Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

A few weeks ago I took Dexter 15 months out with a few people who do shutz, to see what it was all about, and if it might be something Dexter would like. Its not a club, just a click of a few people, some working towards BH and the two main guys have shutz titles, on their Shepherds. I know its prob not the best place to train, if we were serious about titles and stuff, but a good place to maybe get a start, and get an idea of what its all about.

Well we had a BLAST!! I love how people who know nothing about this sport are all warning you of how mean they are to the dogs. I loved how everyone was using toys and treats and prongs, verbal motivation very fair and fun to the dogs. Obiendence went okay we got some work if we do plan on doing this sport. We also go to do Agitation training, and WOW. Dexter loved it he went wildly into Prey drive and thought it was awesome, the trainers really were impressed with him one was even jelious of how good he would be for the protection part, and this was only our first time. I had a feeling this dog would be good for this sport but I thought i knew dogs well until i got him then realized i know NOTHING about working lines, but im learning now.

So we really had a great time, Dexter seemed to Love it, I enjoyed it too he was having fun, but were not sure this is the right sport for us.
The other shutz guys don't allow their dogs to play with other dogs EVER they call them "working dogs" I am not okay with this Dexter is my kid, its important we do whats fun for him and playing with other dogs is a big part of his life, and I will not take that away from him. I also enjoy teaching him stupid pet tricks, and other nonsense thats just fun for us. Ive read many other post where many of you have a working dog that also is a great family dog, so I know there is a way to balance it all somehow. If my dog is biting completely out of prey and not defense I don't see how that would affect playing with other dogs, we had some doggie play time shortly after we trained and he played normal like he always dose. So Im just not sure if this is the right thing for us, or maybe not the right time we are also working out some barrier frustration issues (coming along great). I don't care that much about titles it would be nice but Its most important to me that i have a Happy dog, and do what right for him by giving him a job keeping his brain and body active, Also to keep him safe and that he have Decent manners when out in public.

So I was wondering if your shutz dog is allowed to play with other dogs? or why they aren't allowed to
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 02:36 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

At the club I go to, NO. The dogs are put up while we train and only out 1 at a time, unless we are doing obedience, then they are out together, but no interaction and we keep them spaced apart.
If you want your dog to focus on the exercise, they should have no distractions or be tired out(mentally/physically).
At home, my pup does interact with my other dogs, there are differing opinions on this for SchH dogs. I am also socializing my pup as much as possible with anything/everything safe.
What you do with your own dog, depends on YOUR goals. Everyone has different goals so do what you think is best.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 02:46 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

Our SchH dogs play with other dogs, yes. However, only dogs we know very well so we can be assured the dogs they play with are healthy, and are also good with other dogs. So their doggy play is restricted to playing amongst themselves (and with 6 dogs there's plenty of that) and to the dogs of friends and family members. We do not allow our dogs to play and socialize with strange dogs. This would be the rule whether we did SchH or not as I feel a bunch of strange dogs playing together is unwise and dangerous, not to mention completely unnecessary in most cases.

We also do not let our dogs socialize with other dogs, not even our own dogs or dogs they normally do play with, at training and trials. To do so would be very counterproductive. Dogs must be able to differentiate between play/social time and work time and if we allowed our dogs to mix dog play with training/work that would countermand that. This is true not only of SchH, but of any competitive venue. All sorts of problems can arise if a dog shows up at training or a trial thinking it's social hour and being fixated on the other dogs there as potential play mates. So it's important to balance things and set the dog up to succeed by removing any mixed signals or confusion of expectations and making sure the dog knows the difference between when it's ok to play with other dogs and when it's not.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 03:03 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

I have two dogs that are training in schutzhund and they rarely play with other dogs and like Chris said about her dogs, it is restricted to dogs we own or know well...

So no, I guess I don't really let my dogs play with other dogs often, but really, I play with my dog, and he likes playing with me more than he likes playing with other dogs because of it, and I am fine with that. My dog is a "working dog" or puppy rather, but that doesn't mean he has no fun, because that is very much not the case. He has tons of fun, everyday and all the time, it is just not with other dogs.



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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 03:39 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

Basically what Chris said!! My dogs do socialize with each other and every once in a while will meet dogs I know well on MY terms - which basically means they should just ignore each other, lol.
My girls are dominant with other dogs - not aggressive but they won't tolerate any posturing etc so it's best just to avoid that.

Also schutzhund dogs ARE usually more dominant, it's just in their nature, so they may try to bully other dogs. And a more submissive dog will be dominated by other dogs and from what I've seen will not be as "up" in the work.
I am sure others will disagree, but at our Schh club several new people have come with dogs that were used to being pushed around by other dogs. They were told to stop those interactions and before too long the dogs perked right up. One person even started "cheating" and you could see the attitude change again.

You may also see a change in Dexter as he gets a little older. A lot of GSD's are very puppylike and playful until they grow up mentally and then they start taking their interactions more seriously.

Although I don't agree with it, I wouldn't decide against schutzhund just because people don't allow their dogs to play with others, especially if you're not serious about titling your dog. As long as you keep your dogs at a respectable distance from other club members' dogs, I don't know if they should be able to dictate what you do at home.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 05:33 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

I have two intact male GSD's (8 1/2yrs and 19 months), one spayed female GSD(21 months), one nuetured Boston terrier male (8yrs)and they all run together.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:15 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

Home and training are two different things. At home, my dogs have a LOT of freedom, even compared to many "pet" dogs that will never do SchH. First and foremost, my dogs are my companions. I am not against kennels and dog runs - heck I would build some if I owned the property! - but I am against kenneling a dog simply because he is supposed to be a SchH dog, or allowing very limited play/interaction b/c of SchH. The way I see it, the dog either has what it takes or he doesn't. I don't want to kennel my dog, only let him have toys when I am there, and only let him play with other dogs for a few minutes a day just for SchH. My dogs interact nonstop. SchH or not I don't allow one dog to constantly bully or one dog to constantly be bullied. I have toys strewn about my home and yard. However there are certain toys that belong explicitly to *me* and are used in the context of SchH (namely tugs and special balls).

Now for training, it is one dog at a time. At home I will take one dog somewhere to train, or make sure the other dogs are out of the way. At club we train one at a time, except in ob sometimes we are intentionally training to work near other dogs. Protection is *always* one at a time with the exception of the baby puppies.

I teach my dogs tricks too. I was embarrassed by this once, when Nikon was younger we went to a different club for a workshop and when it was my turn to show what Nikon could do, I told him to "platz" and then looked at the trainer to see what he wanted next and Nikon decided to show off his roll over.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 09:39 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

My dogs play within their own pack plus a few specific dogs that I know well. Vala still loves her brother and they play a little on leash and she also will play with her son Varick. Nike will play with her grandson, but hates being body slammed so that play is limited. I do allow my puppies to play a bit with other puppies and visit with specific older dogs.

Playing and socializing with dogs outside of their pack is not natural to dogs. Some dogs tolerate it well. Others do not.

At training we are there to work and not play. As others have said, to allow playing would be counter productive.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2009, 10:01 PM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

Diabla doesn't play often with other dogs, she doesn't like it that much and even when she may play with some dogs she thinks are nice, in general she ignores most of them. And I know it is because of how I raised her. When she was a small pup she met dozen of dogs (I work with dogs) and we participated in this Show GSD Club but I never let Diabla to play freely more than a copuple of times. She sees a dog and do not think "fun", she see me as the origin of all fun and that is how I like it. It was very frustrating with my Border Collie that tought everything was more fun than me.

I don't think she even misses play opportunities, she just carries the aloofness of the breed not only to people, but to dogs too. I do not feel I'm privating her of anything.

If I were you, I'd keep letting my pup playing with other dogs, after all is a fun thing to see even for us, but I'd limit those play sesion anywere but the training field.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-26-2009, 12:21 AM
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Re: Dose your Schutz dog play with other dogs???

Agreed that at VPG (Schutzhund) practice, we do not play with dogs outside our pack. (The club I go to now has a fenced in area where the dogs go potty and run a bit before practice)

But as I also conduct dog training group classes yes my dogs do play with dogs from my classes. These are usually smaller groups of 5 to 6 including my own.

I use my dogs to teach my students also how to read dog body language when playing to know when they should step in and when play is just play. So yes you can balance it all if you really wanted to.

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