Taking the value out of a dog - Page 6 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #51 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:37 AM
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I'm probably confusing this thread with the other ones when I made my reply, but rest assured, I honestly don't care enough to take anything said here personally

I am simply offering my input and reasoning - I am speaking globally on the view that this forum holds on rehoming. I don't look at usernames half the time so I don't know who to point you to, but you can agree that there is a general sentiment about subjects such as washing out, rehoming as pets and value of desexed animals. I am speaking to that - again, don't care to take it personally. Just exchanging thoughts is all!
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post #52 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:32 PM
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Oops ... misread something ... no comment.

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post #53 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:42 PM
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"Flyball, agility, nosework, herding trials, treiball...done all of those or gone with friends who competed in them to events, and IME the majority of dogs in all those sports with the possible exception of of herding trials are desexed. In the herding trials I've been to, it seems to be closer to 50/50 since a lot of working breeders use them to prove their breeding stock's ability."

Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post

Exactly, these are recreational sports but once you cross over to Schutzhund it's a complete different ball game.

I think there is a different culture in SchH than in any other sport, except for Herding, maybe.
Your right, whole 'nother ball game. I easily commit twice the amount of time, training and conditioning my dogs for agility than I did for schutzhund. I also easily spend as much money in one month doing agility as the average schutzhund competitor spends in an entire year. Schutzhund is very far from the only sport that takes a great deal of time, commitment and money. I get really sick of hearing that people make such a huge commitment doing schutzhund that there should be something in return. To be "competitive" in ANY sport takes a great deal of time and commitment, it is not something special to THAT sport.

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post #54 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:59 PM
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^ Very true, I spend more time on flyball training. Though when I'm actually scheduled to trial for SchH then I'm working my butt off for 2-3 weeks before a trial (yeah I'm that kind of person!).
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post #55 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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To be fair, it is a huge difference if you trial on a regional or a national or even an international level.
It takes a lot of time to do all three phases and it always depends on what kind of level you want to compete on.
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post #56 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 03:48 PM
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True, but I do agree with her that doing flyball or agility even at a novice level requires much more time and a more deliberately conditioned dog than doing club level SchH, even with my show line dog that hasn't been super easy to title in SchH. For flyball we compete once a month and that's just as people who have fun (we aren't real competitive and don't host tournaments) but I haven't done a SchH title (not counting BH and ADs) in a year.
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post #57 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I don't know about Agility or Flyball. All I know is that SchH is time consuming as it is with three disciplines and I'm not going to engage into "My sport takes more commitment than yours."

If you want to do it right, you do it right and it will take time and money, period and just because 600 dollars of club fee is nothing for you (you in general) doesn't mean it can't hurt me.

Not everyone earns the kind of money that will let you comfortably live out your hobby and people need to know what they get themselves into before they commit to a sport.
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post #58 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 04:22 PM
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The people that I have met that do Schutzhund tend to breed a bit more than some others. I do think it has a lot to do with the "breed test" portion of it all. There are some, but I believe they are the minority, that just do the sport for fun. The majority of others either have plans on breeding or if they don't yet, once the dog develops into something worth breeding they would like the opportunity to do so. Many people do like to pass on the genes of a successful dog and also at the same time have a puppy that is a lot like what they just trained before. Others of course will try something new.

My view on the novice handlers (I consider myself a novice AKC obedience person) is that we have pets first, and sport dogs second. Many of us still want to deal with puppies, want to train from the beginning, and especially if this is our first dog to do a sport with, you won't convince me that its better to learn with a trained dog. I want to do the training myself, I don't want it to be done for me, I want to feel that I accomplished something. So that's why I believe "novice" homes are so far an between.

So this is why I believe it makes such a large difference in Schutzhund when you're talking about washed out dogs. At the end of the day...people like to have the possibility, however slim, of breeding a good dog.
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post #59 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 05:23 PM
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I don't think it's fair to characterize Schutzhund people as more serious about their sport than others. For most SchH people I know, it's still very much a recreational sport, although I agree it also is still seen as a breed test to a large degree as well. Actually, I know more serious working herding folks (as in, actually make at least part of their living raising livestock and use their dogs on the farm) than SchH folks.

I do agree, though, that SchH attracts more people with a different mentality. I really think, though, that it's largely because of the bite work and the potential risks that poses. Most of us on this board know that a dog trained in bite work is not going to be a risk to most people, but I don't think that's common knowledge. It also poses challenges when it comes to management and liability, because of insurance regulations and such. And it does have the potential to pose some management problems in general, especially early in the training--I was nearly bitten by a dog in SchH training because I was wearing camouflage BDUs which was also what the targets (or whatever they're called) wore over their padding at his training group.

So I think that SchH people are a lot more likely to be willing to manage the dog 24/7 because they go into it knowing that a dog trained in bitework needs 24/7 management anyway just due to liability issues on the off chance the dog bites someone. It's not about how much time you devote to training or how much money you spend or how committed you are, it's an expectation of how you want to manage the dog in the off hours when you're not actually training for the sport, if that makes sense.

Warning: if you don't care about the horse industry as compared to dog sports, skip the rest of this post.

Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Thank you, Elisabeth. I believe your story was exactly the point of the OP.

Here is what I don't understand. When showing horses, the geldings still have high monetary value if they are winning. Not as much as a champion stallion but they are out there proving the lines they came from. Maybe because there is so much money involved in general? I don't know enough about that part, just that the values remain high for winners. Now, why is it that in the dog world, the same is not true? The value is placed on the reproductive abilities.
I think that the horse industry is very different from dog sports. In some ways they're similar, but in others you're comparing apples to oranges.

I think the biggest thing in the value of geldings vs. stallions when compared to dogs, is that most people want to be able to do something with their horses, and stallions have the potential to be very dangerous. They do require greater finesse to handle well (stallions are more likely than mares or geldings to react aggressively to rough handling, IME, and you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings with them). Like intact dogs they're more likely to challenge their handlers, but they can accidentally kill you when they're just posturing to scare you off. They're also more unpredictable in a show environment (from experience, I can tell you that it's not real fun to be in a group class on a young stallion when there's a mare in heat in the ring!) and again, while that is an issue with young dogs too, your stallion being unpredictable is much more likely to result in serious injury or death. It can also be hard to find a boarding stable that will take a stallion in (which isn't an issue with dogs since most trainers are prepared to take intact dogs and many owners keep their dogs at home), and if you do you will likely be paying extra for it, possibly a great deal extra. So for the average owner, having a gelding makes a lot more sense, even if they have him in professional training.

I also think that the horse breeding is a little more of an industry than most dog breeding is. Having a champion stallion isn't going to make you a profit, unless you have one of those outliers who has a $million+ stud fee and is in high demand (and even them, I'd like to see the books...I bet the profit isn't as big as the stud fee implies). I know when I trained at a breeding farm with a famous stallion, we lost money on him even though we had no trouble getting bookings and his stud fee was rather high. It costs so much to promote him, show him, keep him, etc. that you just can't recoup it. Instead, you make the money off of him by selling his offspring by your own mares, which I think is the same for dog breeding, but most successful breeding operations also use his success for attracting clients for other services like boarding, training and showing in order to make a profit. So for the average non-pro owner who doesn't want to run a major farm, you're just pouring a lot of money down the hole for a horse you may not even feel comfortable riding--and as expensive as dogs are, horses are significantly more expensive. It happens, but for the most part it's unrealistic for a skilled amateur owner to promote and show their own super-valuable stallion, even during the early training. Most top stallions I know of that are owned by amateurs are in year-round training with top trainers, which costs a ton of money. Remember, having a super-valuable stallion isn't just about winning, it's about promoting him to mare owners and making him famous. OTOH, a nice gelding is a lot more manageable for that skilled amateur, and there are many examples of amateur owners taking their geldings or mares to the top levels of the sport. So overall, there just isn't a very big market for that super-expensive stallion, but there's a large market for a winning gelding.

I also think there's more of a glut of nice unwanted purebred horses than there are dogs (or at least dogs from quality breeders--obviously we have a problem with puppy-milled and mixed breed dogs in the US). As a result, a stallion's fame is largely tied to the fame and prestige of his owner, trainer and/or breeder, unless his accomplishments are truly exceptional (like if you have a racehorse who wins the Triple Crown, it doesn't matter if anyone's ever heard of any of the people involved, he'll still be valuable). This further reduces the market for stallions, without reducing the number of people who want to show horses.

I will note that last paragraph doesn't apply to rare breeds. I have some experience with 2 valued but rare (in the US anyway) breeds and for them, any breeding-quality horse with the ability to reproduce is automatically more valuable than a gelding of similar quality. But with rare breeds, while they are usually shown to increase their popularity and value, the bloodlines alone are what is valued. With more popular breeds (Quarterhorses, Arabians, Thoroughbreds), virtually all of the desirable bloodlines are common enough that having certain horses in their pedigree doesn't automatically add value except in very unusual cases (for example, at my farm we had a filly who was one of only 3 daughters of a very famous and in-demand deceased stallion who threw mostly colts, and because of that we sold her for an incredible sum before she'd even been shown in halter as a yearling).

So I think you combine those factors with a few others and you wind up having a lot more of a market for geldings. Really, I think the unpredictability of stallions and perception of them being dangerous is the biggest factor though. A more difficult dog is one thing (as long as he's not going to eat your face off), but a difficult horse can kill you without even meaning to.

Sorry if this is boring or off-topic, but I think it's interesting to compare the horse world with the dog world.

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post #60 of 151 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 05:46 PM
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You know...maybe it has to do with that huge commitment. Think about it, you put in hours and hours of work into getting your dog some pretty serious training. I'm not saying flyball or agility is any less...I do obedience, rally, and agility now, but Schutzhund is so much cooler (mostly due to the protection) so by the end of it, you do want to have the chance to breed. Especially if the dog turns out to be really really good.
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