The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Another way you can see the difference between dogs bred for work and dogs bred for sport is in the obedience. There is a go-go-go hyper flashy-ness and focused intensity on the handler that makes an obedience routine shine and sparkle with excitement in a dog bred more for points in Schutzhund rather than on-the-street work. For example, the prancing heel, the rock-solid focus, the quick-as lightning retrieves where the dog just rockets out and brings the dumbbell back just as fast stopping in front of the handler on a dime - it is breath-taking to watch, but this kind of intensity often comes at the price of a dog that is alway buzzing with barely-contained energy and has no off switch (this is just generalizations - some dogs do have naturally sparkly obedience, AND a great off switch) - but often the price for this sparkly-ness are nerve issues. Dogs that are always 'on' and always do everything with hyper energy often have other behavioural issues or performance issues like being unable to cap drives or be quiet in the work.
Another difference is seriousness - the civil dog vs. the sleeve-oriented dog. Again, some of it is training. You can get a dog that is genetically civil (will bite for real), and train it to be only sleeve oriented, but if you have a sport dog that mostly works in prey drive and rarely taps into his defense drive, you can push and challenge the dog all you want, it may not bite anything other than the sleeve - in his mind, biting for real is a real fight and the dog does not want to go there.
Our helper develops RCMP dogs and their handlers, and we have some handlers in our club, bringing their young prospects up, and seasoned handlers coming to club to do the tracking and protection maintenance work. Our helper always says that the ground-work and basics for tracking and bite-work for police dogs and Schutzhund dogs are the same. But where it changes is when the police dogs move on from the exposed sleeve to the hidden sleeve and the bite-suit. Moving from the exposed sleeve to the hidden sleeve is where you see wich dogs are more 'sport' dogs, and which ones are 'real' dogs.
Took me a while too to understand what people were talking about when talking about real dogs and sport dogs - being able to see the difference in person really helped.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015