A cgc trainer doesn't recommend me to put my pup in Schutzhund training. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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A cgc trainer doesn't recommend me to put my pup in Schutzhund training.

So I enrolled my pup in puppy class at one of good schools in Central Valley CA. Before I finished puppy class, I talked to the CGC trainer. She asked me what I plan for my little girl after this. I said I want to try Schutzhund and protection. The trainer then told me it's not a good idea because my little girl is really sweet. I might turn her into aggressive dog. She said I should train my pup with only positive reinforcement.
And if I really want to try Schutzhund . The only trainer she knows is Steve White who uses a clicker to train Schutzhund, but he's down in LA. She said she doesn't know any trainer in Central Valley who use positive reinforcement method.

Now my question isn't about who's the trainer I should go to, but is what she said right? Should I stick with positive reinforcement all the way and give up the idea of Schutzhund sport because there're some negative reinforcement involve?

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:16 PM
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I'm sorry, I just don't think the cgc trainer knows very much or has experience in schutzhund...i wonder if she immediately thought 'attack dog' when you mentioned it.

Visit some clubs, and see for yourself. Just because someone says something doesn't make it true for everyone. Also, they might have seen something(or worse-someone told them) and blown it out of proportion. The only way you will know is by getting out there- leave the dog at home until you are comfortable!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:23 PM
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Good Schutzhund training is not all about corrections. There is a lot if positive reinforcement. That's why the dogs look so happy to do the work, because they LOVE the reward.

The CGC trainer is obviously not well versed in that type if training. Go to clubs, watch for yourself and decide if it's an avenue you want to pursue.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:26 PM
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Maybe your trainer has seen some schutzhund training with which she did not feel comfortable. As with any discipline, there are some who take things too far.

I personally use a LOT of positive reinforcement and all of the successful schutzhund people I have seen do as well, with varying degrees of corrections and compulsion.

Perhaps reach out to Shade Whitesel or Denise Fenzi for a more positive approach to training.
I will say that I do not think corrections are bad. The type, intensity and appropriateness of them can be questioned at times, certainly.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 08:52 PM
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First, let me start by saying I don't know ANYTHING about Schutzhund and what makes a good club vs a bad one. That being said, I have a working line high prey drive puppy, so I've been casually looking into options for her. I don't have any interest in Schutzhund, but it may be something that's necessary/helpful for her. I'm in the Sacramento area and my husband ran into a guy at a park working his GSDs who recommended this place in Dixon, which is probably only two hours from you, depending on your exact location: Pacific Coast Working Dog Club - Home. According to the guy at the park (and take what you will from the reliability of a "guy at the park") they do only positive training. The thing that appeals to me about them is that you can't do protection without obedience and tracking, but you CAN do obedience and tracking without protection.

I had also previously looked up this club, which is in Vacaville, but I don't know what their training methods are: Home Page. But they're probably even closer to you.

This is my breeder, who is even closer yet, but I would guess just from talking to him that he's not positive-only. Schutzhund : Dave Deleissegues

Again, I don't know anything except what I've gleaned from these websites and from a second-hand conversation with park-guy, but it might be worth contacting them and asking to observe.

Hope that helps.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 09:20 PM
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Schutzhund won't change your dog but might bring out more of what your dog really is. The trainer might be right to an extent. Right now you have a very sweet young dog but your trainer might have noted some weakness in her temperament that could be turned into fear aggression if too much pressure is applied to the dog. Schutzhund does require some pretty good nerve strength if a dog is going to excel in the sport. It would be unfair to put a dog through the rigors of the training who did not have the nerve and natural abilities to enjoy it. If you want to get a second opinion, try taking your dog to a schutzhund club and having her evaluated. Have the TD give you an honest opinion about the potential of your pup. If she is truly suited for the sport, your dog will still be a sweet well mannered dog even when training because she is doing what comes naturally to her and what she really enjoys.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 09:27 PM
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Don't take any recommendations until you go and check out training. It's true, there is a lot of positive reinforcement training in Schutzhund. The movement actually started in Schutzhund before it really took hold in the AKC or other training rings.

The CGC trainer is a bit confused or misinformed but you really do need to make sure you train with the right people. For that...you need to visit a lot of clubs, watch their dogs work, watch them work with their dogs, and figure out what kind of training you're comfortable with. There are still plenty of people that put a lot of unnecessary pressure on their dogs and don't necessarily turn them into aggressive dogs, but they are clearly not happy to be doing the work.

What you really need to do is figure out if you're willing to make the commitment that is required to do Schutzhund training. More than likely you'll be driving quite a distance and giving up at least one day a weekend to train. At the same time...many clubs won't allow you to do protection work until you've demonstrated a high commitment to obedience and Schutzhund all together. Once you start protection work, it is not very easy to stop, and your dog does become a much greater liability. In the off-chance that your dog does actually bite someone, and it comes out that your dog is bite trained...you are in for a much deeper court battle than if your dog wasn't.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 10:41 PM
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CGC trainer sounds like an idiot. Find one that actually knows what they are doing and has experience and acomplishments in the breed. Minimizing corrections is one thing, training exclusively with positive R is a line imo.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 10:54 PM
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Don't know anything about this stuff. Listen to the experts posting here.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-16-2013, 11:18 PM
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I would go visit different clubs and see what you think. Also have your dog evaluated.

The CGC trainer seems to be confused to me. I did Mina's CGC in between schutzhund demo's at a big dog event. Did the first demo, walked next door to the AKC booth, did the CGC and back to the second demo. Just about every dog in my old schutzhund club has a CGC as well as most dogs in my SDA club. Good protection work will not change the dog.

The schutzhund club in Dixon is having a trial November 9-10th if you wanted to check them out. A few of us from my group will be there trialing as well.
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