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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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How did you decide...

To get into agility or schutzhund or any other kind of special training with your dog? I have been considering getting my pup into a special kind of training, as I feel that she is showing great skills already but I didn't really expect her to be so driven like she is. I really would like to get her into some sort of training like schutzhund but have not idea if she is really right for it.

So I was wondering how you guys out there decided to do something like this? I know several of you got your pups with a certain training in mind for them and that is how you chose them.

But I was curious as to how you can tell what your training abilities/style your pup would be good for and how you got started? Sorry if this seems like such a newbie question, but I really don't know anything of how to initiate something like this. When I got my pup I wasn't looking for a high working dog, but she is showing so many signs that she has it in her and I would really like to expand upon it, I think she would really love it.

Thanks for all your input!

-michelle-
Riddick-4yr GSD
Rogue-1yr GSD
Bishop-10yr Cat
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:10 AM
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Re: How did you decide...

When I brought Molly home I knew I wanted to get her into some obedience classes because I wanted a well behaved GSD and never had any plans for any type of dog sports or competitions. Then when I saw how much fun Molly had in her classes, I decided to try different things with her to see what she enjoyed. We started some agility classes and she was so good at it and really enjoyed it so I persued it and now we compete in the sport and she is doing really well. I was all about trying new things and seeing what the dog enjoyed doing the most and what she excelled at and then took it from there. So if you are interested in SchH, I would take her to get evaluated at a local SchH club and see how she does. If you are interested in agility or herding, try and find clubs that offer those types of class and see how she does.

Nicky~ Mom to Molly, CD, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC, TC, TDI~ 6 year old GSD
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:16 AM
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Re: How did you decide...

For Kenya it was a stipulation of her adoption. She is from working lines and needs a lot of mental stimulation. Her previous owner trained her in agility, so we do that. The club I joined to continue with obedience talked me into rally, so we do that as well. We did the CGC a few times and took a pet therapy class mainly to get more socialization and proof her obedience. She passed the pet therapy class and also passed the TDI test. We did a herding test for fun but haven't taken lessons yet.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:26 AM
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Re: How did you decide...

It was suggested to me by DianaM of this forum that I might want to consider Schutzhund because of my puppy's lines and it has proven to be a great fit. I had some misconceptions about it at first but the more I learned the more I realized that the right training put on a dog with the right temperment would make a happier, well adjusted dog. I got my girl knowing nothing about working lines, but her mind needs this challenge and she is doing very well at it. Plus I enjoy the club atmosphere.
Thanks, Diana!

Lisa
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How did you decide...

Thanks guys for you input, how old were your dogs when you got started?

-michelle-
Riddick-4yr GSD
Rogue-1yr GSD
Bishop-10yr Cat
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 11:47 AM
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Re: How did you decide...

With Kayla, I was like Nicky. Just wanted an obedient dog andone that could go on off leash hikes. I was invited to a Rally match be a friend and decided to get involved in that. We just progressed to obedience and now agility. Kayla was fours months when we started basic training and about eight months when we started training for Rally. We entered our first Rally match when she was 15 months.

The second time around with Lancer, I had all those things in mind when researching and looking for a second dog. And we started training when he got home. Started our first class (puppy foundation and basic obedience) when he was 11 weeks and a puppy foundation in agility at 17 weeks. Wasn't planning on the second but the opportunity presented itself so we jumped on it.

You may want to try to attend a few fun matches or practices in the the different venues to see what may interest you.
For schutzhund (if it interests you), folks may be willing to do some work to evaluate your dog. There are enough directions to go that if one area doesn't interest you or, more importantly, your dog, there are other things to try.

Get out there and have fun!

Samuel

Lancer 05/01/08
Tory 09/19/14

Kayla (RIP) 02/12/05-09/22/14
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 12:01 PM
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Re: How did you decide...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: vectorSketcherThanks guys for you input, how old were your dogs when you got started?
I started basic obedience classes with Molly when she was 6 months old. Then we took a CGC class at a local German Shepherd club and I was hooked after that. She got her CGC a little after she turned 1 and I've been addicted to training ever since. We have been training in agility for around 2 and a half years and Molly just turned 4 at the beginning of this month.

Have fun deciding what you want to do with your pup. There is so much out there to try

Nicky~ Mom to Molly, CD, RN, NA, NAJ, CGC, TC, TDI~ 6 year old GSD
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 12:40 PM
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Re: How did you decide...

I've found that the neat thing about GSDs is that they don't really care WHAT they are doing, so much as that they are doing something. When a dog "needs a job", what that really means is the dog needs exercise, mental stimulation, and quality one on one time working with the handler. The dog doesn't care if he gets those things via agility, tracking, obedience, schutzhund, stupid pet tricks, or whatever else. He just cares that his inborn needs are met. If they are, he'll be happy.

So that really means that it's up to the owners to decide what interests them. The dog will happily go along with whatever the owner decides.

So in that vein, I'd suggest Googling to see what different dog sports tehre are and what training facilities and clubs you have in the area, and start looking into whatever sounds like it would be fun. Get out and watch training and trials and talk to people to get a better feel of what it is like. Each dog sport has it's own subculture, and most training groups within each sport have their own personalities as well. And since you'll be spending a lot of time with your training group, you want to make sure it's people you will get along with and enjoy being around. You want to pick an activity that not only is enjoyable in it's own right, but that you'll have access to in your area, will accomodate your schedule and how much time you have to devote to it (some, like SchH, are far more time consuming than others). Figure out what will work best with our own personality and lifestyle, and your pup will be glad to go along with whatever you decide.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 12:49 PM
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Re: How did you decide...

Quote:
Originally Posted By: vectorSketcherThanks guys for you input, how old were your dogs when you got started?
Oops I forgot to say, I got Kenya when she was 3.5 years old. She is my very first dog. I'd never done ANY real training before, but we got 8 titles/certificates her first year! I agree with Chris, we just kind did what our friends suggested and that's why we've done so much. I'm game for pretty much anything.

We got Coke when he was 1.5. He has done intermediate obedience, got his CGC, and did basic agility. He doesn't need or care for a lot of mental stimulation. He likes to play. A lot.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2008, 01:04 PM
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Re: How did you decide...

I like to let the DOG decide what we do. I'll take several different classes with the dog to see what really tickles their fancy.

Riggs tried obedience, agility and tracking but he LOVES herding. My Cocker Spaniel started tracking when he was about 4 but then tried lure coursing when he was about 6 and that was it for him.

My Chicnese Crested girl is 1.5 yrs old and has done some obedience. She loves lure coursing but I've noticed that she also seems to have quite the nose so we'll try tracking this fall. And she is very agile so I'm working on building some agility equipment for us to use at home.
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