I am training Rafi because of several reasons. First why we got him: I wanted a "pure" GSD as I had had several GSD/X's over the past 30 years, they were wonderful and when my last died I thought I'd try to raise and train a high drive full GSD. I learned after my last that we enjoyed training so very much but he had virtually no prey drive, just was a great companion and did well in obedience.
Rafi is first and formost a family member but he is very able coming from award winning German working lines. He's quite different than any other dog I've owned or known, but he's like a promising student or athelete and needs direction.
I don't want an "attack" dog per se, and have no doubts that he'd be protective of his family to the best of his ability. Schutzhund training provides both he and I with a special way to bond and excell together. I learned from my last dog how much he(we) enjoyed going to obedience-he couldn't have cared less for bite training. However as I understand, bite training is key to the rest of schutzhund and it's the whole philosophy I'm interested in, the journey as much as the destination.
There have been all kinds of opinions regarding bite training age for starting. It's a matter of degree. I don't want a mailman biter, child biter, stranger biter. I want a the equivalent of a Marine Corps boot camp graduate with the tools for bravery, restraint, reverence. He's still my pal. He can be my wife's "baby" if she wishes, just that he needs to realize and so does she the NILIF doctrine.
I've given up my diverse hobbies to a great degree to concentrate on Rafi's training. He was doing well and something happened and I am hoping to find out what it was.
Finally, I don't view my dog as a loaded gun. He's one of us! Not human but one of us. But he can be babied, loved , hugged, but I don't want him to hide behind me or my family when the s*%#t hits the fan.