a gesture?
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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Threatening gesture or 'intimidation' seems to be the catch-all phrase here on the interwebs when folks don't like something but can't seem to come up with a rule that has been violated. On the line, things seem to be much more reasonable--even perhaps giving the handler more leeway if they are craftily aiding or steadying the dog than they deserve.

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    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tulip View Post
    Well... seems to me the word "NO" is always considered threatening... or is that considered training on the grounds? I guess after you say "NO" that's what the exercise has become. And this has me curious because when I'm training and trying to line the dog up, sometimes I "no" her off one line then "here" her to another. Perhaps a bad habit that could get me DQ'd? Or does the "no" have to be NO!!!?

    Anyhow... I agree with the OP, some of these things aren't crystal clear to me.
    I like using the word NO and YES. Spells things out clearly for the dog especially a puppy. A judge in a CDN WCX test told me not to use the word NO- intimidating! I do as you do 1tulip NO my dog off one line and direct him to another line by saying YES on a blind right or wrong. I don't yell but talk softly to the dog.
    I suppose if you raise your voice possibly could be perceived as a threatening gesture? at a test or trial?? Training tool??? I guess NO is but I feel it is a good one and unless you are threatening the dog then it should be okay to use. IMHO
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