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I took Odin to meet with the Blue City Schutzhund Club this morning. It was his first time (and mine).

We did a little bit of tracking work and a very little bit of obedience. Mainly imprinting stuff because he is so young. During tracking he was a bit slow at first, but he started to pick up on a scent. I was excited about this. YAY :)

Just thought I would share.
 

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Are you hooked yet? Remember, SchH is an addiction. ;)
 

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Good luck in your SchH work. It's @ 15 degrees out, and windy here in western, Illinois, so no dog stuff today. I'm sitting here listening to hair nation on Sirius, with my old SchH3 boy Hex laying next to me.

Al Govednik
 

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Happy training to you and Odin!

Our group is so lucky to be able to train inside! Though, no tracking sadly...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hooked, maybe, probably. lol

It was freeeeezing out this morning. We went to a plowed corn field for the tracking, and back to the club house for the ob and protection training. They do training rain or shine, snow or blizzard. They believe a dog should be able to work in an weather condition/distraction.

Odin wasn't apart of the protection training though as he is only 3.5/4 months old, the leader doesn't allow dogs to even witness bite work until they are 12 months old.

Overall it was a cool experience, their dogs mean business when its time to do work.
 

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Not allowed to witness protection work until 12 months? Really?

Aren't they normally started on flirt poles when still in the infant stage? And tugs at that age? Cullen is 12 months, and on the sleeve that's a step below trial... been doing " bitework" since he was 6 weeks!
 

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I don't think it will delay a pup to not do any protection work until a yr old...either the pup has it or not, starting early won't make it better.
 

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Sounds like you had a good time! :)

SchH is very addicting!!!

I don't think it really makes a huge difference if the dog isn't started in protection until after a year, Stark started training at about that time and I don't think it has made a huge difference at all (maybe in obedience but not really in protection/tracking).
 

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It sounds as though the helper's style is geared more towards defense, although that's a wild guess. It's the only logic I could see to not letting puppies participate in the bitework.

Make sure you keep playing lots of little tug games, and flirt-pole type stuff at home in the interim, to keep his prey drive going.
 

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Just don't reward a frontal bite, the dog should counter and bite deep before you reward. Tease the pup up some to bark at the toy too.
I can see keeping up the prey work and barking is one thing the pup should learn, but don't screw up the bite!
 

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OK, just making sure I wasn't nuts. See.... I see dogs of all ages come start with us, and sometimes it is just the owner as the puppy hasn't finished the shot cycle yet, but ALWAYS they are encouraged to use the tugs and flirt poles, and when they come out as puppies, we do " puppy circles" with burlap and play tugs.. I understand that if you don't start your dog until later, then that is fine, but a " helper" ( or, in my case, the Trainer/Training Director himself makes the decisions) you would think would WANT to start them early. I don't like a dog on defense, especially intentional.
 

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I don't like a dog on defense, especially intentional.
Then go train flyball.

Ok. That's a little snippier than I meant but the point's still the same.

Schutzhund was created to test a dog in defense. If you have a qualified helper and a capable dog then there is nothing more awe inspiring than a dog work out of true aggression instead of prey.

P.S. If your helper is consistantly putting a dog in defense on accident then you have a problem.
 

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I agree, rvadog. If I don't want my dog to fight and work in defense at times and bring out some real aggression, I'll just stay home and play tug and flirtpole. My adult dog did all that as a puppy, he started at 8 weeks or whatever, but he ended up being a dog that works more in defense anyway. All that rag and flirt stuff was basically a waste of time and an opportunity to screw up his bite or put too much pressure on him unintentionally. Luckily that didn't happen and he is working just fine now, but with my new working line puppy I am not doing any "bitework". We've pulled him out once or twice for maybe 2 minutes, just to see that he is interested, that he will bark, and try to bite. There's really nothing to be gained by playing around at this age. We'll wait until he's fully done teething and then see what's there. He's going to be a strong powerful dog but right now he's just a little puppy.
 

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See, mine is all Prey. He goes for the sleeve, and you would swear it was worth his life, but there is no defense, though we do dabble in personal protection, and he knows how to show aggression with a real threat, hidden sleeves, etc. I do, though, prefer his high Prey drive for bitework in Schutzhund, and he does know the difference.
 

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Stark works in defense, which I don't think has anything to do with which age he started in or how the helper has worked him, purely genetics I believe.
 

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Then go train flyball.

Ok. That's a little snippier than I meant but the point's still the same.

Schutzhund was created to test a dog in defense. If you have a qualified helper and a capable dog then there is nothing more awe inspiring than a dog work out of true aggression instead of prey.

P.S. If your helper is consistantly putting a dog in defense on accident then you have a problem.
Please excuse my ignorance, but what would be the difference in how a dog bites the sleeve if he is working in defense or prey drive?

Could someone (not all that knowledgable about ScH) actually notice the difference? How?

Is my assumption that a dog working in defense drive actually believes that he is fighting for his life rather than just "playing" if he is working in prey drive correct?
 

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No, a dog working in defense does not necessarily believe he is fighting for his life. He's responding to aggression with aggression, whereas prey drive is responding to flight and prey-like behavior with predatory behavior.

Prey is where we get the full, deep mouth grips from.
Defense is where we get the hard, firm bites from.
A good helper works a dog in both to perfect the quality of the bite.

Ideally, a dog has sufficient amounts of both drives to enable the helper to perfect both aspects of the dog's bitework. If not, there are ways to work a dog in only one drive and still get a quality bite, provided that a genetically good bite is possible, and the dog has the thresholds necessary in at least one of the drives to enable sustained working in that drive.

For example, a dog with high prey but low/no defense can be taught to grip harder by being force, provided it's prey is high enough that causing it to lose doesn't also cause the dog to lose interest.
A dog with low/no prey, but high defense can be taught to take deeper bites through making the dog miss and following through with a reattack, but only if the reattack doesn't send the dog into avoidance.
 

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If you work a dog in prey constantly, they will never be tested to show their courage. The courage will give them more confidence, and it just gets better and better!
 

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No, a dog working in defense does not necessarily believe he is fighting for his life. He's responding to aggression with aggression, whereas prey drive is responding to flight and prey-like behavior with predatory behavior.Prey is where we get the full, deep mouth grips from.Defense is where we get the hard, firm bites from.
A good helper works a dog in both to perfect the quality of the bite.Ideally, a dog has sufficient amounts of both drives to enable the helper to perfect both aspects of the dog's bitework. If not, there are ways to work a dog in only one drive and still get a quality bite, provided that a genetically good bite is possible, and the dog has the thresholds necessary in at least one of the drives to enable sustained working in that drive.
For example, a dog with high prey but low/no defense can be taught to grip harder by being force, provided it's prey is high enough that causing it to lose doesn't also cause the dog to lose interest.A dog with low/no prey, but high defense can be taught to take deeper bites through making the dog miss and following through with a reattack, but only if the reattack doesn't send the dog into avoidance.
I am not sure i can tell the difference bvetween these two -"full, deep mouth grips from.Defense is where we get the hard, firm bites ".

Can someone tell from watching which drive is being used? Or for that matter - how does a helper "use prey or defense" drive in working the dog? If they use defense drive does that mean the helper has to convince the dog that he/she is in physical danger whereas in prey the helper acts like a prey animal to be chased?

Is there a good place to follow up for a good discussion of these two aspects to ScH training?

I am planning to take my 3 yo male GSD to our local Sch club to have him evaluated for training and don't want to appear as a total know nothing if the folks get into a discussion on training philosophy.
 
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