Suggestions for a Beginner
I just posted earlier in a different section of the forums about finding a trainer/club in the Twin Cities area of MN, but I'm pretty sure the only one there is is the one I've already been to. I may end up gritting my teeth and going the distance, but until then I would like suggestions on a few things so I can continue to train my dog, who is about a week shy of a year old.
First item: protection work help. By the hand of some divine force, I ended up with a WLGSD puppy that DOES NOT BITE. She will if I push her into it, and is getting more and more comfortable with the idea but I never really had to redirect biting or anything. I just don't remember her being bity. To be clear, I have not had the chance to work her on a sleeve. Another issue we have is that she will bark on command, but when it comes to getting her turned on she ends up whine barking(HEAVY on the whine.) I've been making sure only to reward when she does proper barks, but does any one have any suggestions? As for the biting, what is some equipment I should get to start her on bite work? I know she'll be more comfortable biting a sleeve than my bare arm, I was more shocked that she never even tried as a pup.
Next item: What are some good reads for all around schutzhund training? I need guidance, but I can't find a person so far. I trust myself enough to self-teach now that I have a solid foundation to work off of(I've also trained horses which is includes similar methodology)Our obedience is looking good, albeit very slow moving, but we have all the parts and I got a book that I think will help me piece together and polish everything. The training school I go to has competition obedience and nose work classes, so I get some help of instructors for these two skills. Nothing is schutzhund specific, though, and completely misses key elements. Articles, books, or even helpful YouTube videos. Anything I can soak up that is reliable.
Lastly, what does everyone use for a release word??? And does anyone also do agility along with schutzhund? To avoid any confusion on my dogs part, I might use different commands for similar actions, such as "heel" for agility heeling, but "fuss" for competition heeling, and English vs. German for pretty much everything else but praise(Praise is praise not matter what we're doing). Right now I use "good" for markers and "yes!" to release. This is a not so good idea because I end up overusing "yes". I did try "ok" briefly but that was also a terrible idea. Just curious as to what everyone else has used, and should I be making a distinction between the sports? We just started agility and have not added verbal to any commands yet, so want to make sure I'm doing it right before I start doing anything at all.
Sorry for long post, feel free to pick and choose what to answer!