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Old 02-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Beginning Schutzhund

Does anyone have any reccommendations for beginners getting in to schutzhund? I am actively looking for a puppy that will fit my family and will be a complete newby to dog sports. I am looking for books, videos or websites that will help me learn how to socialize the pup properly and get started on our learning journey together. I plan on contacting my local club near Raleigh, but would like to have a strong base of understanding first. Thanks guys and gals!
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just go to the club. You'll learn more from hanging out and talking to people than you will from the internet or books. Plus, you'll have the added bonus of getting to meet different dogs of different bloodlines and watching them work, so you'll get a great idea of what you want and don't want in a dog. Then, when the dogs that you really like in your area are going to be bred, you'll be among the first to know! There's even a chance that you'll get a better price on a pup than John Public because the breeder knows you're serious about getting involved in the sport.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was going to post but Emoore beat me to it!

What she said! Contact the club now, go out and watch a few times. Ask lots of questions!
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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+1 for going to the club. That's the best way to learn SchH

If you need extra stuff, these are good:
Schutzhund Obedience - Training in Drive by Gottfried Dildei & Sheila Booth
Schutzhund - Theory and Training Methods by Susan Barwig

and if you can stomach the cost:
Canine Training Systems - Obedience Without Conflict by Ivan Balabanov

By the way I dont know Susan Barwig but Ivan Balabanov is a 3x world champion and you can find lots of videos by him online. Gottfried Dildei & Sheila Booth are both well known schutzhund trainers and you can find videos by them online as well...

Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with all of the above, since working with a new group I have been learning way more than I was able to sift through online and in books, and of course the added bonus of having people watch you work with your dog and help you improve.

I purchased the one SchH book that was mentioned and I found it to be pretty helpful and imformative too.
Amazon.com: Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods (Howell reference books) (9780876057315): Susan Barwig, Stewart Hilliard: Books Amazon.com: Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods (Howell reference books) (9780876057315): Susan Barwig, Stewart Hilliard: Books
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm new Schutzhund too so can't really offer any pro advice but here's a little I learned along the way. I got super lucky in finding a breeder who lives just an hour away, breeds magnificent dogs and is willing to train with me most weekends. And she took me seriously when I told her I wanted to do SchH - she gave me a good SchH dog, not a "beginner" dog. Pros are obvious: my pup knows what to do most of the time, the challenge is the handler (me) needs to catch up. Cons: with my specific pup, he's very high drive, high energy, high everything so serious learning curve for a newbie like me but he's mellowing out slowly as he's getting older.

So the most important thing, IMO, is that you start with the right dog. Bred by someone who loves his/her dogs, knows them very well and is so invested in their wellbeing that you can always turn to them when you're in doubt. There's so much information out there, it can be overwhelming quickly so what I've found to be most useful is turning to the breeder so I can put everything in the context of my puppy, his bloodlines and my behavior as a handler.

About books, I started with Barwig's book but found these books to be much more useful (recommended by my puppy's breeder):

Helmut Raiser's "Der Schutzhund"
Glen R. Johnson's "Tracking Dog"
and the Sheila Booth book others have mentioned

And like others have said, go to the clubs to take it all in. As a beginner, I can tell you I prefer environments where there's minimal chit chat and the training is highly focused. The training sessions where I find most constructive tend to be very quiet, the only sounds should be my commands and whatever noises my dog (or another dog being trained) makes while training.

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Reading around is good...but really you need to go to your club. There are tons of ways to train dogs and almost all the methods have validity in certain situations with certain dogs. Different clubs are going to have different methods. Some clubs are heavy into the positive and the food, some prefer toys, some like a higher prey driven dog, some prefer Mals or other off breeds, etc and so forth. You might read all about Ivan's methods and get invested and think it's good...only to find that your club doesn't like the method and prefers something else.

Really it's even better if you don't have the dog yet. So you need to see what you think of how your local club trains, and see what they value in the dogs that are successful with their training. Alot of future success in training depends on matching training with dogs and having trainers invest in YOU and your dog. They don't do it automatically, most groups have seen way too many people come and go. I won't lie it helps to have a dog that people in your club like. Often people in the same club will go through the same breeders or similar lines. That's why you'll often see breeders ask about where you plan on training. While certainly not universal, I've heard of groups that will not give their best effort to dogs from breeders/people that they don't like.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree with the others and find a local club that you want to train with and there may be breeders involved with that club that can point you to the right pup. As for books, I liked "Der Schutzhund" by Helmut Raiser, "Training the Behavior" by Gary Patterson. As far as videos you can now rent through bowwowflix most of the videos available on training except maybe the Ivan series.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayoitzrimz View Post
+1 for going to the club. That's the best way to learn SchH

If you need extra stuff, these are good:
Schutzhund Obedience - Training in Drive by Gottfried Dildei & Sheila Booth
Schutzhund - Theory and Training Methods by Susan Barwig

and if you can stomach the cost:
Canine Training Systems - Obedience Without Conflict by Ivan Balabanov

By the way I dont know Susan Barwig but Ivan Balabanov is a 3x world champion and you can find lots of videos by him online. Gottfried Dildei & Sheila Booth are both well known schutzhund trainers and you can find videos by them online as well...

Good luck!
Agree with these recommendations! Susan Barwig was a well known GSD breeder (I was fortunate to own one of her marvelous dogs) and, at one time, a world competitor in the sport of Schutzhund. She was also one of the individuals who was instrumental in working to get Schutzhund accepted in this country, back in the 70's. The company that she founded, Canine Training Systems, is still in business, and has some terrific training resources. Sadly, Sue died in 2000, way too young.....

BTW I would try and visit a number of clubs if you can - they vary in quality, just as in any sport.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shehulk View Post
About books, I started with Barwig's book but found these books to be much more useful (recommended by my puppy's breeder):

Helmut Raiser's "Der Schutzhund"
Glen R. Johnson's "Tracking Dog"
and the Sheila Booth book others have mentioned
Great recommendations!
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