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I am curious on schutzund and have a lot of questions. Does schutzund really make dogs meaner? If a dog doesn't want to do it what do you do? What if dogs fail? What becomes of dogs that fail? What are the benefits and cons of schutzund? Have dogs in schutzund ever hurt people including children or other dogs? What do you say to people who misunderstand this sport? Why do people misunderstand or misinterpret it?
I dont know much about it but people do say that karate makes a person better balanced and able to stay calm in crazy situation, they know how to handle themselves..so my guess is it may be the same thing for a dog in that sport..well balanced and happy because it has a fun activity.
I plan on doing SchH with my dog. I dont plan on competing, so it'll be just for fun.
There are three parts - Tracking, obedience, and bite sport. If he doesn't like one of the components, I won't make him do it. Nothing will happen to him, he won't be a failure. I'll just focus on the activities he enjoys.
I think the misconceptions come from the bite sport portion of SchH. The dogs look tough and aggressive, but it's not true protection work. In my opinion, it's just FUN. It's a game, the sleeve is a giant fun toy to bite on. I don't think it makes them meaner at all. I've heard many people say that the dog wont even react to a real life situation any differently because of it, because they dont see a sleeve or suit.
My dog is not a very confrontational dog, he isn't a big tough dog ready to take a chunk out of everyone. I still think he'd enjoy the bite sport portion. If not, no big deal to me!
I train my male in IPO, and he is perfectly stable and safe around kids, people and dogs. Although it depends on the dog's base temperament and nerves, this is the case for most schutzhund trained dogs.
Schutzhund tends to bring out the worst and best in a dog, it will not make them "meaner" unless they are already "mean" if that makes sense. Although "mean" isn't a good term to pin on a dog.
Chris Wild's article is my favourite:
(Schutzhund Training, by Wildhaus Kennels )
I have a section of articles on my website for IPO info, if it would interest you:
Articles - German Shepherd Guide
Training doesn't change temperament. If a dog is "mean", it will be mean regardless of it's training. If it isn't mean, good training certainly isn't going to make it mean.
Sure there have been SchH dogs that have harmed people. They're dogs. It happens sometimes as there are some unstable dogs that exist in the world. Though truthfully there are probably far fewer amongst SchH dogs than amongst the general dog population because SchH weeds out instability of temperament and also puts a level of obedience and control on the dog that far exceeds that of most dogs running around. Before a dog can even trial for a SchH title it has to pass a very comprehensive obedience and temperament test called the BH.
If dogs fail the owner trains more and enters another trial and tries again. It happens all the time just as in any sport. Sometimes you pass, sometimes you fail. No big deal.
If the dog doesn't want to do it (or more likely doesn't have the right temperament to do it) then most people either find another activity for that dog or another dog for SchH. A dog who has suitable temperament tends to love SchH training, just as agility dogs love agility and flyball dogs love flyball and herders love herding. Sure, there are some people who try to get their dog to do something it isn't well suited for, but again that happens everywhere and is pretty uncommon. Training for SchH is extremely expensive and time consuming. Most people aren't going to put all that effort into working with a dog who doesn't enjoy it or isn't cut out for it.
I have 4 dogs trained/currently training in IPO. They are all very stable and are not "mean" socially at all. I have failed before and we just try again. I think the biggest benefit I have recognized is the bond that it has developed between my dogs and I. The only con I can think of is the money ;)
People who misunderstand or misinterpret, I tell to come watch our dogs and our training before making judgements or jumping to conclusions.
Does schutzund really make dogs meaner?
If a dog doesn't want to do it what do you do?
We do something else. Besides Schutzhund I actively do flyball, nosework, and fun stuff (little training) like lure coursing and dock diving. I've also titled dogs in agility and rally obedience, and I have a dog that has zero desire to do anything but laze about the house and love on people so he does nothing but that and is my heart dog.
What if dogs fail? What becomes of dogs that fail?
Depends on why the dog failed. Most times as long as the dog enjoys the training we just keep training and improving ourselves.
What are the benefits and cons of schutzund?
Benefits: dogs love it, utilizes their natural drives, something for me to do (like to meet new people and have dogs in common), gives me a goal, works a dog physically and mentally, gets me out of doors and working outside my comfort zone, helps bond with the dog. Cons: can be expensive as far as traveling to good training, difficult if not impossible to do much at home (need enough space, tracking grounds, equipment, and helperwork for protection).
Have dogs in schutzund ever hurt people including children or other dogs?
Yes, dogs of any breed, type, or training have "hurt people" unfortunately.
What do you say to people who misunderstand this sport? Why do people misunderstand or misinterpret it?
Not much, usually. People can think what they want, I don't have anything to prove or time to try to convince them they are misinformed. I actually think it is more misunderstood by other dog and GSD people than the general public. When my family and friends ask about it, they tend to think it's pretty cool.
I think Lies and Chris did a pretty good job of answering your questions. :)
Does Schutzund really make dogs meaner? Absolutely opposite. A dog who learned to bite on command wouldn't bite without it. All Schutzhund trained dogs finally become sleeve-dependent and a living flesh will confuse them. But it concernes not Schutz protection only, every K9 trainer can tell you stories, when there was a difficulty police had to face - sleeve trained dogs didn't want to bite a criminal. Some semi-trained dogs could be dangerous (they think they can play the game everywhere and with everyone they like), but you cannot call them mean.
If a dog doesn't want to do it what do you do? What if dogs fail? What becomes of dogs that fail? Schutzhund consists of three parts, do you mean just protection? If your dog fails - he fails. But he's a working dog, he cannot live happily without work. You'd have to try him in many different fields before you find something he can do well. Bed-bugs, for instance, I know it is a huge problem in US:http://www.youtube.com/user/BedBugsRback
What are the benefits and cons of schutzund? It satisfies your ambitions like in any other sport, you want to get titled, you want to succed and be proud of yourself and your dog. And, if your self-esteem was lofted, anything else in life demands to be better, healthier, higher in standards - girlfriends and job positions.
Have dogs in schutzund ever hurt people including children or other dogs? Inside the club itself people take all precautions because anything may happen. You would be out of the club if your dog bites anyone outside the club, no Schutzhund club want to lose their good reputation. Things happen, but they are very rare exceptions.
What do you say to people who misunderstand this sport? I wouldn't say anything. Nothing can make you enjoy watching boxing or hockey if you think it is alien to human nature. People have their right to misunderstand.
Why do people misunderstand or misinterpret it? Because people are looking for a scapegoat, and the sports dogs are too illustrative, too obvious picture of visual violence. Unable to fight injustice in social life, crime and abuse, people want some satisfaction and people are looking for something that can provide a scene of punishment (dogs in courts). People want to punish the sport itself, they misunderstand it becouse they want others to misunderstand it, and in order to persuade others you have to persuade yourself first."Give dog bad name and shoot him".
David Taggart.... are you familiar with IPO/do you even train in the sport?
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