Schutzhund and family life - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Schutzhund and family life

I am sorry if this has been covered, but here it is.

I am a very proud owner of a German Shepherd puppie, I have had many different mixed breeds, adn loved them all. My wife has had Shepherds, and bought me one. But she told me that I would need to go to training.

This kind of hurt, my last dog was born blind, and I had taught him his left from his right, he knew when he was going to come to stairs, and when there was something in front of him..all by command.. Oh well.

Well, I thought if I am going to learn dog training, I wanted to learn all of it.

My wife is concerend with Schutzhund. SHe is afraid of the bite work. My best explanation I could come up with is a dog that is taught to bite when I say bite, is better then a dog who bites when he feels like bitting. ( to me, this says, and well trained dog is less likely to feel that he has to bite ).

My wifes then comes back with.. what if your son decides to show off, and sends the dog??

My imediate answer was "we dont teach him the command" This didnt fair so well with her.

So... At this moment she is right, but is there anything that can be added?

Pat

Hemrick "Hunter" Vom Loganberg (3/6/10)
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:00 PM
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No your wife is right...thats always the correct answer-even if it might be wrong i
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:04 PM
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I say train the dog in schutzhund and train the kid to not mess around.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:08 PM
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To me, the bitework aspect of SchH is completely different than all other types of training I do with my dog. For example, I can say "sit" anywhere, in any context, or even have someone else command the dog, and he will sit down. But bitework is not just training a dog to strike on command. There has to be some aspect of a threat present for a dog to learn to react bringing courage and power. Bitework also involves a TON of control/secondary obedience. Often this is how the points really add up in this phase, the obedience aspect of it. Not to mention that Schutzhund is THREE phases and all three are equally weighted. You will be doing so much work in obedience and control. You will learn how to motivate your dog and develop a strong bond. These two things will carry over to normal life in a hugely positive way.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:12 PM
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What is all of that? I know its training but my goodness that dog of yours is a working machine? What does it all mean if I may ask?

Lauren

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
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No your wife is right...thats always the correct answer-even if it might be wrong i
haha, yup "yes dear" lol
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:21 PM
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LaRen, we haven't done a trial since May 2009 but I can PM you.
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:23 PM
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You can bring up the point that... in Schutzhund, it is a sport.. more like a game to the dog. Many Schutzhund dogs, even Sch III, are great family dogs. Number one, you need to have control of your son, and then you won't have to worry about it. Then, you have to explain that the dog is working FOR the sleeve. There are many Schutzhund dogs that won't just BITE someone, unless they have the sleeve on. it is never hidden, it is always prodominate and known.

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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:31 PM
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The reality is that dogs are very situation oriented. Eveeryone likes to think that their SchH dog will haul off and bite on command but that simply isn't the case. The majority of dogs with sport training are not going to go for a bite unless a man with a sleeve is present. Many dogs also have to be taught that biting situations can occur off the field as well. A stable dog with correct temperament also usually needs to perceive an actual threat. I know that in a social sitaution I could yell the bite command and my dogs would look around and then look back at me like I was crazy because there was no man with equipment and no threat.

Additionally in SchH, it is generally advisable to only have 1 handler. That means the dog learns the commands from only one person, in only one situation. We all know dogs perform commands better for their "person" than they do for others so it's very likely that even if your son did try to issue a command the dog would blow him off. I would probably advise a set of "family" commands in English and a set of "competition" commands in German.

All of my dogs are also my pets. They are wonderful well trained companions, social, and stable, and easily taken into public without concern of them mauling anyone. Although be advised. While a SchH dog can be an awesome pet, SchH puppies can be difficult to deal with. You do not generally raise them in the same way you would a typical pet puppy. Generally they have less "manners" training. You don't teach a lot of bite inhibition because they have to be comfortable using their mouths, so you just sort of deal and redirect to a toy. They have to be comfortable and confident making body contact and pushing people around, so you can encourage and reinforce sitting and appropriate behavior but if they jump on you you can't go crazy and yell at them. So if you decide to go that route everyone needs to be on board.

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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 02:34 PM
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You can bring up the point that... in Schutzhund, it is a sport.. more like a game to the dog. Many Schutzhund dogs, even Sch III, are great family dogs. Number one, you need to have control of your son, and then you won't have to worry about it. Then, you have to explain that the dog is working FOR the sleeve. There are many Schutzhund dogs that won't just BITE someone, unless they have the sleeve on. it is never hidden, it is always prodominate and known.
I don't like using this excuse though because it isn't always (and shouldn't be) true. Bitework is not a "sport" to my dog (agility, fetch, dock diving...those are sports to him) and he couldn't care less about a sleeve. The sleeve is not what makes the bitework be bitework. My dog bites because his foundation has taught him that biting the sleeve and bringing courage and fight is what diffuses the threat. He does not bark at a sleeve or carry it back to the helper for tug.
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