Where do your Schutzhund dogs live? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

I went to the club last night and did some work with Kaid, and I was very pleased with my little guy. I was able to see some VERY nice dogs that belonged to a National Competitor, I was in AWWW of these dogs.When I talked to their handlers about how they got the drive that these dog presented..they began to talk about people that have dogs that go to work with them that 's their "buddy" and that live with them in the house. They keep the dogs they have kenneled and the only thing those dogs do is Schutzhund training.

Kaid does live in my house and I want him to be my companion and partner with schutzhund as the job that I have chosen for us to have. My goal is to be able to title Kaid.

Am I wrong to think that Kaid can be a working dog and my companion/partner? If I want him to well in Schutzhund do I need to change the way I am doing things?

I want more for Kaid than what those dogs have, yes they are happy and they live to do Schutzhund, But I so not know that I fully agree.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

Many SchH dogs, including national level dogs can and do live indoors with their handlers.

TAMMY
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

Some people have kennel dogs and some people don't. It all depends on your set up and whether you want a house dog or not. Many of the national people have a lot of dogs and have no choice but to have kennel dogs. One of the national level people that trains with us has a house dog that sleeps on his bed every night.

I personally want my dog with me as I like having him around and would hate to have to leave him in a kennel all the time. What a waste.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:21 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

People that place WINNING above everything else - those are the types of people that make their dogs live ONLY for training and trialing.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:25 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

One vote here for house dogs.. mine are all members of my family first. IMO, if they have the drive for the work, it doesn't matter if they live in the house or not.

~Lynn~
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:27 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

One thing I would like to add though is that I don't put a lot of "manners" on my dogs in the house. I live alone so it makes a big difference than those handlers that have family, etc.

~Lynn~
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:39 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

My Schutzhund dog, errr uhm pup lives in the house with me and my family!

~Alison

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 01:49 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

In the house, but not because I'm uber-pro-house dog kind of person, just because I rent so I cannot build really nice runs here, it would not be allowed and I would not spend all the effort on something I'd have to leave behind. If I had my own property and space and security, I'd consider some really secure kennels/runs for when I'm at work. At night I always like the dogs "in", whether that's at home or when we are traveling. During the day they can be in the dog van or outside if we are visiting someone with a fenced yard but at night they sleep in our room at home or inside in crates if travelling. I do like them inside, my dogs are my pets and companions as much as they are SchH (Nikon) or performance dogs (Kenya). Like Lynn says, we don't have kids and don't usually have company at our home, so having perfect manners and being super calm and clean is not really a requirement in my home.

I won't have anyone tell me that I cannot do this or that based on where I choose to house my dog. I think it's all personal preference and what each person has the space and money to do. If I had to kennel my dog to squeeze every last ounce of drive out of him, then I'd probably be getting a different dog for SchH.

As it is, my SchH dog lives indoors and even has a house and yard full of toys, some even the same toys that we use in SchH for obedience. Yet he has pretty crazy ball drive, no less than any of the other dogs in our club. It's all contextual and for us, he knows that it's about the relationship, he knows that I throw the ball or I make the ball come alive, so he can carry the same toys around all day and still start whining and shaking with excitement the second I pick it up.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

This argument is as old as the hills.

Many people will say competition dogs must be kennel dogs, not house/family dogs in order to build drive and desire to work, prevent "house manners" from interfering with training, etc.. And that if the dog has manners instilled, or gets free time with the handler playing and interacting without having to work for it, it will harm the work.

I have found this to be most common amongst serious competitors, as well as the "old school" type people. There are some few cases where it may be advisable to do so. The rare dog who's great at sport/work but doesn't make a good companion. Or a household where only the handler is interested in dogs or SchH, and other members of the family are not or would not work with the handler in balancing work/home life and would create serious problems.

But in my experience, most people who advocate this sort of lifestyle are carrying over myths that have been perpetuated for decades and they themselves have never tried any other way.

While there may be some truth to it, my personal feelings are:
My dogs are first my friends and companions. SchH comes second. I got into this because I love dogs, love having dogs and living with dogs and working with dogs. They aren't sporting equipment.
If a dog must be deprived of attention in order to want to work, either it doesn't have the correct temperament or the trainer/handler is incompetent. Either pick a new dog or a new sport.
I have found that the bond and relationship developed through living with my dogs as companions pays dividends in training and is not a handicap.

So to answer the question, our dogs live in the house. They are allowed on the bed and furniture, spend a lot of time just hanging out and being dogs, get lots of "free" play with us and the other dogs, go for walks, swim in the pond, take trips to the pet store, go to work with me on occasion, and all the regular pet things.


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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-18-2009, 02:34 PM
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Re: Where do your Schutzhund dogs live?

You also want to define "in the house". Some people will be adament that their dogs are house dogs, but you need to ask if the dogs are loose in the house during the time that the owners are gone and if dogs are rotated.

People will multiple dogs that can not co-exist free in the house can end up crating for 18 plus hours per day. To me, that is not acceptable and not "house dogs".

We do have kennels; big barn building, covered and protected. Large kennels, NPR playing in the background. Dogs are part of the family, in and out of the house. We do not have "turn out area" used to exercise dogs. We spend individual time with each dog, separate from training. We have 3 very dominate males and one major alpha female. So, it is fun, but work.


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