Schutzhund questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Schutzhund questions

I don't know too much about Schutzhund, but I'm trying to learn...I know that it's a protection type sport. I have a high energy, drivey GSD about 9 weeks old and am looking into different doggy sports for him. I was watching some of the videos posted on here and I was wondering-does it hurt the dog to be hitting him with that whip/rod thing? Is that the point-to get him used to it so if someone attacks, he's used to getting hit? I like the discipline, and the dogs are quite impressive.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 12:17 AM
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Yes it hurts the dog. But be aware, the dog can leave any time that he want's. That means that if the stick is too much for the dog to handle he will leave the helper.

The stick hits are given so the judge can gauge the dogs reaction to the stick hits. The dog's reaction can help the judge see things about the dog's temperament and training.

Last edited by Fast; 08-02-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:20 AM
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I don't think the point is to get used to it or desensitize, but to see what the dog does (like Fast is saying). The dog shouldn't just get used to it and ignore it as if it is neutral; the hits should spark the dog to fight back and demonstrate the power and control he has with his bite. Some dogs do this naturally, some don't do it at all, and some will do it with some proper training.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:26 AM
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The Helper adds pressure to the protection work by employing the stick & hits, which can demonstrate strengths or expose weakness in the dog for the Judge.....all to answer the question, in theory, is the dog breed worthy?


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:49 AM
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A lot of times it doesn't look like they are actually even making contact with the stick. Therefore, I assumed that they weren't. Interesting- so they actually are hitting the dog? Do they make contact with every swing of the stick? For example, in this (rather awesome) clip at 2:46- it doesn't appear to me that he's actually making contact with the dog:

Is it just that they are swinging it so fast that you can't tell? Sorry if it's a dumb question, I just didn't think it ever looked like they actually made contact...

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 08:59 AM
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They aren't always. Sometimes they are waving it and only make contact 2-3 times.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:07 AM
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And when they are young, at least at our club, the stick is just passed over the dog to get them used to the object and the motion.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:15 AM
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Ah. Thanks guys- that's what I had thought- maybe a couple contacts- but not constant hits.

...Since the topic was brought up- does one need to be concerned about bruising, bone hardening, or anything else related to one specific area of the dog (right side rib area) being hit over and over throughout the dog's SchH career?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:25 AM
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No, the stick is flexible and padded - you can see it bending in the video.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2011, 09:35 AM
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A good Helper will be concerned foremost about safety, for the dog, the Handler, the Judge, and him/herself. When hitting the dog, the number of hits are prescribed by the title....in a SchH3 for instance, the dog is hit twice after the escape/during the drive. The dog is struck along the side, never across the spine, and in such a way that pressure is added, but damage/injury is avoided.

In terms of pressure....think of me approaching you yelling as level one. Level two, I approach yelling and waiving a stick. When I yell, waive the stick, and smack you with it...you've reached level three, where you promptly snatch it from me and smack me back! If you're of weak nerve, maybe you just take the smack, or run away???


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