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 Schooling by Cali. Jack

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PostSubject: Schooling by Cali. Jack   Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:48 pm

I believe one of the most important aspects of these dogs (other than buying a good dog) is schooling that good dog properly. I can't even begin to count the number of good dogs that have been ruined by their owners due to being schooled improperly.

The major problem I have noticed is that most dog men have what I call "right now" mentality. They want to test their dogs "right now" and so they put their prospects through prolonged ordeals for little more than their entertainment. Sure, we all find what these dogs do to be entertaining, but it must be kept in mind that it is also very serious business, so it should be treated accordingly. You must look at each schooling roll as a lesson, and as such, each lesson should have a definite reason behind it. Every schooling roll should be planned well in advance, and one should put in whatever time is necessary to shop around for the correct opponent to fulfill the pre- planned objective.

It is your dog's job to be good and game, but it is your job to manage the animal properly. Therefore, you do not just set your dog down at the drop of a hat, or because someone says his dog is better than yours. Each schooling lesson should have a reason, and that reason should always be in the interests of the dog's development.

This is especially true with young dogs. Too many times dog men will take a young dog into its first lesson without any idea of what they're going to be running their young dog into. You should always start your dog against a somewhat smaller opponent that you know has a light mouth. The reason for this is simple: you don't want to discourage your young dog with too much on his first time out -- and your dog, when he starts, should be rewarded by being able to dominate his opponent. Your dog will be unable to do these things if his first roll is against a bone crusher that is 10 lbs. bigger than he is. Remember, in schooling, you always want to give your dog positive reinforcement, not negative reinforcement.

Yet you will find many so-called "dog men" putting their young dog against the first dog they come across whether it's in their dog's interests or not. Again, they have to see something "right now," so instead of choosing the best opponent to school the dog with, they invariably wind up going into a considerably larger dog than what would have been best for their young prospect. To make things worse, they will then proceed to let the contest continue to the point where their dog not only gets its butt kicked, but they allow the dog to get exhausted too. The excuses are always the same: "Well, I couldn't find a dog my dog's size," or "I was waiting for my dog to come to the top so I could pick it up then," or -- this is the best one -- "If my dog was a real dog he could have handled it." It is an owner's job to be a real dog man every bit as much as it is a dog's job to be a real dog. Putting a dog against any old opponent for the hell of it, or letting schooling lessons go the distance every time, is not being a real dog man. It's being a "right now" man.

Some dog men mean well, but they just fall victim to impatience or a lack of confidence to say "No" to a bad deal for their dog. One of the problems often found in this regard is telling a partner, or a rival kennel, that you want to school a young prospect against an opponent at a specific weight -- but when you get there the opponent's dog looks bigger than what he claimed it to be. ALWAYS INSIST ON WEIGHING BOTH DOGS BEFORE YOU PUT THEM TOGETHER. If your opponent refuses to weigh his dog, the chances are it's because he knows it's bigger than yours. If this ever happens to you, remember you are not required to set the dogs down "right now." Instead, put your dog back into the crate and go home. Next time your partners will take you more seriously when you say you want to school dogs at "x" weight. If this happens too many times, then find yourself more reputable schooling partners.

If your schooling partners give you the "If your dog was a real dog..." trip, tell them if their dog was a real dog they wouldn't have to pick on smaller dogs. If you have respectable partners and your dogs are the same weight -- but your young dog happens to be getting the worst of things -- pick him up before he gets tired. Unless this was a pre-planned game test, you don't have to find out "right now" if your dog has what it takes. Remember, you are schooling your dog at this point, not game-testing him, and you don't want your dog to experience anything negative about what he's doing yet.

In fact, other than the game test (which I discuss in depth under a separate heading), no schooling lesson should be longer than 15 minutes, and most should be between 5 and 10 minutes. After almost 10 years in this game, and schooling dogs in many different ways, I am positive that repeated exhaustion is the worst thing for a dog's mindset. It is much better to school a dog frequently, against opponents of varying styles, for short periods of time. Why? Because dogs form simple associations in their thinking. Most of us have heard of the famous psychologist Pavlov, whose most famous experiment was ringing a bell every time he fed his dog. Soon his dog would drool every time he heard that bell, whether or not he actually had food in front of him. Well, do you really want your dog to form a similar association between performance and extreme fatigue? That is, do you want your dog to associate something unpleasant (always getting horribly tired) with what he's supposed to like (being in the pit)?

Think deeply about gameness, and then think deeply about exhaustion. Gameness is defined as an enthusiastic will to win. By contrast, serious exhaustion is no fun at all, and it can even be life-threatening (especially if associated with injury). When you school a dog, remember that in addition to developing his performance skills you are also trying to develop the dog's enthusiasm -- and if you bring about exhaustion in your dog's schooling lessons then you are defeating your purpose. There is nothing enjoyable about being dead-ass tired. Think about it. To help illustrate this point, boxers do not spar for 15 rounds every time they get in the ring for practice, either. Rather, they usually go 3 rounds and then do other exercises. No one would want to be a boxer if you were required to go through 12 to 15 rounds of hell, out of shape, every damned time you lace on a pair of gloves -- and neither will your young dog want to be a performer if it winds up tripping over its tongue, and getting the shit knocked out of it, every time it sees a pit. Use your head. This is also why you don't put your dog into a hard mouth dog either, until he gets a sense of defense and confidence first. MANY DOG MEN FUNDAMENTALLY BLOW IT BY GIVING THEIR DOGS MILD GAME TESTS WHILE THEY'RE SCHOOLING THEIR PROSPECTS, by allowing their dogs to get to the 20 - 30 minute range. At the schooling stage of your dog's development, you should not be discouraging your dog with too much of an ordeal.

Once your is thoroughly schooled and fully started THEN you can game test him. A dog needs a minimum of 5 short rolls (against opponents of varying styles) to be considered thoroughly schooled, and I define a dog as fully started when he will go across on his own and take hold. (If he has to wait for the other dog to bite him first, the dog is not fully started and cannot be judged yet.) If your dog has been properly schooled, so he knows what to do against a wide variety of styles, and he is fully started, you then select an opponent that is a proven good dog, and perhaps a pound or two heavier than your dog, for the game test. Make sure that your dog is lean and healthy (but not conditioned) and parasite free before you put him through the rigors of a serious game test. Now is the time where you finally let things go the distance, and you may now pass judgment on your dog's true quality. You get to look at his overall ability throughout the long haul, his natural air, his intelligence and adaptability to each situation, how he acts in the corner and scratches, his desire to finish if things go his way -- and his deep gameness if they don't. After the smoke clears, you can happily breed the dog, show the dog -- or get rid of the dog -- but don't ever game test the dog again.

The reason I say don't test your dog ever again is I have seen many people game test a dog once, and then they second-guess the test a month or so later. "I'm not sure I tested him hard enough," they think to themselves. What this means is the dog's owner lacks confidence in his own judgment, and in reality he is just scared to match the dog, or to declare him game -- so he tests the animal again. This kind of human cur basically is afraid to be wrong in his judgement in front of his peers, so he tests his dogs over and over again "just to be sure." You must face the fact that there is no amount of game testing you can do which will guarantee your dog will win a match, or that he won't quit his next time out.

So once you actually game test your dog, if he passes the test then either match him after that, or breed to him -- but if you game test your dog again, then what you are doing is revealing yourself to be a cur, and a lousy manager of your dog, because you are putting excess mileage on him for nothing. For let's suppose your dog does pass a second game test, what you just did is you took one good match from his win record and threw it in the trash.

Moreover, you will have put your dog through back-to-back traumas, running the risk of having your dog begin to form an association of performance and severe exhaustion. If you're going to take that risk with your dog, it may as well be for real in a match. If you match your dog and he gets stretched out again in his contest, wait several months for your dog to recover, and then "practice" with him again for 5 minutes against a dog he can easily handle -- and then do it again a month later. Once again, the reason to do this is you do not want your dog to associate performance with horrid exhaustion, because that more than anything else will ruin a dog. You may love ice cream, but if you were forced to eat 40 buckets of it several times in a row, you just might lose your taste for it after a while. Get my drift?

To those "hard core" dog men out there who think I am being too soft on a dog and that this is babying a dog too much which will result in curs escaping "true testing" -- I say BULLSHIT. I don't care how game a dog has shown in the past, it can be stopped if you really want to stop it. If you doubt me then try this test: set your dog down for 40 minutes. Then set him down the next day for 40, and do it again and again, 40 minutes every damned day of his life, and believe me, he'll quit. No one would test their dogs this hard, of course, because it's unfair to the animal, and no bloodline or individual dog could pass this severe a testing process. So don't get all high and mighty about how game any dog is -- he'll quit if you test him hard enough -- or often enough -- I don't care what he's shown in the past.

The point of this article is many dogs that have quit and been put down would not have quit had they been brought along properly. Your job as his owner is to try not to have him quit by managing the animal properly, and this schooling process I have outlined will help your dog along in this regard. The key to schooling a dog is to remember it is just that: schooling.

You school your dog for only two reasons:

1) to develop his style and

2) to develop his confidence.

Schooling is something totally different from game-testing. Once you finally game test your dog, or if he gets exhausted after any match, remember to "review" with him for a short period against an easy opponent a few months later.

The bottom line is never let your dog form the association of extreme exhaustion and pit action and you will go a long way towards keeping him in there when he finds himself in the trenches.

~~C.A Jack~~


Anyway, once your is thoroughly schooled and fully started THEN you can game test him or match him. If he looks good, I suggest you simply match him. But suppose he's just OK. Bred great, acts great, but not talented enough to be matched. It is here, in my opinion, where the game test comes in (or for a retired match dog that was never stretched out in any match due to his ability). You have to know his true quality before you breed him. Whatever the case, the dog should be both thoroughly schooled and fully started before being game-tested. A dog needs a minimum of 5 short rolls (against opponents of varying styles) to be considered thoroughly schooled, and I define a dog as fully started when he will go across on his own and take hold. (If he has to wait for the other dog to bite him first, the dog is not fully started and cannot be judged yet.)

If your dog has been properly schooled, so he knows what to do against a wide variety of styles, and he is fully started, you then select an opponent that is a proven good dog, and perhaps a pound or two heavier than your dog, for the game test. Make sure that your dog is lean and healthy (but not conditioned so you can also check his natural air) and parasite free before you put him through the rigors of a serious game test. Now is the time where you finally let things go the distance, and you may now pass judgment on your dog's true quality. You get to look at his overall ability throughout the long haul, his natural air, his intelligence and adaptability to each situation, how he acts in the corner and scratches, his desire to finish if things go his way - and his deep gameness if they don't. After the smoke clears, you can happily breed the dog, show the dog - or get rid of the dog - but don't ever game test the dog again.

The reason I say don't test your dog ever again is I have seen many people game test a dog once, and then they second-guess the test a month or so later. "I'm not sure I tested him hard enough," they think to themselves. What this means is the dog's owner lacks confidence in his own judgment, and in reality he is just scared to match the dog, or to declare him game - so he tests the animal again. Such people basically are afraid to be wrong in their judgement in front of their peers, so they tests their dogs over and over again "just to be sure." Understand that there is no amount of game-testing which will assure you that your dog won't quit the next time up. Nor will there be any game test that will assure you of a victory when you match the dog. That's why we call it gambling. Even such great dogs as GR CH Sandman and GR CH Texas both quit and lost when they faced the right dogs. Does this mean that Texas and Sandman really were not very good dogs? No, they were great dogs - they were just taken to the well one too many times.

If being a multi-winner in the hands of excellent dog men cannot guarantee your dog of victory, then being "multi-game-tested" won't either. What it will guarantee you is that you have taken additional matches out of your dog, since a real game test is tougher on a dog than most matches. So, as I said, school your dog first - then (if you like what you've seen so far) it is time for a game test - or go for a cheap match instead as I prefer. Whatever you do, just don't continually game test your dog out of your own lack of gameness in not being able to decide whether or not you like what you've seen. This is the bottom line I have noticed in nearly all dogmen who game test their dogs several times - they're too chickenshit just to bring the dog out and take a risk on losing. And in testing their dog repeatedly, what they don't realize is that each time they beat their dog up in a game test, they decrease its chances of winning a match by putting unnecessary trauma on the animal and throw a potential win in the trash. Every game test, or match, for a pit dog is about like 30 to 40 matches for a boxer, which is why a 3x winning pit dog is considered to be a Champion, and a 5x winner a Grand Champion. To be able to win just one tough match is an accomplishment for a dog, to win 3 or 5 times is something special. So don't take unnecessary wins out of your dog by repeatedly game-testing it. Understand what a game test is for. It's just to get an idea. An idea of what your dog is made of - not a guarantee. There are no guarantees in this sport.

What you are trying to do in a game test is you basically are trying to bring a dog to a point where there is some threat to the animal's life, and you are trying to see how he handles it by his attitude. Does he want to keep going? Is he thinking about quitting? You have to put a certain amount of trauma on the dog, in the form of dominance, fatigue, and punishment, in order to figure this out. However, you must exercise good judgment and not let your dog actually lose his life. A dead dog cannot be matched, it cannot be bred, and most people would be uninterested in purchasing a dead dog - so only a fool would take a dog to the point of no return in a game test, for this will accomplish nothing, except to prove what a heartless idiot his owner is. Nonetheless, you want to bring about conditions in a game test that come just close enough to make you start to worry that your dog's life might be in danger.

To do this, you need to select the proper opponent for your dog, one which is probably a pound or two heavier, and a proven good dog. If you know what you are doing, you do not have to use two dogs to game test your dog. Using two dogs is far too risky for your dog's safety, as if they are both good dogs going against him, your dog's chances of death or irreparable injury are great. [If they are not good dogs, then why use them?] Using two dogs in a game test only proves that the dog's owner doesn't have a good eye for what he's looking for, nor good judgment as a manager in looking out for his fighter's interests (unless the first dog happens to get wrecked). You are trying to test your dog's gameness, reasonably and safely; you are not trying to break his bones or take his life. If you take too much out of your dog, by putting dog after dog on him, or by putting him too far uphill in weight, you will either kill your dog or get him injured so badly that he will be rendered useless as a match dog.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR:

Some of the signs to look for in a game dog are:

Top or bottom, winning or losing, does your dog stay in holds? To me, one of the surest signs of gameness (or lack thereof) is whether (or not) the dog is a holding dog. If your dog is always in there with a hold somewhere, no matter how tough it is for him, the chances are he's a game one because he's still trying to win. But if your dog goes down and he let's go and starts to panic, and he seems more preoccupied with getting up than he is with doing his job, the chances are he's a quitter.

Does your dog have a confident expression on his face; in other words, does he look like he's enjoying what he's doing? No matter what's happening, your dog should always be intense and think he's winning. If your dog's eyes start to wander, or if he turns away from his opponent at some point, and/or starts hollering in pain, the chances are he's thinking about doing something else.

Is your dog's tail up and wagging, or is it dropped, limp, and/or fuzzing up at the back. You should hope that it's arched over his back (and/or wagging) or you are probably the owner of a cur.

Does he struggle in the corner to get back to his opponent, or does he just stand there content that he's been given a break? A good dog is upset that the action was stopped and wants nothing more than to return to it - and he'll let you know it by the way he acts in the corner. But if your dog is in the corner and does nothing but stand there looking up at you, the chances are it's OK with him that you stopped things for awhile - which is not what you're looking for.

When he's tired and is turned back around to face his opponent, does he hold his head up and look down at his opponent - or does he hold his head down and look up at his opponent? A tired dog that lifts his head up generally is letting fatigue whip him and is concentrating on his breathing - and is therefore sure to quit to fatigue; by contrast, the tired dog that lowers his head and glares up at the dog is suppressing fatigue and is maintaining focus on the opponent - which is what you want.

Finally, how does your dog scratch? I realize that some very good dogs happen to be slow scratchers, but generally you want a dog that scratches HARD. Some hard scratchers have bashed their heads against the boards (in missing their ducking opponents) enough times where they adjust their style. They'll tippy-toe half way (making sure that their opponent isn't going anywhere), and then they'll rocket across and really blast their opponent. Whatever the case, not only is hard scratching a very good indicator of a dog's gameness, but it can actually stop the opponent's dog when things get in the trenches. How would you like to be in a knock-down, drag-out fight with someone for an hour and still have your opponent screaming and struggling to get back at you, like nothing's ever happened? Well, if your dog's opponent has any cur in him, your dog's hard scratches tell him, "NOTHING YOU DO HAS ANY EFFECT ON ME!" Hard scratches have stopped many an opponent.

The bottom line is, only after you have schooled your dog properly should you game test your dog - and do that only once. If your dog passes your game test, then either show the dog, or breed to the dog, or get rid of the dog, but don't deliberately put him through the rigors of a game test again. Doing this will save your dog's best efforts for the show, and it will keep him in there longer if things do go the distance for real. If you insist on game-testing your dog several times, and he follows this with a long hard match - look for the fat lady to sing eventually if you keep this kind of thing up. You must always keep in mind the medical evidence proven by Pavlov: dogs form simple associations in their thinking.

If you stretch your dog out too hard, and/or too many times in a row (without breaking up the pattern with short, easy ones), the chances are very, very high that you are taking steps toward ruining your dog because he will begin to associate the pleasantness of fighting contact with the unpleasantness of horrid exhaustion/punishment. You may love ice cream, but if you are forced to eat 40 buckets of it every time you sit down to eat it, and if you do this often enough, you just might lose your taste for it after a while. Get my drift? Therefore, don't ruin your dog's love of battle by repeatedly stretching him out and beating him up, and you will go a long way toward keeping him in there if things do happen to go the distance for real in a match.


TIP:

If you game test your dog prior to matching him, or if you've matched your dog and he gets stretched out hard in his contest, and you want to avoid your dog forming this negative association of pit action and exhaustion/punishment, here's the antidote: Wait several months for your dog to recover, and then give him a light bump for 5 minutes against a dog he can easily handle - and then do it again a month later. Once again, the reason to do this is you do not want your dog to associate performance with horrid exhaustion, because that more than anything else will ruin a dog. Breaking up a grueling ordeal with a couple of easy ones is they way to avoid your dog forming this association.

To those "hard core" dog men out there who think I am being too soft on a dog and that this is babying a dog too much, which will result in curs escaping "true testing" - I say BULLSHIT. My dogs have an 86% gameness ratio against some of the best dogs/kennels in the country, some of whom have proven to be as game as any dogs that have ever lived, literally dying in holds or crawling for more. So these methods work. Still, I don't care how game a dog has shown in the past, it can be stopped if you really want to stop it.

If you doubt me then try this test: set your dog down for 40 minutes. Then set him down the next day for 40, and do it again and again, 40 minutes every damned day of his life, and believe me, he'll quit. No one would test their dogs this hard, of course, because it's unfair to the animal, and no bloodline or individual dog could pass this severe a testing process, so I think I've made my point. Therefore, don't get all high and mighty about how game any dog is - he'll quit if you test him hard enough - or often enough - I don't care what he's shown in the past. The point of this article is many dogs that have quit and been put down would not have quit had they been brought along properly.

Your job as his owner is to try not to have him quit by managing the animal properly, and this schooling and game-testing process I have outlined will help your dog along in this regard. The key to schooling a dog is to remember it is just that: schooling. You school your dog for only two reasons: 1) to develop his style and 2) to develop his confidence. Schooling is something totally different from game-testing. Once you finally game test your dog, or if he gets exhausted after any match, remember to bump him for a short period against an easy opponent a few months later and then do it again a month after that. This will prevent your dog from forming the association of extreme exhaustion and pit action - and will go a long way towards keeping him in there when he finds himself in the trenches when the money is on the line.

- California Jack
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BLUEBULL



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PostSubject: Re: Schooling by Cali. Jack   Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:31 pm

ALL TO RIGHT.GREAT READ+GREAT ADVICE,AS MY UNC YOUS TO SAY WAY BUYING A DOG OF CERTIAN DOG-MEN,THAT FOOL KEEP'S GIVEING ME THE DOG'S HE WISH'S.FOR.WILL HE EVER LEARN??.ANY-WAY GREAT READ...REGARD'S.
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Sedapdipandang



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PostSubject: Re: Schooling by Cali. Jack   Thu May 17, 2012 9:43 am

Cal Jack.. Im reading your book, pitbull bible right now..
its really amazing book and opening eyes....very complete..
I dont know what to say, but your book and your way of thinking, really affect on me now.
like you said, talking about courage is one thing, but proving it in real life is quite another.

best regards
sedap
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