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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question Schutzhund for a new GSD owner

hi!

I am new to this boards so I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong place. I also tried searching the forums but always get returned 0 results, even if I search for the words 'german shepherd' so I think theres a problem with my browser.

Anyway, after almost a year of research and finding the right breeder, I will be able to bring home my 8 week old working line GSD pup in eight weeks! I got a WL GSD since I am active and I really did not like the extremely slope back that the show lines had in my area. I am going to ask my breeder for a medium drive pup that will just as happy be in the house after an hour or two of exercise but not a couch potato or a nuclear missile dog lol.

I originally wanted to get this as a companion pet on my runs, walks, and hikes etc but the more I read about Schutzhund, the more I want to try my hand at it. The only factors that I am unclear about are the following-

1. I am a new GSD owner, I might be biting more than I can chew if I raise a pup primarily for SCH.
2. Training apparently starts at day 1 with emphasis on drive building over manners building.
3. You really have to be 'firm' in your corrections, leash jerking etc
4. You praise and emphasize prey drive over food drive

Now, I come here cos I really don't know how much of this is actually true or how much is bad information. I was really hoping that I could raise my dog as a pet for the first couple of years, i.e. informal exercise like ball chasing, long hikes, running across the field and then move onto agility, obedience and ScH when he gets older.

But apparently things like early training, drive, type of bite, socialization etc are all different if you are raising a ScH dog primarily over a family/companion dog.

I want to add that I don't have the intention of getting a ScH 3 someday, but ScH 1 or even 2 is it too much to hope for lol?

thanks and Merry Christmas!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 08:00 PM
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Welcome to you and Merry Christmas!

Does your breeder have suggestions, and are they training in the sport?
I would communicate to them what your plans may become, so they will know which pup to match with you.

If you do want to get into ScH I'd visit some clubs in your area. If you want to get into it, I would start going now, so you'll know when pup comes home whether or not you want to get involved. That and you'll know what is necessary to keep the pups drives balanced.
I personally would not want to put too much obedience but the dog should have some house manners. Over correcting can make the dog inhibited and not so independent.
A dog that trains in ScH should also be a great family companion.
Browse thru the Sch forum here, lots of threads on raising a pup, and what not to do, what to do.

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 12-23-2011 at 08:03 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 03:01 AM
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You raise a sch dog differently that just a pet dog! as a puppy there IS NO CORRECTION!!!!!!!!! He has to feel that he is the best of the best! Its a great thing your dog will learn 1) how to use his scences 2) have great obedience 3) will protect you on comand (Not how pet owners think there dog will). you will learn how to be a big part of your dogs life ie.. pack leader, bonding, quality time together

1- Go to leerburg.com and go to video on demand they have a ton of free movies and podcast (listen to who can pet my dog)

2- ask your breeder for a puppy that can turn it off. you dont have to get the puppy at 8 weeks if you can wait longer that would help the breeder pick an ideal pup, i got my boy at 13 weeks, but my breeder is really in to sch and pick the best dog for my needs and wants (we talked a lot about what I truthfuly wanted in a dog)

it's a great thing to get into!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 05:18 AM
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sorry If i'm hijacking this thread but I wanted to ask. What if i raised my WL just as a house pet. no drive building, obedience from a young age, etc... then i decided at 18 months for example that i want to try Schutzhund with my pup, considering that he was bred for that, will he not make it or be good at it?

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitemares View Post
sorry If i'm hijacking this thread but I wanted to ask. What if i raised my WL just as a house pet. no drive building, obedience from a young age, etc... then i decided at 18 months for example that i want to try Schutzhund with my pup, considering that he was bred for that, will he not make it or be good at it?
Take your dog to club and have it tested. I did not get Abbie involved in SchH until she was 10 months old and she is taking to it rather well. Granted, I am having to untrain things in both myself and her, but its not unfixable. And I had put alittle too much obedience on her. But the handlers at club see that she has it in her, and nothing I have done has "ruined" her. There are other dogs at club that did not get involved until later too.

Only way to know is take your dog to club to be evaluated...

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuit View Post
I originally wanted to get this as a companion pet on my runs, walks, and hikes etc but the more I read about Schutzhund, the more I want to try my hand at it. The only factors that I am unclear about are the following-

1. I am a new GSD owner, I might be biting more than I can chew if I raise a pup primarily for SCH.
Maybe, maybe not. As was already suggested, visit some clubs in your area to get a feel for SchH/IPO and also talk to your breeder.

Quote:
2. Training apparently starts at day 1 with emphasis on drive building over manners building.
I have never done drive building with my pups, but I am pretty lax in the manners department. Obviously house training, no counter surfing, sit and wait at the door before going out, crate training, walk on leash, etc.

Quote:
3. You really have to be 'firm' in your corrections, leash jerking etc
Corrections do come into training at some point, but how firm they are depends on the dog.

Quote:
4. You praise and emphasize prey drive over food drive.
I strongly emphasize both. It is far easier to shape behaviors with food and most people use food in tracking. Then the toys are used for a higher valued reward.

Quote:
Now, I come here cos I really don't know how much of this is actually true or how much is bad information. I was really hoping that I could raise my dog as a pet for the first couple of years, i.e. informal exercise like ball chasing, long hikes, running across the field and then move onto agility, obedience and ScH when he gets older.
But apparently things like early training, drive, type of bite, socialization etc are all different if you are raising a ScH dog primarily over a family/companion dog.
The first dog I titled in SchH I did not start in protection until she was 2.5. She had been tracking and had her BH and CD before that so was training. There were some positives to this because I didn't have to wait for her to mature to start. There were also disadvantages when it came to learning the mechanics of the work. Sort of like trying to teach an adult a new sport Vs. how easily a child learns. If you wait until the dog is a couple of years old you will be missing out on training the dog when it is young and most impressionable. I would also want to start a dog/puppy on the agility equipment when young. I introduce my pups to the equipment (set low) when they are 8 or 9 weeks.

Yes, they can be a family dog as long as the breeder produces and knows how to pick puppies with the nerves/temperament that will allow them to be calm when not working Obviously this comes with time since most puppies are active and very mouthy.

The best way to handle biting is to redirect the pup into a toy and away from your flesh. Eventually the biting goes away.

Merry Christmas and good luck with your puppy.

Lisa Clark

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 03:02 PM
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I just don't believe that you have to raise them different to be a schutzhund dog. Granted, I am raising my first one now, and time will tell. I have had dogs all my life. I think I treat my dog better now than I did with past dogs, however, I am not letting him get away with misbehavior and I do not to try to develop his drive. He just has it or he doesn't. Do really think that great dogs like Nick H. would not have been able to do well in schutzhund if they were raised as a well mannered pet prior to getting started in the sport? If the dog is bred right and has the right temperament and drives, I think they should be able to be trained to be civil in the home and even started later in life and still excel at what they were born to do when the time comes.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chester View Post
You raise a sch dog differently that just a pet dog! as a puppy there IS NO CORRECTION!!!!!!!!! He has to feel that he is the best of the best! Its a great thing your dog will learn 1) how to use his scences 2) have great obedience 3) will protect you on comand (Not how pet owners think there dog will). you will learn how to be a big part of your dogs life ie.. pack leader, bonding, quality time together

1- Go to leerburg.com and go to video on demand they have a ton of free movies and podcast (listen to who can pet my dog)

2- ask your breeder for a puppy that can turn it off. you dont have to get the puppy at 8 weeks if you can wait longer that would help the breeder pick an ideal pup, i got my boy at 13 weeks, but my breeder is really in to sch and pick the best dog for my needs and wants (we talked a lot about what I truthfuly wanted in a dog)

it's a great thing to get into!
Not true on the protection part. Most Sch dogs won't, a few maybe. No way to know for sure unless tested without any visible equipment away from the training field.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 08:36 PM
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correction - none for many months. - don't set the dog up to fail
Tugging - lots of it - lots of drive building
Food - build the drive for it
Foundation - imprint focus and attention first, without them you will have nothing
Obedience - don't worry about it until you have the focus and attention
Protection - not started until at least 12-14 months and these are early stages
Tracking - can start pretty early on - read up on scent pads
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-25-2011, 08:32 AM
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You raise your dog how YOU want to raise. With a puppy I don't focus on any one drive over another, heck I'm not really focusing on drive. My last dog was a "sleeper" and didn't have high drive for anything until he matured a bit. Just let them be a puppy! Also there is no mutual exclusion of manners vs. drive, at least not in my house! My rules are the same for my puppies, SchH titled dog, and house pet that never got past basic obedience.
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