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First off....I apologize if this question just seems ridiculous, but I really just don't know enough about either SchH or Therapy dog work to make a proper judgement.

I have a friend who is starting to look into getting a GSD and would like to do some sport/training. I know obedience, agility and rally are all good options, but I also suggested the possibility of SchH since it seems like somthing he would be interested in. He didn't know much about it so I gave him my very basic understanding of it. He then asked if it would be incompatible with therapy dog work since his wife is a doctor who would like to have the dog work with kids as well.

I didn't know how to answer this question and don't think I should be offering my opinion on something I really know nothing about. So I hope you will be willing to help enlighten me or at least give my friend some things to consider when planning for a dog!

On one hand I could see how the type of dog that might excel in SchH would be opposite to the "ideal" type of therapy dog. But on the other I would think SchH training would ideally teach the dog to control its agression and so you could argue that it would have better control and more predictable. Basically I'm running in circles with this argument!
 

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From the temperament/training standpoint, No.
SchH dogs are well socialized, extremely well trained dogs and obviously those things are imperative in a therapy dog. Some SchH dogs may be too high drive/high energy/excitable to do well in therapy work, but that is not true of many of them. If the dog has proper temperament and good training (and is mature, not a bouncy adolescent) the dog should easily be able to do therapy as well.

Two of my older SchH titled dogs were certified as therapy dogs through TDI a few years ago, though we never did any actual therapy work. I did their TDI more as a statement for those who think SchH dogs are "vicious". At their certification test, the evaluators were very anti-SchH and were actually looking for ways to fail my dogs because of that, but they couldn't because the dogs passed the test with flying colors.

But that said, I know some therapy organizations will not allow a dog with SchH (or any sort of protection training) to be certified as a therapy dog. This is due to ignorance and liability concerns. I believe TDI will still allow SchH dogs to be certified, but Delta will not.
 

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Branca was certified thru TDI and we did nursing home visits. She LOVED it and was really gentle when called for. The TDI evaluator was a graduate of Tom Rose and was the one who convinced me to have her certified so there are some evaluators who will NOT have a problem with SchH trained dogs if the temperament is sound. I think I have heard that Delta will not allow any dog who has had any bite training at all to be certified.

I think it really does depend on the basic makeup of the dog, SchH training or not is not going to change that. She would just need to match up the dog to the right environment to do her visits. I also did the TDI on Valcko, and while having a rock solid temperament I never did any visits with him because he had too much energy for the nursing homes. When excited could have caused problems with the often very fragile elderly folks. He would have been fine for other types of visits though but I liked the nursing homes so that is where I visited.

I think it would be great if more SchH people would get their dogs out there in the AKC or therapy dog world to show what a great GSD is supposed to be like.
 

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I think it is worth noting that per the breed standard the GSD is supposed to be "aloof" with strangers. Of course not all are but my 3 year old is and my pup is happy to say hello but after that she just basically goes off looking for a ball or something else to do. My male on the other hand loves to get attention and petting from strangers. That being said, two of my dogs would not necessarily enjoy going around and having a bunch of strangers petting them. They would certainly tolerate it and be well mannered but it's not something I would subject them to on a regular basis.

I think your friend should look for a very knowledgeable breeder that is very familiar with what he/she is producing and the lines behind the dogs, especially if she is looking to do both SchH and therapy work.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

This is an old thread but I certainly find it to be an interesting topic since ARA received her TDI this year.

We are surrounded by fellow GSD owners and virtually all of them are Schutzhund folks. Considering their dogs I can think of only a couple that would not make good therapy dogs because of their very high prey drive. With the right temperament there is no doubt in my mind that, because the high level of training, socialization, etc that a Schutzhund dog would not make a fine therapy dog. IMHO you can have the best of both worlds.

By the way – what did you decide to do?

 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

We are doing our TDI on Saturday and just joined a SchH club. I don't know if we will actually do therapy work, I just think it's a good test and like I know where the dog stands. She has already passed the CGC and the therapy test that our local therapy group does.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

The only therapy organization that specifically states dogs trained to do bite work are omitted from testing is Delta.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

With some dogs it may well be compatable, with others, not so much. Only after the dog has started training will you know. Remember, there is bite work involved in Schutzhund. Some dogs take it a lot more serious than others.

DFrost
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

I think that both situation (schH field and a hospital or similar) are so much diferent than a normal stable well socializad dog should have no problem knowing how to behave where. In the other eternal discussion if a SchH dog can be a SAR dog problems arise because you use some of the same drives and some of the same scenarios and many times helper do similar things, so unless trainers and helpers are VERY experienced in what they are doing the dog can indeed confuse both. But in theraphy work situations have lower energy, lower drive, lower excitation and a balanced dog doesn't have any reason to think a bad guy is going to come from nowhere unless the owner had really messed up with it.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

The Delta application specifically asks if your dog has been trained in any sort of bite work. So your friend would not be able to go through Delta if he pursued SchH.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Originally Posted By: KathyWThe only therapy organization that specifically states dogs trained to do bite work are omitted from testing is Delta.
Do you know if they say "bite work" or "Schutzhund"? We are doing SchH b/c I like that style of obedience, I want to train for the AD, I like to practice the looooonger heeling patterns, etc, but Kenya will not be doing bite work b/c she does not have the appropriate temperament (too soft, doesn't care for tug, lacks defense drive). We are doing the TDI Sat and they didn't ask. In fact, the club hosting it is a PPD training/ringsport club. However there are often Delta tests here in town and I'd like to do that some day.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Oh heck, Lies, I'm looking for my application. I'm 99% positive that it says "bitework." I'll keep looking. It's here somewhere.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Here. This is what Delta says. It's on their website.

Dogs trained to aggressively protect and/or encouraged to actively bite, even as a component of a dog sport (e.g., bite work that is part of Schutzhund) will not be evaluated.

http://www.deltasociety.org/VolunteerAboutStep3.htm

"Actively protect" OR "actively bite."
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Quote: Liesje - - - We are doing our TDI on Saturday and just joined a SchH club.
Do you mean that you are going to start your training (going beyond your CGC) for TDI or is your training complete and you will be going for the evaluation by the AKC Tester.

Regardless good luck!

Don't discount your possible activity in therapy. We have been going to an area Long Term/Rehab facility and three area hospitals. Our visits range from the critical cardiac unit to the ER. I never dreamed that I would get such satisfaction out of watching the patients react to ARA.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

EJQ, I signed up for a TDI evaluation at a training club an hour away. No training is involved, it's just the final test (which I found on the official TDI site). Kenya passed the CGC in Nov, then took a therapy training course through our local therapy group and again passed the CGC and their version of a therapy dog test in Dec. Sat we're doing the TDI test, which I understand is a modified CGC. The therapy training involved going off site to a hospital and other public places. Kenya is obedient, but she just does not enjoy therapy work so I won't force her into it.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Originally Posted By: 3K9MomHere. This is what Delta says. It's on their website.

Dogs trained to aggressively protect and/or encouraged to actively bite, even as a component of a dog sport (e.g., bite work that is part of Schutzhund) will not be evaluated.

http://www.deltasociety.org/VolunteerAboutStep3.htm

"Actively protect" OR "actively bite."
Thanks, that would not apply to us then.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Hey good luck on the evaluation. Sounds as though Kenya is going to do just fine.

 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

One of our Belgians, collie, and our GSD (will be) are active sevice dogs *and* a schutzhund dogs. The only problem was that in schutzhund the dog needs to pay attention to the handler but in service work they need to pay attention to the surroundings.

They have learned that when the cape and/or harness is on they are performing as a service dog but when on a field they are schutzhund dogs.

The most important factors of both aspects (schutzhund and service work) are almost identical.
*Stability
*Handler sensitivity
*Drive
*Intelligence
*Attentiveness

So both are quite compatible, as opposed to training the dogs in herding (which ours are also) and agility.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Quote: One of our Belgians, collie, and our GSD (will be) are active sevice dogs
There is a difference here in that your dogs are Service Dogs while this thread is addressing Therapy Dogs. Most Therapy Dog associations will not allow a dog once it is SchH trained. In fact Delta goes so far as to say once the dog has even participated in one bite class session -- doesn't even have to go for SchH I -- it is no longer eligible.
 

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Re: Is Schutzhund incompatible with therapy dog wo

Sorry about that, but our collie and Belgian have also done (undocumented) therapy work in the past with no issues.

While I understand the hesitation that the organizations have about accepting SchH trained dogs to do therapy work, they should also acknowledge the fact that a well trained dog will know which "mode" (for the lack of a better term) to be in for each situation. it is also up to the owner and/or handler to make 100% sure that the dog knows the difference.
 
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