What to look for in a schutzhund prospect? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

ok, I already made the decision about getting a GSD instead of another rottweiler for schutzhund so now I just need some tips for looking at a pup. What do I look for? Biting a wrag, chasng a ball, following me, etc? Would you ever ship a puppy or go see the litter always? I would prefer an older puppy (like up to 6 months) maybe a returned pup that someone can't take care of anymore. What titles would you have on parents and grandparents? What is a good price range for this type of pup? Thanks in advance!!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:08 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

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Originally Posted By: Hillary What do I look for? Biting a wrag, chasng a ball, following me, etc?

Nerves and drive.

You want a confident puppy that is social, outgoing, curious, pushy, confident in new situations. Basically really sound nerves.

And you want drive. Chasing a ball (and ideally bringing it back), chasing a rag, biting a rag, showing good grips (hard, full or will counter to full at the first opportunity), willing to fight.

Much also depends on the age. The older the pup, the more testing can be done and the more would be expected. A 6 month old if you go that route, for example, would be expected to show greater drive and intensity than an 8 week old pup.

If you get a younger pup from a breeder, most good breeders are going to choose the pup for you, rather than let you pick, and assuming you're working with a breeder who is trustworthy, experienced and has a good track record placing pups in the right homes this is the best way to go. The breeder will know far more about each pup's individual temperament and drive level than you would be able to ascertain just visiting the pups.

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Originally Posted By: Hillary
Would you ever ship a puppy or go see the litter always?

That comes down to personal preference. I've shipped pups/dogs, and received pups/dogs via shipping without seeing them first. All comes down to who you're getting the dog from. Make sure it's someone you can trust.

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Originally Posted By: Hillary
What titles would you have on parents and grandparents?

Both parents, grandparents, etc.. should be SchH titled or proven in some other working venue. Though SchH will be the most common.

If you want a pup with good potential for SchH, I'd recommend restricting the search to working lines, not either type of show line. And make sure you go with a breeder who actually works and trains and titles at least some of their own dogs. Many people purchase titled dogs to breed, meaning that while the dogs may have the qualifications for breeding SchH dogs, the breeder quite likely doesn't have the knowledge or experience about training, what it really takes to be a good SchH dog, how to evaluate and raise pups for it, etc...

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Originally Posted By: Hillary What is a good price range for this type of pup?
$1000-$1800 would be the general price range from most breeders for a solid SchH prospect out of SchH titled working lines. If you look for an older pup, 6mo or so, the price will likely be higher, especially if the pup has started training, had hip/elbow prelims done, etc...


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:13 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

Keep in mind that these are thoughts coming from a non- Schutzhund person. However many of my fellow breeder friends are and I have learned some things from them.

Iím sure youíll be getting better than what I have offered.

Drive - your dog should have high play and prey drive. This includes a good work ethic.
Agility - your dog should be athletic.
Physical condition - your dog should be physically sound with good general health, good hips good elbows.
Temperament - This is IMPORTANT. If your dog is aggressive and likes to bite people, forget it!! Not a good candidate.

Check the breeder's credibility and reputation for producing Schutzhund candidates.
Check the parents' pedigrees for Schutzhund titles.
If you are thinking of shipping a dog be certain that you have done all of your homework on the breeder. Iíd like to see the puppies and the parents but that is not always possible or practical.

Good Luck!


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:15 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

Oh, I would say that the price range should be between $1500 to $2000.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:15 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

First, find a breeder who is actively training and titling dogs in SchH. I prefer titled parents, but there are a couple of breeders I would buy from who have the experience to evaluate their dogs and I would consider a pup from untitled parents from them. You are looking at a $1000 to $2000 price range plus shipping. I like to meet the breeder and the bitch in person if possible, but would consider a puppy shipped to me from the right breeder.

I want a puppy that is very confident, pushy, in to everything, playful, etc no matter the age and the environment. I expect to see this at 7 weeks, 7 months or 7 years. Pup should bite a rag HARD, full, and calmly, should want that rag stuffed to the gills and show a lot of drive and desire for that rag. I like to see strong hunt drive (a desire to search and search and search for food or a toy) for later tracking. A puppy that chases a ball or other toys. I don't care if they bring it back, personally. I would like a pup that has a medium pain sensitivity and is forgiving. They must be 100% sound sure (and an older pup can be tested with gun fire). There are other things that I look for that unfortunately don't translate into words. Just a gut instinct. This is why you need to find the right breeder.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 10:05 PM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

One thing to add....hunt drive.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-20-2008, 09:32 AM
 
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

Good responses! Interesting
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

And male or female? which would you choose? I picked a breeder and she has 2 pick pups (1 male and 1 female). Both would be good SchH prospects but the female has more drive. Is there anything different when training a female rather than a male (besides going into season)? Also , do you train your females while in season? Or does it distract the males too much?

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 10:29 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

I guess it is up to each individual. Some people prefer males and some prefer females. I do NOT stop training while my dog is in heat, however, I normally go last as to not distract males too much even though it is actually good training for them as they should not be bothered by a female in heat while on the field with their handlers. In fact, some handlers like that cause they have the chance to train their males to work around that.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 10:40 AM
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Re: What to look for in a schutzhund prospect?

Depending on the lines the males are usually a bit behind the females so I wouldn't let the slightly lower drive bother me. BUT that is something the breeder should know about their lines.

I like working bitches. Not sure why. They think too much, like to throw curve balls when you least expect it and if they come into heat for a trial you will be treated like your dog has the plague. But then again I enjoy that they make me think, keep me on my toes and, MOST of the time, remind me why they are called bitches. Some females can be softer than males. Most don't bite as hard. Most are smaller, lighter.

Yes, I have always trained my females when they are in heat. I let people know, but otherwise nothing else changes. I have also always belonged to clubs that figure males need to learn to work despite it.

Lisa Clark

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