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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Hee Haw

I wanted to share some Schutzhund joy with you all and then what I realized after seeing a real maturation in my dog.
I mentioned in an earlier post that due to my rural location our local sheriff can't always be at our church quickly when the alarm goes off. (45 mins to 1 hr.) We have lost three safes and broken into 4 times. I volunteered to do a building search with my pastor with my older female who will bark and bite only if really threatened and my 1.5 year old male to help clean out the building. The male has been going thru the church almost weekly tracking as a game, playing with kids and searching for imaginary bad guys.
This Sunday well before anyone was there we had someone the dog didn't know stage a fight out side of the building and run into the building. I fired up the male during the fight and then proceeded to take the path that I would use to clean out the building. When the male saw the supposed bad guy he went ballistic and we had the BG run away twice. Both times the male responded like he was supposed to never backing down. This is a major victory and a reassurance that all the bite work training I am doing for SCH is applicable to real life situations. I have heard so many condescending remarks about SCH dogs. Chunk wasn't in his usual sleeve biting mode as my trainer has pointed out the fight drive shows when he has no sleeve on and the prey drive comes out when he sees the sleeve... I plan to talk with him tonite to make sure I'm not hallucinating.
I realized (after experiencing SCH glee) that he really is a working dog and all due respect to the environment was always necessary. No longer is it just a fantasy to have a dog that bites and can protect your safety. Much like owning a gun there is a tremendous amount of responsibility with its operation and handling.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2014, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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I am surprised by the lack of input here, (not said with any disgust or attitude) As a relative newbie to SCH am I doing something that is considered taboo for SCH or sport training? We have worked together for almost a year now and I am thrilled with his progress from a fearful puppy to a confident self assured young male. I hope to get his bh this summer and in late fall start trialing for the 1.
Thanks for your input..
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 02:39 AM
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Bolt the safe to the floor.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:46 AM
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Sounds awsome

Sounds like you have every reason to be proud. Not a sch participant myself, but do like training our girls and can imagin how proud I would be with your results.

"Dogs were put on Earth to demonstrate unconditional love, cats are here to teach us we aren't that **** important"

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 07:51 AM
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It's always wondering and validating to see all your hard work and training pay off. Good for you. I am not a SCH enthusiast but have a lot of respect for the sport and related sports like IPO, french ring and mondio. Frankly, the more I learn about those sports the more interested I get. Maybe some day...

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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Madeline Ronan Heart (Maddie) Dec 1997 -- November 22, 2013 Rescue GSD, Sable
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your responses I appreciate them, as a way of encouragement I can say with out reservation that Schutzhund is a really enjoyable way to train your dogs. It develops incredible obedience and team bonding with a dog like I've never experienced before. The dog thrives on it as well so it's a win win situation.
JB.. I had to chuckle when I read your response, we learned that lesson with the first theft and then the second two were bolted/welded into the floor. We stopped having cash in the office for a while but there is a new safe and a much better alarm system.

I would really be interested in responses from some of you who are participating in SCH and if you are doing something like that... and what you have done different in your training that helps both types of protection...

Thanks again...
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 01:10 PM
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Honestly. I would not do this. Who carries the liability if the dog actually finds someone and their training fails and they bite them? You? The church? Who will pay the medical bills if there actually is a bad guy in there and they shoot, stab you or your dog? Plus, what if there is someone in there, and your civilian self goes in and messes up evidence?

You are not a LEO. You should not be acting as one. If you are a newb to the sport( as I am) I would not be putting together training excersises without the guidance of your TD.

But that is just my opinion. I am glad you are happy with your boy and he is maturing well.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 01:14 PM
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The male has been going thru the church almost weekly tracking as a game, playing with kids and searching for imaginary bad guys.
how do you teach the dog to discern between a kid and an imaginary bad guy? or another adult and a bad guy
or the janitor and a bad guy?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-10-2014, 08:13 PM
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It is very rewarding to set up a training scenario and have it go well. I would caution you to be very careful and remain objective. One scenario with a "decoy" that is told to "run away" is a whole lot different than confronting a determined bad guy that is willing to fight and injure both you and your dog. I don't mean to be negative or take away from your hard work and accomplishments with your dog. It is a lot of fun to do building clearing and searching with a dog. At the same time you must be very careful, there is a lot of liability in what you are doing. If you are going in to the church to search for "bad guys" are you giving proper warnings? What if an innocent person is in the church with out any one's knowledge, it happens all the time? What if they get bit? What if a homeless person is in there to get out of the cold or the rain, are you going to allow your dog to bite some one for trespassing?

The other issue is: what do you do if you or your dog actually finds a burglar in the building? I can guarantee you right now, and I will bet you dollars to donuts that your dog does not engage a passive person. The fight scenario is one thing, a real life bad guy hiding under one of the pews will not be bitten by your dog. If you were local to me, I'd go in the building with out any equipment and prove this to you. The best you can hope for right now is that the SchH training kicks in and the dog does a hold and bark alerting you to the bad guys location. What if there are several suspects inside? Are you armed, trained and proficient with a firearm and building clearing tactics yourself?

I don't want to come off too harsh or negative, but this is what I do for a living. You really need to be careful for several reasons. You don't' want an innocent person getting bit, suspects need warnings and the ability to surrender. There are several SCOTUS decisions on this and you will be liable if you do not give warnings. Certain crimes do not call for a dog being released, like trespassing for example. There are many cases on the Use of Force and many relating directly to K-9's and dog bites. Another very large concern is the likelihood of encountering a person committing a felony. Then what happens? Are you and the Pastor going to fight it out until the Police arrive? Do you have the means to take a person (s) into custody? Building searches can be very dangerous, especially with out proper back up and a proven (many real bites proven), tough as nails dog.

Just some things to consider. I will say, after all that….I like the training that you are doing. But, please do it under close supervision with an experienced K-9 guy. Not even a sport trainer for building searches.


Last edited by Slamdunc; 04-10-2014 at 08:16 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-11-2014, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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GSDSAR Diesel & Jim: (Sorry in advance for writing a book)

Thanks for your input and concerns, I appreciate it. Much of what you have written here has crossed thru my thoughts at one time or another during these last few months. I have had conversations with several city and county police officers, a lawyer, a police chief of the largest city near me (pop. 300k+) and my trainer to work out a plan to help my church avoid further robberies. I am sorry that this took a while to get back to you I had written in a reply several times but got timed out and when I logged back in the input was lost. It seemed like when I got timed out my free time was out so I decided to write it another time… This time I have learned my lesson and am writing this in a word doc and will paste it in. I have tried to address some of your concerns and suggestions, but as always your feedback is appreciated.
I have been training my 1.6 y/o male with Kreative Kennels for close to a year now. As best as possible I train there twice a week and occasionally train at another club strictly for SCH. If you take a look at KK’s web site you will see that although he does SCH well, he is primarily a K9 training facility. (He is also the Trainer for Alameda Co. SCH Club.) KK has dogs all over the US and internationally as well. We are doing small step training making sure that Chunk has a very solid foundation for SCH and eventually PP. During Chunk’s training he does gun/noise, night/day container- small building training, and various bite work exercises. Greg (TD) has built him into a confident and at times fearless dog. This is not to say that we haven’t had to regroup and start over with the basics again to get it into his head but we always seem make progress. Make no mistake though, I know that he is a "Green" dog.

The female GSD that will be accompanying us is my “mistake” SCH dog. She is bred for K9 work and has that personality. Around the house she is the suspicious one who is reticent to accept strangers until I do. I am hoping that she will agitate Chunk with barking and the two of them (with some commands for them) will be intimidating enough to stop any aggressive actions. Although I live in a rural ag. community, I have lived in fairly high crime areas in the Bay Area (San Jose) and have dealt with intruders in the past. (Definitely not making me an expert or officer.) As a young college student I was a security guard for a department store chain’s warehouse. We had jewelry, furs and expensive clothes and on usually the most inconvenient nights I would get called to open up the facility and walk thru it with the local PD.
As for the person who is in the building late at night or early in the morning without our foreknowledge, I understand. There won’t be a fear release, intimidation bark or any type of aggressive behavior on our part if we come upon an intruder. Calm is the best approach as any law enforcement official will tell you. This belief got me thru a PCP infused intruder in my house unharmed… (My first shepherd had some motivational influence on his behavior but every one survived the intrusion unharmed.) I will release the dog (s) as a last ditch effort only, for mine or my pastor’s safety. At no time will a passive intruder or homeless person be attacked just because he is in the building. I currently work for a local homeless mission in a very high crime area. Common sense, wisdom and some help from Above will prevail. The homeless will be taken to shelter if the offer is accepted. The working dog to me is similar to a gun, you can never get the bullet back so be really sure that you are in mortal or close to mortal danger if it goes off. I understand the warning issues and we will announce their presence when we are searching each room.. That includes our yelling “Stop Hitting My Dog, hold still” should a bite take place. He does out well but I haven’t experienced a live bite where his fight drive is totally in control yet.
Lastly to address the dog’s personality, they are both socialized around children, adults and other dogs. When we train in the church with people there his reward for searching or tracking is to be able to chase the ball thrown by kids. I would never bring him in to a situation if he had just done a bite or aggression work to be around any one at the church. I am 99% sure that he would play too rough with some of the younger kids but biting is not one of my fears. He comes into my office with me occasionally on Fridays, is not fearful around the homeless, has a mellow personality around people as a secret lap dog and has been taken to all sorts of places to meet people. He is a very happy, well balanced dog that is safe around people until the switch is turned on.
Jim- I want to especially thank you for the time and reality check for me in your post. I will draw on your experience and training when talking with my TD. BTW, your comments aren’t perceived as being harsh, I am grateful for your input….
Thanks again to all………………….. Phil
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