A Question about the purpose and intent of ScH? - Page 11 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #101 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 08:11 AM
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Dogs don't think about what drive they are going to use....that is human thinking.
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post #102 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 08:16 AM
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Good post Catu.....one of the confusing aspects of this is that you can have a dog bite in prey and fight back, and you can have a dog bite in prey and not fight back.....depends on dog, training, or genetics, or a combination of the three.
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post #103 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by hunterisgreat View Post
I believe the reward should not be the bite, but the defeat of the aggressor... looks the same from the outside, world of difference to the dog. This is the result of training, and part genetic.

It does matter. A dog in high fight/aggression, when I stab him or punch him in the face, will fight harder. A dog in high prey will be rattled and potentially disengage... cause prey doesn't fight back like that.
What leads you to believe that the bite isn't the defeat of the aggressor to the dog?..I mean really how do you know what exactly goes on in a dog's mind....push enough buttons and just about 99.99% of all dogs above ground will at some point disengage and/or get rattled.

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post #104 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 11:14 AM
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Are you saying that Sch training does not increase their capability to defend their owners, both from a motivation to be more likely to do so and the ability from the frequent practice of biting someone?
I am saying there are things you cannot train into a dog. He either has it or he doesn't. SchH was designed to show you which dogs had "it" and that included nerves, hardness, fight drive, and a willingness to work with his handler. The exercises were designed to put that on display. How the dog performed each one, and the cumulative pressure of all the exercises and phases, (done in one day), made up the test. It was less about the training than it is now. Now, people train behaviors that are designed to make the dog "appear" to be something he may not be. They know all kinds of ways to lessen the stress on the dogs, not to mention, the reed stick is gone, along with the attack on the handler. Trainers have all kinds of "tools" they use to achieve this look, ( and to relieve stress), which results in the training being put on display more than the dogs.
We have all kinds of opinions about what makes a good GSD. Many now think they have a really stable dog because the helper kind of plays with the dog in "protection" and then the dog is friendly with him afterward. Why wouldn't he be? Or their dog is "friendly", not an ounce of suspicion and views the world more like a Golden Retriever. These dogs are deemed to have great nerves. Well, if there was nothing in the world for me to be concerned with, my nerves would appear to be quite good as well.

Just ask the question "will a SchH dog really protect" and you will get all kinds of answers that mostly say NO. I was certainly not saying a SchH dog won't protect, I was saying that SchH was not about training a dog to be a personal protection dog. It was a test to see if the dog had what a GERMAN SHEPHERD was intended to possess, one of those being a protective instinct. They used the PROTECTION phase for that, which anymore, just might surprise people. I don't know that it occurs to people what makes up a protective instinct anymore, that's how convoluted things have become in the world of SchH.

You put a dog in a situation where PROTECTION is required and that is when you will see if he has that instinct and all the rest of what a GSD is supposed to be. That means, the dog has to view "protection" as just that. Most of the dogs now do not view it that way, for a number of reasons. One of which I talked about at the start of this thread. There is a mentality that you should not do that, that it is somehow wrong and the dogs won't "score" well. Recently, I was at a club working a dog who was more serious. A woman watching the training, stood up, proclaimed loudly that " SchH is supposed to be a game! " and stormed off to her car. Not much surprises me anymore but when people like her are attracted to SchH, the breed has a BIG problem on it's hands and those people are becoming MUCH more common.

In case there is any doubt, yes, I preferred the old way of doing SchH. I was more a person who enjoyed showing who my dog was, not so much my training. Having said that, we always looked for training that tapped into the dog's natural instincts. Now, it is much harder to do that because the dogs are different and so is the training offered at clubs. Weren't as many dogs who lacked a protective instinct back then. They were BRED that way. Now, we have a completely different basis for breeding, where how well a dog chases a rag is the primary test for SchH. I don't know if it occurs to people or not but that just might be why we see less dogs who have the ability to take on a man. That certainly is NOT what we were looking for when I started. The dog was expected to chase a bad guy away and to show a desire to protect his handler. Very few clubs start dogs out using suspicion and driving a man away, again, using the instincts a GSD was intended to possess. They start with a "flirt pole", meaning, there is hardly a man involved in it at all.

This thread has pretty much demonstrated what I talked about as far as mentality goes. It is now an activity that everyone can do to have fun. It is not a test of the dogs a majority of the time. Do I like saying that? No.

One last comment. The people who want to have fun....it is a heck of a lot more fun when you have a REALLY good dog who works in protection using the drives and instincts a GSD should be using. I see how people respond when they watch dogs who "mean it" and have the genetics that a GSD was intended to have. It excites most people to have a dog like this. That has not changed much but the dogs have, which makes finding this kind of dog much more difficult now. If you have one, you then have to find a place where the helpers will not try to play with him and bore the bejesus out of him in the process . Most of the people I know who have a very hard time with their dogs now, are the people who get good dogs who really want to engage the helper. Very few helpers know how to work them. They make fights with the dog while they are trying to do what they think is prey work. People who want to hold the dog's mouth on the sleeve and stuff like that. Never would have occurred to helpers some years back to do that, nor would it have occurred to them to stick their face down there right in the dog's face. lol. That's all I see now. People thinking they are going to bring aggression like that. You can't when it is not in the dog. Most often, the dog will stare at the sleeve now when the helper applies pressure. Oh sure, we have ways to address that weakness now but it is a weakness. Sure, you can say it is the training and to a degree, it can be. However, I know dogs who will not look at that sleeve when a helper behaves that way. They will "switch drives", ( if that is the terminology you prefer), and channel the pressure into the man. They will not follow the sleeve wherever they wave it, they are looking at the man. THAT is more correct behavior for a GSD working in protection but you sure will not see large numbers of SchH trainers agreeing. It was these kinds of dogs that prey work was designed for. That doesn't mean those dogs did not also have high prey drive but it is not the kind of prey drive most are seeing in their dogs. It is completely different and you can see it in how they chase and how they bite. It is SERIOUS prey drive, without the play aspect we see so often now.

Because of what I just said, I think mostly, people have lost the ability to watch SchH and see who the dogs are. While we can never know what they are "thinking" , there are people who can read dogs and many more who cannot. They look at whether the dog bites, how far he flies through the air to catch the helper and how far behind the helper he can pull that sleeve. They do not see the more subtle things that are , in reality, quite huge, especially when you are breeding GSDs. SchH was a breed test, it is not that anymore, especially in regards to the standard.

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Last edited by Vandal; 12-19-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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post #105 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 11:24 AM
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Anne, as usual!!

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post #106 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 12:35 PM
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Laurel if you are around it is Anne's thread that you should read which pretty much reinforces what I have said to you, written to you . Luckily you do belong to a GOOD club and have been exposed to the decoys who recognize and appreciate the clear minded but powerful protection that your young female has . Luckily you have a trainer and decoy at that club that are open to new knowledge . As I said a GOOD club.

" we always looked for training that tapped into the dog's natural instincts"
this unfortunately goes far beyond issues with only the protection phase , also applies to obedience where the dog does not show OBEDIENCE by being naturally biddable wanting to make a positive connection to the handler . Now it is ball and treat driven . Believe me there is a difference - just look at the *Nickolas* in genetic obedience . This not tapping into the natural drives and instincts also applies to natural , instinctive tracking skills , done for the self - reward of being allowed to track . I will use Blast as an example there who was doing concentrated schutzhund tracks , deep nose , dead accurate from the time he was 16 weeks - no food drops because it was soon seen that they were a hindrance not a help, and who at having just entered his 3rd year was an Urban Tracking Dog Excellent - only a handful .

I want dogs to have these things by breeding , not by training .



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post #107 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 01:45 PM
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I have a really dumb question...I mean it seems dumb to me, but when you speak of "defense" drive, do you mean the dog is defending itself or the owner/handler??
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post #108 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 01:49 PM
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Itself, when a dog is in defense he is being for real, which sometimes sounds like a great thing ("oh my dog is the REAL deal!") but too much is not good. I have a dog that will very quickly slide into defense (mostly due to some mistakes on my part with his training) and what that means is he is being reactive when he is working and just doing the minimum he needs to make the threat/helper go away. When you see a dog working really high in defense you kind of question whether the dog actually wants to be there doing the work or is just being provoked into protecting his own butt. A dog that comes out with a strong balance of prey, defense, fight...that dog is confident and in control. He knows how to show power (and restraint when appropriate). Think about it....if a dog is going to chase prey you know he's doing it because he WANTS to and he must think he can catch it and win, otherwise he wouldn't bother giving chase, right? A dog too high in defense is just being provoked into more of a "fight or flight" type response. Mind you, you need *some* defense, and every dog has a point at which he is done and will either fight or flee, but too much defense kind of clouds the dog from being in control of the situation and working with confidence. At least...I think, lol. Anne can probably explain this much better.

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post #109 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 07:12 PM
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That was an informative post and summarized many of the issues. In your post you mentioned that prey was introduced for the more serious dog. They had high prey drive but it appeared differently.
Would you please comment on why prey was introduced to these type of dog and how. Also if you could describe what one would see in a training scenerio when using prey with the more serious dog.

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post #110 of 141 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
Are you implying that a dog biting the decoy makes his mind up what "drive" he/she is in and then acts accordingly?

If a dog is shot, knifed or even simply punched - do you think that this very act might cause a courageous dog to shift from "prey" to "defense" "drive" (I am assuming that a dog in "defense" is fighting because he thinks his very life is in danger (as I read that somewhere about defense))?

BTW, I think that some "prey" might very well fight like heck when the dog catches up! Would the dog then have to shift into "defense" or risk losing and/or quitting? I would assume that the same dog would continue to fight.

But i am assuming (admittedly) that a dog who has the right nerve and courage will fight till he wins, whether we call it "prey" or "defense" but I am not very knowledable about this whole "drive" thing to be sure.

Is there a visible sign other than the pitch and sound of his bark that would tell even a novice like me whether a dog is in "prey" "defense" or any other drive?
On a phone so have to be short. Humans have the same drives and emotions that serve the same purpose. Dogs decide what drive they are in or are thinking about it directly no more than humans do.

The human who is strong nerved enough cool under fire but aware of the danger so as to be cautious enough to not be careless, and courageous/aggressive enough to fight back, even when death is a forgone conclusion or after taking a mortal wound, makes the ideal warrior. Dogs are the same. An all prey dog is functionally similar to a soldier who has only shot at man shapes targets and skeet, but doesn't have to hardness to take the actual rigors of combat, and will break down under pressure.

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