Working dogs vs. Sport dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Working dogs vs. Sport dogs

In the past week, I've seen two references to a specific breeder where people did not want one of those dogs because they were dogs bred to WORK instead of dogs bred for SPORT. The reasons were that they wanted dogs for SchH and those dogs were bred for police work and tracking.

Now, am I wrong that SchH has protection work (and don't police train in a very similar way?) and SchH has tracking that would also take the same abilities as a police dog?

So, what is the logic behind this? I stood next to a breeder at the Masters Tournament while a police demonstration was being done and the comment was that SchH does that same thing. What is it that people are looking for in "sport" dogs that they think they won't get from a breeder of working dogs?
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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 09:23 AM
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Now, am I wrong that SchH has protection work (and don't police train in a very similar way?) and SchH has tracking that would also take the same abilities as a police dog?

So, what is the logic behind this? I stood next to a breeder at the Masters Tournament while a police demonstration was being done and the comment was that SchH does that same thing. What is it that people are looking for in "sport" dogs that they think they won't get from a breeder of working dogs?
It is a difference in the intensity of the drives. Generally speaking, the psd candidate will be a dog with more intense drives. SchH is a very regimented, points oriented sport that does contain a few venues that are similar to PSD training. The difference is, what psd's do is not sport, therefore it is often done with more intensity. You see very little pressure put on the dog during the protection phase of the event in Sch.

PSD tracking is fast paced and moves with the goal of finding the person you are tracking. Sport tracking (footstep) is like watching paint dry.

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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 10:09 AM
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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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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 10:36 AM
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To me the main difference is that Schutzhund is there to define if a dog has the basics to go to a real work program and from there those to compete to higher and higher levels ask for more precision more than anything else. You like it or not, a Schutzhund, even a world champion level is prepared to work in a grass field and to work with a helper that dress in a certain way, use certain equipment and move in a certain mode, that are hidden behind a certain number of certain objects with always the same shape.

In real work, be it obedience, tracking or protection you train not for precision, but for reliability under all kind of circumstances. Those who do real work with their dogs, be it police, military, SAR, PPD, herding, whatever work for the unpredictable and need to trust that the job will be done by the dog no matter how the factors may change and here is where all that has be done in the previous post come into scene.

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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.
Sorry, what is RCMP?

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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Royal Canadian Mounted Police?
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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 10:48 AM
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Sorry, what is RCMP?
Royal Canadian Mounted Police:


The 'Mounties' - World famous police force. The RCMP have their own dog breeding program and a very in depth and intensive dog handler program.


Lucia


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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:13 AM
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Of course I've heard of them! Great to hear about their breeding program, that is exactly the kind of things our breed needs, and I bet a good interesting place for cientific research of working dogs in general. BTW, what a gorgeous dog on the second picture!

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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:14 AM
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So, what is the logic behind this? I stood next to a breeder at the Masters Tournament while a police demonstration was being done and the comment was that SchH does that same thing. What is it that people are looking for in "sport" dogs that they think they won't get from a breeder of working dogs?
Trust your gut. Maybe you can't find the logic because people are BS you? Look at the pedigrees of most police dogs and you will find sport dog parents. So why would the sport dogs and LEO dogs be genetically different?

And if you find a breeder that is "breeding for police dogs" look at the percentages of dogs produced vs those being used by law enforcement. Most are producing far more pets than service dogs.

Jax trust your own brain and intelligence. It's gotten you this far.
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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:18 AM
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BTW, what a gorgeous dog on the second picture!
One reason I picked that picture to post - the other reason is that the handler is pretty nice too.

Lucia


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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 11:23 AM
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One reason I picked that picture to post - the other reason is that the handler is pretty nice too.
Cant argue that one!

And the other post is not worth arguing...

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