The sport world can learn a lot from the K-9 world - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
mycobraracr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,847
The sport world can learn a lot from the K-9 world

All too often we talk about the handling ability of working k9 handlers, or their holes/lack in training. The truth is, things can equally be said going the opposite way. I thought about this recently. I'm hosting a "sport" trial at a local park. I have been amazed at the number of competitors who have told me that they have been taking their dogs to that park to train since they entered. A trial is a test. You eliminate one of the factors by working your dog in a known environment every time.

When I worked Police/Military trials, it was at a closed location that the dogs had never been, or been very often, and all the scenarios where a secret until that phase started, even from the decoys. So the handlers truly had no idea what to train for or what to expect. The handler/dog teams had to truly be trained and ready for any situation. Just like being out on the street. I found this to be a true test of both handing ability as well as the dog. Yes, even some working K9's got ran. I was surprised to hear people still speak negatively about handlers or dogs. This was something that sport competitors never seem to allow themselves to be exposed to. It wasn't a choreographed dance just waiting to be executed. This was a test.

I'm starting to find it difficult to say what a "breed suitability" test is when every dog out there is being trained to the test. The trends we see might be different if dogs were truly tested. Maybe the 95 pound, big boned, black sable wouldn't be what everyone wants if they have to pick it up and throw it over a fence or wall because the dog can't jump it itself. Or those "strong nerve" dogs that have never seen anything new.

Sorry guys, rant over.
mycobraracr is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 09:40 PM
Knighted Member
 
Jack's Dad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: California
Posts: 2,354
Quote:
Originally Posted by mycobraracr View Post
All too often we talk about the handling ability of working k9 handlers, or their holes/lack in training. The truth is, things can equally be said going the opposite way. I thought about this recently. I'm hosting a "sport" trial at a local park. I have been amazed at the number of competitors who have told me that they have been taking their dogs to that park to train since they entered. A trial is a test. You eliminate one of the factors by working your dog in a known environment every time.

When I worked Police/Military trials, it was at a closed location that the dogs had never been, or been very often, and all the scenarios where a secret until that phase started, even from the decoys. So the handlers truly had no idea what to train for or what to expect. The handler/dog teams had to truly be trained and ready for any situation. Just like being out on the street. I found this to be a true test of both handing ability as well as the dog. Yes, even some working K9's got ran. I was surprised to hear people still speak negatively about handlers or dogs. This was something that sport competitors never seem to allow themselves to be exposed to. It wasn't a choreographed dance just waiting to be executed. This was a test.

I'm starting to find it difficult to say what a "breed suitability" test is when every dog out there is being trained to the test. The trends we see might be different if dogs were truly tested. Maybe the 95 pound, big boned, black sable wouldn't be what everyone wants if they have to pick it up and throw it over a fence or wall because the dog can't jump it itself. Or those "strong nerve" dogs that have never seen anything new.

Sorry guys, rant over.
Yes, yes, yes.
Jack's Dad is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 09:58 PM
Elite Member
 
Pax8's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: TX
Posts: 1,428
Completely agree. Which is why in my study of PSA and other bite sports, I am always talking to my local K9 officers to get their take on certain exercises or training methods. They give a lot of really great information for conditioning and training behavior and responses that won't be exclusive to a competition ring.
Pax8 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
mycobraracr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,847
It's the mindset of the people/training that really gets to me. Since we use sports as our breed standard and suitability test, then maybe they should be a test. Something that exposes potential weakness. After all, every dog has a weakness, it's just a matter of finding out what it is.

Pax- I do think PSA has a lot to offer in this area. There is a surprise scenario, minimum of thee decoys so chances are good you're on a different one, retrieval of any random object the judge chooses, and so on.
mycobraracr is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 10:12 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,130
The sport world can learn a lot from the K-9 world

You have to take into account that most people do this for themselves. A dog doesn't understand the title. So the more random you throw in, the more you lose objectivity. The more you make the test unfair when you're trying to compare dog to dog. This also leads to "unfair" trials. Even if you take IPO and you put a helper in various blinds during the search. It won't be fair for one dog to run 6, the next one to run 4, the next one to run 3, ect. You're making some dogs do way more than others and the majority of our sports (even human) try to level the playing field as much as possible.

I think you need to take each dog/handler on a case by case basis. Like in your situation, some handlers will go out and train at the field, while others won't. There are people that want every point possible, and there are those that do want to test their dog and see what it has in it and how well it has been trained.

It's also not fair to compare the majority of sport handlers with K9 handlers. Our day jobs don't involve training our dogs, so there isn't as much time to spend on getting a dog ready for every conceivable situation. It makes sense to focus on just one. The majority of people I've seen that do 3 different venues, do each one on a mediocre level, they don't shine at any single one, but they do alright at all 3 of them. They'll never wow you with a performance, but it's because their time and energy is spread out over a lot of things rather than focusing on just one.
martemchik is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 10:19 AM
pam
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 100
You are an astute young man with a passion for what you do--that can be infectious, especially when combined with leadership capabilities. Competition titles are a world unto themselves now that training methods allow good handlers to refine pattern behavior to the ultimate degree. Perhaps an enthusiastic decoy who started to play with "real" scenarios with one or two other like-minded individuals at training sessions "just for fun" would capture the imagination of a few others.....Change within an organization is extremely difficult to achieve, especially when it might cost those with a vested interest a chance at a trophy--the reality is that many are there to win a sport--not to test/showcase their dog as breed worthy. It is the younger members with positions of influence (especially decoys), such as yourself, who can affect change, but it will come slowly. I love your passion and enthusiasm--now it is a matter of not allowing the frustration of the current system to dampen it. Perhaps seeing a few good, versatile dogs perform well within a club (and also observing how much their decoy loves working them) will cause others to want that type of dog, too. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing sometimes I applaud your efforts to work from within--you are a vital part of the future of the system!

~Pam~
Kairo v Wolfstraum, BH, TR 1, Rocket v Wolfstraum, ATB Halcyon v Wolfstraum
pam is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
Crowned Member
 
mycobraracr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by pam View Post
You are an astute young man with a passion for what you do--that can be infectious, especially when combined with leadership capabilities. Competition titles are a world unto themselves now that training methods allow good handlers to refine pattern behavior to the ultimate degree. Perhaps an enthusiastic decoy who started to play with "real" scenarios with one or two other like-minded individuals at training sessions "just for fun" would capture the imagination of a few others.....Change within an organization is extremely difficult to achieve, especially when it might cost those with a vested interest a chance at a trophy--the reality is that many are there to win a sport--not to test/showcase their dog as breed worthy. It is the younger members with positions of influence (especially decoys), such as yourself, who can affect change, but it will come slowly. I love your passion and enthusiasm--now it is a matter of not allowing the frustration of the current system to dampen it. Perhaps seeing a few good, versatile dogs perform well within a club (and also observing how much their decoy loves working them) will cause others to want that type of dog, too. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing sometimes I applaud your efforts to work from within--you are a vital part of the future of the system!

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
You have to take into account that most people do this for themselves. A dog doesn't understand the title. So the more random you throw in, the more you lose objectivity. The more you make the test unfair when you're trying to compare dog to dog. This also leads to "unfair" trials. Even if you take IPO and you put a helper in various blinds during the search. It won't be fair for one dog to run 6, the next one to run 4, the next one to run 3, ect. You're making some dogs do way more than others and the majority of our sports (even human) try to level the playing field as much as possible.

I think you need to take each dog/handler on a case by case basis. Like in your situation, some handlers will go out and train at the field, while others won't. There are people that want every point possible, and there are those that do want to test their dog and see what it has in it and how well it has been trained.

It's also not fair to compare the majority of sport handlers with K9 handlers. Our day jobs don't involve training our dogs, so there isn't as much time to spend on getting a dog ready for every conceivable situation. It makes sense to focus on just one. The majority of people I've seen that do 3 different venues, do each one on a mediocre level, they don't shine at any single one, but they do alright at all 3 of them. They'll never wow you with a performance, but it's because their time and energy is spread out over a lot of things rather than focusing on just one.
Max, this isn't directly related to your post.
I understand the majority of people play in sport to win a trophy. Since this is the mentality, then why do we still put so much weight in sport titles? I travel around and train with lots of groups. I see what is really going on in training. Everyone is counting points. Not training, but rather trying to find short cuts that can get them the most points. Or training a pattern every day for the dog life. How does this help the breed? How does this show us who is a breed worthy dog or not? This is not just a trend with GSD's. I'm seeing a similar trend with other working breeds that have a big sport following as well. Everybody wants the stud who scored that perfect score.

I've actually thought about hosting a fun competition this fall. Invite everybody from everywhere. All the different sports, law enforcement and so on. Have everything as a surprise, including obedience. Include scenarios that each sport specific person should excel at. Unfortunately, I feel that it wouldn't have a good outcome. Many people won't enter in fear of a poor showing. Those that enter would get feelings hurt. I do think that it would give an idea of what dogs truly have an understanding of whats being asked though.
mycobraracr is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:10 PM
Crowned Member
 
Baillif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,920
Baillif is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 04:54 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,130
I don’t know if “everybody wants the highest scoring stud.” The people I train with, the breeders I’ve been around, don’t invest that much in points. I know it happens, but it really doesn’t affect me. I’m not buying from those people anyways. People want to see highish scores, but they don’t have to be the top 5 national scoring dogs or the WUSV team members. Sure, proportionately those dogs get more studs than others, but at the end, it’s still not as much as many of us think.

The training…well that just depends on the club you go to. In my group, we do things that the dog needs which are based on what it will see on the Schutzhund field, but they are extremely far from what actually happens on the trialing field. My bitch for instance, hasn’t barked in a blind for about a month now. But she’s barked in dark corners, around other people, with the helper in a chair, helper on a couch, helper on a bowflex, ect. Many times from what I’ve seen…this also takes a very competent and willing helper, which from what I’ve seen isn’t very easy to find.

Don’t get me wrong, I love these discussions, but I always want an actual solution and not just a bitch session about the current system. Like you said about your idea, the randomness, it will keep away anyone that’s pretty serious and more than likely making some sort of money off of their dogs. I know that in my area, there is no way the police department would allow one of their dogs in such an event…the ramifications of the public seeing their dog possibly “fail” at something would be huge when each dog has at least $15,000 in public funds invested in it. It’s something that sounds super fun, and something that someone like me would definitely try, but sorry not spending hundreds to get out to California for a fun-match. I think for people in our position, who are just starting in the sport, these types of ideas are fun and fresh, but if we were further along in our dog careers, with more to lose, the thought process to go into one of these things would for sure be different.

To me, the biggest issue isn’t helping people that “know” figure out a good dog from a bad one. Most of us who have seriously done this sport for a year or two with proper guidance can easily pick a good dog from a bad one just by watching a single training session. But the biggest issue is how to help those that don’t know much figure out which dogs are good and which dogs have had the best marketing.
martemchik is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 05:26 PM
Crowned Member
 
onyx'girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW, MI
Posts: 27,287
Boils down to IPO is obedience based patterned trained trials.
It shows the dog but not the total dog.
Points in trials is just a picture of that day, not really telling of what the dog is about. I see K9 handlers that I would not want helping me or working my dog.
I enjoy doing SDA and IPO, I have done protection challenges with my dog(PSA type scenarios) It wasn't really fair to my dog to put him in a challenge that he'd never, ever trained for certain exercises. I decided I wouldn't put him in the advanced level because we don't train for what the challenge required. I'm sure he'd be fine and do well, but would it be fair to him?
He does enjoy the 'surprise' type exercises, gets bored with the same ol' same ol' of IPO.
Quote:
Most of us who have seriously done this sport for a year or two with proper guidance can easily pick a good dog from a bad one just by watching a single training session.
I don't agree, because if the dog is going thru something during that training session(working out a problem that the observer has no idea) you may see or interpret something that is really not who that dog is.
I've seen this more than once during training where visitors are present and they question the dogs reaction or whatever. If they had been at the previous training sessions and knew the reason for what was being worked on presently, they'd be able to understand the dog more.
Of course it is fairly easy to see a nerve-bag, but one view of a training session shouldn't make a judgement on the dogs character.

Jane~
Kept by
Gambit zu Treuen Handen

Guinness auf der Marquis...Karlo son!

Always in my heart
Karlo aka Gideon vom Wildhaus
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
3.02.09~12.03.18
Kacie
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
7.21.05-5.01.15
Onyx
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
11.08.06-9.28.18
onyx'girl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome