Perceptions change for a dog once all the war gear and leads come off and you're not close to him to offer support.
Yes the dog did a lot of regripping and he was at the elbow almost every single bite. Now how much was actually natural tendency to go fuller by regripping and how much was due to all the added pressure you can't be sure. You can blame it on the chomp arm if it helps justify it for you.
You're asking an awful lot from a 23 month old dog.
My take on his grips was not to offer a possible explanation on why he may have been regripping or hitting high towards the elbow.. Though I fully admit to not knowing as much about schutzhund protection work as you or Chip might, I do get to watch Kingston work on a weekly basis and am fully aware of his tendencies, confidence level and different behaviors in many different situations. There are various reasons I wanted to work what we did during this weekend's sessions and perhaps I should've offered a detailed explanation on everything when posting this video.
Again, I do not know enough yet to evaluate any dog out there and diagnose why it is they do what they do, but I am very confident when it comes to reading my dogs and even more confident in this particular helper's ability to read my dogs and diagnose different issues. With that being said, Kingston has his 'issues' that I know need to be worked on. Hitting above the ideal target area is one of them. When trying to fix this issue, the chomp is NOT a sleeve I think is ideal for such a problem. These sessions were not
focused on his targeting in any way, shape or form. I'm sure you are then wondering why exacerbate the issue? My answer to that is that his targeting, while not ideal, is not what will cause me to score very poorly at trial. If I never get it fixed (which I won't just accept by any means), I am still more than happy with the fullness and power of his grips, as every helper who has caught him can testify too. I don't mean to come off as arrogant or talking my dog up at all; again, he has his issues.. I simply don't have the opportunity to work with many national level helpers often so I wanted to focus this weekend on other areas of King's work that could really benefit from his abilities. His targeting is something I have every intention on working with my club helpers throughout the coming season.
The pressure? Kingston doesn't see much, if any, pressure at all from my club helpers, and I'm happy about that. I do like to mix things up every so often for my own peace of mind that he can take the pressure he'll see in trial and not be caught off guard by it and react sensitively. Again, I shouldn't have expected any of you to know this but I am VERY confident in my ability to read my own dogs and even more confident in this helper's abilities. I would never, and he would never, in a million years put that kind of pressure on a dog that would react poorly to it. You may see that regripping as King reacting poorly, and I can respect that and to a degree I think you are right, but I can promise you those hits were not detrimental to Kingston's gripwork in the long run and (you may have heard this before, but) when it comes trial time the pressure he'll get will feel like pillow hits and not cause him to react or even worse, flee. That being said, I would never put that kind of pressure on King on a weekly basis for several reasons but I do see a benefit to it occassionally since I personally know he's strong enough to handle it. I see that you don't see the benefit, and I can fully respect that, but I do.. I couldn't be happier with where he is at this point in his training, aside from the targeting, but I am confident I can improve that in time with the right help along the way.
I apologize for the length of this response but I wanted to try to clarify that I am not someone who's bringing my dog to any joe schmoe to be worked, but someone who is clear on what I want to train, and with who, to try to take him as far as he can go down the road. I know you guys would only have expressed concern if you cared about Kingston's well being and want to see him succeed as well, so I definitely appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me.