How does your Shutzhund club train? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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How does your Shutzhund club train?

I have an appointment at my local club next Sunday to check things out and see if it would be ďmy thingĒ. In me telling people this, people are telling me it wonít be ďmy thingĒ. Apparently they are very rough trainers opposed to my very loving and cuddle training. One guy even told me his girlfriend would not attend the club with him because it disturbed her. Another said they donít mess around at all, and if youíre dog is idle for more then a few min they ask for you to place them in your car. Someone had said that its mostly police dogs, and the training is very rough where the dogs only have one chance to do whatís told before they are disciplined, Iím not sure what the discipline it. Iím assuming there is no hitting or it would have been mentioned to me.

I am extremely pro positive training. We do not hit, pinch, yank leashes. We patently wait for the dogs to do it well and then they get a massive amount of treats and kisses. It works. So obviously harsh training will not be for me.

So, after my novel LOL. How does your club train? Is it very rough? If someone non hardcore like me joined would people accept my training ways? Or would they be rough with my dog anyways?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 10:13 AM
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We use both methods at our club.

We use prong collars and "shock collars" for the more advance dogs/ones that it works for. It really is an individual thing, we tend to use what works best for each dog, so that varies greatly.

Stark was brought up (until 1 year) using "+" training methods. I did a lot of pet obedience/rally type excerises with him. He never got corrected, only redirected really.

When he started SchH we started with the prong and because I felt it was needed as a "ah ah" or a tug on his flat collar really didn't do it. He's a hard dog which means he really doesn't care about the correction when in drive.

I feel like there is a good balance in our club of both corrections and positive training methods. They really gear the training based on the dog and handler experience. I think this is key in ANY type of training situation. What will work for one dog may not work for another.

I would go, check it out, ask questions but really ask WHY they are doing things this way and/or that. Could be something you are not seeing, etc. which will explain the correction or that particular method of training.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 11:53 AM
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To me, a big part of Schutzhund is training a dog how to work through pressure, but part of that is 1) having a dog with the temperament and drive for that type of work and 2) having people skilled at knowing what is just enough and what is too much for the dog. You bring the dog into drive and then work through various pressures and "conflicts" but in doing so you are not beating the dog into compliance but building his confidence and power little by little. I use a TON of different methods and tools to train my dogs and let them problem solve.

I guess what methods you are OK with depends on what your point is for doing it.

It also totally depends on your dogs. For some dogs, a pinch/prong collar IS too harsh. But that begs the question, why do a sport like SchH that is going to put a dog in conflict and put physical and mental pressure on the dog if the dog is not going to enjoy it? You know your dogs best and will have to decide.

It is very common for dogs not working to be in the car, in fact I've never heard of or visited a club where this was NOT the rule. Generally, you have people traveling sometimes several hours each way and devoting a lot of time and money to their dogs and training so Schutzhund training is not seen as a time for socialization and for dogs to just hang out. Also if you are not working your dog, you are often expected to be helping in other ways or at least observing and offering critiques.

Last edited by Liesje; 10-09-2010 at 12:03 PM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:00 PM
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Well, when you say "pinch" are you talking about a prong being in the "harsh training" category? I think most SchH people wouldn't necessarily think that (not just SchH people--a large majority of people in general).

Ask yourself if you're going to get upset if someone training you decides to try one if they think your dog would respond better with it on for a particular exercise. Don't do anything you aren't comfortable doing, but I think that you also need to keep an open mind that just because you've been doing something one way and "patiently waiting" for a response that there also might be more effective means out there that will work better for your dog for some things.

I think the club should be respectful of your training methods, but that you need to also be open to things that are really not very harsh at all (ie prong--at least IMO when used properly).

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:22 PM
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A couple of years ago I visited a schutzhund club in New Brunswick and I really enjoyed my visit-really had a fun day training with them-they had a lot of experienced club members-
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 12:58 PM
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Our club was very gentle and positive with Jax when he was a puppy... no discipline or correction, just showing him how much fun the sport is... now that he's a little older and more defiant, we're a bit more rough with him but only as a last resort.
They told me this is how he has to be trained to avoid an out of control dog. If you give a command and the dog sees it's optional, he will just get more and more out of control and then it's "really ugly" to reverse.
None of it is arbitrary dog abuse, it's more to assert that you're in control.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
To me, a big part of Schutzhund is training a dog how to work through pressure, but part of that is 1) having a dog with the temperament and drive for that type of work and 2) having people skilled at knowing what is just enough and what is too much for the dog. You bring the dog into drive and then work through various pressures and "conflicts" but in doing so you are not beating the dog into compliance but building his confidence and power little by little. I use a TON of different methods and tools to train my dogs and let them problem solve...
I agree with this. Not teaching a Schutzhund dog to work through pressure is analogous to training somebody to be a boxer without that person ever having taken a punch. Schutzhund was, and is, a breeding suitability test as well as a sport. Schutzhund allows a determination as to which dogs should go on to harder task training where somebody's life may depend on the dog (police K9, SAR, etc.)

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Great! Thanks all. The reason I am thinking Schutzhund is thatís what my dogís line was bred for. I want to do something fun for her and something she will enjoy. As for pinching, I was told by someone that they had pinched the inside of her dogs thigh, but I was told by someone else they never seen that happen, that is what I meant by pinching, I have used the prong collar before and am not against it.

My mind is open, as it is for every experience in my life but I like to research everything to death before I try something so I know most details and donít go in blind, especially when it comes to my dogs. I donít mind aggressive training, trying to find her limits and using new methods as long as itís not painful, or mentally damaging to her.

I appreciate all of your input and experiences, and yes, I have heard my club is amazing. I guess ill have to go see myself lol I am very nervous since it seems I am a different type of owner/trainer. Itís hard going into something where you are the different one LOL.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 05:44 PM
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Pinching the thigh is called flanking. I've done it before but not as a correction, not the same way I'd be using a prong collar for obedience, if that makes sense.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 05:53 PM
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How can you judge how different the training is, if you have never been yet.
Also, when you go, take a hard look at the DOGS and see how they are responding to the training being used. If you see most dogs with tail hung low and looking like they wish they weren't there, that tells you something. If you see upbeat dogs doing obedience with tail waggin and full of energy, that tells you something also. Sometimes with training people put more emphasis on their egos than what the dog will thrive in. Its not hard to recognize dogs that are excited about what they are doing. Its really about the dogs in my book!
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