Countering on the Grip


During the counter, whether it is with a young dog on the rag or with an intermediate dog on a sleeve, the key to the re-adjust is relaxing your arms or sleeve arm at just the right moment. In my experience, new helpers have a hard time relaxing their arm during bite work, and dogs that are learning to counter won’t readjust on them. Put an experienced helper in the sleeve and they will counter time and time again. I believe this is the case because an experienced helper knows how to show the dog weakness, by relaxing the arm. The dog perceives this momentary weakness to “counter-punch” and drive in deeper on the bite. In the wild, the feral dog or wolf will bite deeper, not when the deer he is catching is fighting, but when he becomes instantly still; the animal sees this opportunity to get a better grip to continue the killing process.