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.