Basic schutzhund info - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Basic schutzhund info

I am just looking for basic ideas on schutzhund related excersises for my puppy. I don't really plan on doing shows or titles, I just want her to be rounded in a little bit of everything because she is a wicked high drive wb. She is content with playing fetch as long as I can stand, but I don't want just a fetch dog. Today I tried some
Basic mental excersise like making a trail of food around the house to her bowl, and tied her food for the next meal up in an old bandana and let her figure out how to untie it, which I was really impressed she didn't just chew through it.
Is schutzhund something we can go into half heartily as another option for mental and physical exercise, or is it much too involved for the basic high drive family dog?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 08:47 PM
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Have you considered agility, rally, obedience, therapy dog, or nosework?


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 08:48 PM
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Oh yeah and barn hunt, tracking, Search and Rescue, and flyball?


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-03-2015, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I'm willing to try just about any active dog activities. Are there any books recommended that would cover a broad spectrum of sport dog training, or would they be mostly one sport specific? I want an all around sporty dog. Like I said I don't plan on ever doing shows or trials, just know enough to keep us entertained and healthy.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 02:09 AM
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Go join a dog club, preferably a GSD club and take a look at the activities. Even if you're not into competing, you can still enroll your dog in any of these activites and see which one suits you and your dog best.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 02:25 AM
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Usually it's best to pick one or two things you really like and pursue them. If you try to do it all, you'll be training so much and working so many concepts at once that you and your puppy will probably lose the basic concept of these sports - having fun and working together!As far as Schutzhund, I don't think many clubs will take you in without you wanting to work towards titles. At least in my area, club spots/working spots are reserved for those aiming to title their dog. You could look into the online lessons offered through Denise Fenzi's Academy. It's online learning with video modules and depending on the level of involvement you sign up for, you can even send in videos to be critiqued by the lead trainer so you can build and improve your skills.

Other sports like agility, nosework, rally, dock diving, etc tend to be easier to get into just for fun and classes and trainers seem to be more widely available for them. Mine is super high drive too. We tried Schutzhund and he just never really got into it. But when we walk onto the agility field, he lights up like a christmas tree! He's practically vibrating in his start place, waiting for his release cue! Just something to think about because some tend to think that bite sports are the end all be all for high drive dogs when in fact some get the same if not more enjoyment out of other sports.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 06:58 AM
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here is another cool sport I recently learned of:

American Treibball Association

As far as schutzhund / IPO you can try and find a casual club but most clubs will want you to be working towards some sort of title. It surely couldn't hurt to get your BH which is a basic handler and temperament test. From there you could work focus on obedience and nosework. You don't have to do the protection work if you don't want to.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great advice. I think I'm going to try treiball that looks right up her alley. As far as the schutzhund I've watched videos and just played around with her with a taunt stick or whatever you call it, and playing tug with her old football I can lift her off the ground when she's holding it. Not too surw if that's safe with her baby teeth still so I gave that a rest for now. I'm going to look into a club. Im layed off from work right now so I have a lot of time to dedicate, but once I got back in a month or so my wife will be home with her and three kids so she will not get as much attention. Maybe I better just work on solid obedience for now to make the wife's life a little easier while I'm working 70 hours a week.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 10:22 AM
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I don’t want to speak for all Schutzhund clubs, but the ones I’ve seen/been to are all “volunteer” organizations. Your helpers, your TDs, and anyone else that helps, is there because they want to be and they enjoy working dogs. The minimal payments that occur aren’t a salary and are just there as a “thank you” to the person that provided you with a service. This leads the people to focus more on the ones that are putting in 100% of the effort and not really want to deal with those that are doing it half-heartedly. Sorry, that’s just how it is. If I’m going to spend most of my Saturday working with dogs, I’d rather focus my time on those people that want to succeed and want to get somewhere than the people that are just doing it one day a week and not really headed anywhere. On top of that, the protection phase is pretty serious, so when people admit to not being super serious about the sport, it’s questionable to then train their dog to bite. If you’re not serious about the sport, how do I know you’ll be serious about the responsibility of owning a bite trained dog?

The clubs are also just that…clubs. So I’ve seen a lot of people get thrown off by the way that the training is done. Generally, it’s on a first come first served basis, in which tracking happens in the morning (weather permitting), then obedience, and then protection. This can basically last all day. Most people are used to what is basically a private lesson, I schedule a time to show up, I train for 30 minutes to an hour, and I leave. Well…that’s not how it happens at most Schutzhund clubs. You can basically expect to be there all day. And from your description of your family life, I’ll just put it bluntly, very rarely do you see someone with children in the home, out on a Schutzhund field. Not that it doesn’t happen, but there are generally other things that come before dog training when you have children, and if you start missing every other weekend because of this or that, the club will quickly not want to work with you.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the honesty. I think treiball is more the direction I want to go. In the long run she will be pulling a cart or sled for firewood and other yard tasks. I've been working with her on that, but just with an empty sled till she's a little older.
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