How smart are schutzhund trained dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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How smart are schutzhund trained dogs?

So I was just talking to a guy who is a k-9 handler and he told me that their dogs (who are not schutzhund trained but actually trained in 6 phases of aggression) can not tell the difference between a good guy and bad guy. (Which I understand) But lets say a handler and bad guy was rolling on the ground, and the handler called for his dog to attack, would the dog pick the bad guy r just bite the first person he sees? Next question. I know this is very unlikely, probably impossible, but lets say a robber new every command for your schutzhund dog. And he brakes in and you give your dog the attack command. Could the robber out your dog and have him attack you? Like I said pretty much impossible, but I'm just curious.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 05:46 PM
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I'm never worried about someone learning commands and turning my dog against me. They can shout all the commands they want any dog worth a crap knows the difference.

That said, take any handler and roll him on the ground with a bad guy, a lot of dogs don't know who to bite and often bite the wrong guy. That's why it must be trained. A dog that has been thru that training is fine, but take one that hasn't been, pair him with a new handler and put him on the ground in a scuffle? he's as likely to get bite as the bad guy.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:40 PM
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Check out Police K9 magazine. Even just their site has great articles. If they're scuffling of the ground, the dog should have the INTENTION of getting the bad guy, however like stated below can at times grab the wrong person. I just read a story in which the k9 did grab the officer on accident, but once corrected immediately let go and scuffled for the other person. It's sort of how our thinking gets scrambled in quick situations, it can happen to the dog to.

As for the burglary thing, I couldn't tell you LOL. I've always wondered that because in training, the decoy sometimes calls the dog off. There's some good trainers on here, hopefully they'll chime in.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 06:56 PM
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I don't think the LEO meant the dog would attack them. I would think it more likely he was saying when they send the dog out, it doesn't know if it's a good or bad guy.

These dogs are pretty smart. And they are not going to listen to strangers. There was a guy at a stable I used to go to. If I walked away from Jax, he would immediately go over to her and start saying "Sit. Sit. Sit." And she would look past him at me like "are you seeing this joker?"

They KNOW who their handlers are.

Now...could you get bitten in a frenzy while the dog was trying to get at the person you were wrestling with? Of course it could happen.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 07:02 PM
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The perp also leaks out fear pheromones that the dog hones in on. So searching is easier when they have that to go on.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2014, 07:44 PM
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I also second that I don't think someone else could control my dog, I use to do exercises with my non german shepherd Sam, I would put him in a down stay and have my friends try to release him or recall him. Sam never budged, they tried to mimic my voice and-nothing. I even left out of site. Sam remained. Anna is extremely smart, everyone says Sam is so smart. He knows allot BUT was extremely hard to work with, that being said if Sam could do this-Anna can.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 10:02 PM
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Sofie isn't shutzhund trained, but Yann is (not titled, but he trained alongside his brother who is), and they both react similarly and intuitively to strangers. They come to attention around the man with hunched shoulders and darting eyes, but greet the next guy, though dressed similarly shaking my hand with wagging tails. I understand accidents happen, but I think for the most part most trained dogs will be able to easily distinguish the perp.

When we adopted Yann, he was trained to mostly the same German commands we trained Sofie to. But it took probably a couple weeks at least before he actually took us seriously as his leader. Sofie snaps at my every command, but is sluggish with it when my husband is alone with her, because he doesn't work with her as much. I VERY seriously doubt just any random stranger, especially one breaking into our home.

And my dogs aren't seriously trained, either (well, Yann isn't anymore). I imagine a true schutzhund dog would do better.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2014, 10:55 PM
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The likelihood of a dog attacking the handler is very small. My dog is just starting bite work, but due to the relationship we have formed through the last 3 years I have no doubt my dog would attack the person attacking me. If you are to send a dog is unlikely they know who the bad guy is and will just take down who ever they can if they are trained to do so. But that's a way different situation because the dog would not have a relationship with either person in the confrontation.

I have no doubt that if someone in my extended family was getting attacked, someone that my dog has met and been around many times, the dog would not attack them and would definitely go for the other person. This isn't something trained, its just having a clear headed dog.

A dog rarely listens to other people's commands. I've heard that there are many police dogs that would go after a tennis ball if you threw it as it was coming at you, but as far as commands go...unlikely it will stop a dog in drive if its not the handler screaming it at the top of his/her lungs. Go watch some Schutzhund dogs do protection'll see the handler struggling to get them to out many times and keep the dog in control when the helper is out and known to the dog. On top of dog who is not K9 or Schutzhund trained, will rarely listen to someone telling him to sit if its not me. He knows sit 100% but could care less if anyone but myself or the family says it.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 12:06 AM
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A friend of mine has a GS that literally follows and listens to everyone. I say it depends on the dog and how it was raised/trained. My pup doesn't listen to anyone but me (hopefully that doesn't change). When my 4 year old daughter tells her to do something, she would look at me like "soooo should I do it?" I'm working on informal commands around the house so everyone is on the same page but she's not budging on that yet. Every situation is different.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2014, 06:27 PM
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This is a great thread, I have had 3 gsd's and the first two would definitely not listen to an outsider's command. Our first gsd (non sch family dog) was willing fodder for any of the three members of my family's commands. One of us would down her at the door before she went out or some other type of command and the rest of us would tell her to disobey the originator's command. She might flinch but wouldn't budge until the command's originator told her it was ok. We laughed at her sticking with the person who gave the command but when she actually protected my family for real we grew to appreciate her focusing on one person.
My second gsd also a female was trained in protection preping for sch but I stopped for a number of reasons. Recently I began to train her again (as a 5 y/o) and the training was being done by a friend under my trainer's and my supervision. She still looks to me for the "OK" to obey the friend's commands. I wasn't really satisfied with his progress and started to train her myself. (partially because of the liability issues that could result from his mistakes in protection) She is a really stubborn w/l gsd and I realized that it would probably be a mistake to have another voice in her head for training. Neither dog would listen to another's command in action or the yelling of a person who is being aggressive towards a family member.
My third gsd, a 1.6 y/o male in sch/PP training right now will listen to me and only to the trainer if he thinks he will get another bite right away... He doesn't let much distract him from the bite, despite yelling, stick work and non injuring kicks to distract him. We recently brought out a 9mm filled with blanks and sent him on a bite where he had about 30 yds to change his mind and he didn't even flinch.. As this was his last bite we took the sleeve off the field and as we left the field another person took the gun and shot it off again. He turned around as if he were ready to go again but didn't let go of his sleeve he had just won.
I am not sure that this either confirms or disproves the earlier submissions to this topic but I have had three concrete examples in my dogs that say that they know their owner's voice and only hear it. I hope I never have to release a dog to bite anything other than a trainer.. Sorry if this was long winded... I tend to be that way often..
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