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Discussion Starter #1
So Shasta is a very high energy, unfocused, noisy and mouthy puppy. My husband thinks she would enjoy training for schutzhund. I know for sure it's not something I would be particularly interested in doing, but if we start, I know who'll be putting in the time/driving/training or whatever.

I'm wondering how schutzhund might benefit her, or if she would even be suitable for training...I would certainly not ever be interested in going to trials.

As far as her mouthiness goes, would the training affect that? Make it worse? Better? What kind of a time commitment are we talking about?
 

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Shasta would probably be interested in anything you care to do with her. If you're more interested in obedience, rally, agility, dock diving, search and rescue, etc. . . she'd probably be thrilled with that.

I don't do Schutzhund, but I know people who do and it seem to take a lot of commitment on the part of the owner/handler. Sounds like you're not so into it, so do what you like!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm looking for feedback so that I have something to tell my husband when he wants to talk about it.
 

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If you are not interested, don't do it. (not to mention a club might not have you if you are not invested.)

For me, training my dogs is like peeling an onion and seeing the different layers.... but also like building a house. I learn so much about my dog, and my dog becomes something bigger (and hopefully better) the more we train.

But you can get joy from basic obedience, agility, tracking or any other thing I would guess.

Have fun!

I am interested in WHY you are not interested?
 

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Where Schutzhund is particularly helpful for puppy mouthiness is the handler learning how to seamlessly redirect the puppy from the hand/shirt/pantleg to a tug.

Schutzhund is a lot of fun for any GSD, regardless of ability. The trick is finding a club that will accommodate every dog, and find ways for the dog to enjoy the sport. Every dog can get a BH, and even if they don't excel in bitework, continue on to title in tracking or obedience alone, if they're strong in those areas.

There *are* clubs out there that are more "pet" friendly, and not just focused on high octane competition.

Joining a club has the added benefit of being around other GSD owners who can appreciate living with a high drive, mouthy puppy. The help and support you get can often be invaluable.

And, at the end of the day, you have a tired puppy.

My advice would be to find a club near you, and go visit a couple of times without your dog. Watch them train, and get an idea of what the total sport of Schutzhund looks like. If you decide Schutzhund isn't a good fit for you and your family, more than likely, they'll be able to hook you up with other venues like herding, agility, etc.
 

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I'm looking for feedback so that I have something to tell my husband when he wants to talk about it.
Ah. :) In that case, I can only tell you what I would do. I'd tell him that if he's so hyped up on Schutzhund, he can do it himself. ;) From what I've been told, when you do Schutz., you don't really have much of a life besides dog training, work, and family.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am interested in WHY you are not interested?
I don't think I "get" it. Training your dog to attack the sleeve seems like a bad idea to me.
 

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It isn't just about "attacking the sleeve". There are 3 phases to Schutzhund; tracking, obedience, and protection. I am training my 6 month old pup. Well, actually, she and the members are training me. :) I really enjoy the time I am at the club. I bond with my pup and get to talk to other adults who have similar interests.
Another thing is just keeping the pup busy. Mine will keep going and going all day. Find something you want to do with the pup to make it fun all around.
 

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Is training a dog to bite a ball a bad idea? Because in the dog's mind, there's really no difference. It's a game.

If the idea turns you off that much, then I think you just need to explain that to your husband and be done with it.

As far as the sport goes, it's just a sport. The dogs are playing an elaborate game, with many rules.

All dogs can bite. Have teeth? It can bite.
The difference is, Schutzhund dogs know what they can, and cannot bite, and learn to stop on command.
The stopping on command is especially nice for the mouthy dog that doesn't want to let go of your pantleg.

They're also tracking, something that satisfies an intense need that this breed has, and performing obedience, something all dogs should learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Kendra, where do you go to train?
 

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Twin County Schutzhund Club. I love the club I go to. They are very open to training newbies (like me). :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is great! Your son is so cute, I can hardly stand it!
 

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I can't tell you why YOU would do it or not do it. I can only say why I do it. Number one: it's fun for me and my dog. Beyond that, I like Mary's onion example. I need to know how my dog works and thinks, what is his balance of drives, how high or low is his threshold level, etc. I do some other protection work with my dog, not just Schutzhund, so maybe I take it more seriously (for example my dog would never do bitework with a child as a helper as in the photo, for one thing likely my dog would not engage with a small child b/c he cannot bring the same presence/threat). For us it is not a game, it's not tugging on a sleeve. It strengthens my training and it builds my dog's character. I think we have a better bond and better trust in each other because of it. I also do conformation, obedience, rally, herding, dock diving, and agility with the same dogs and will possibly be starting flyball.

Does it help with mouthiness? I don't know. Ironically my two Schutzhund dogs have never been mouthy, at least not to me, but I generally seek out a dog with a higher threshold, less prey drive (at least as far as protection work goes) and more defense. My dogs are not the type to obsessively chase things down or nip at anything that moves, but many GSD puppies are and in some ways there are advantages.
 

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My dog that I am training in SchH isn't mouthy either. Never has been. He always has a ball or toy with him, however!
I think you should visit a club and bring your husband along. Then he can decide if it is something that he wants to pursue. As posted above, the commitment level should be there regardless. I don't know of many clubs that do it just for fun without trialing as a goal. Clubs are far and few between in most areas, so those that do go are fairly commited.
Maybe agility would be a better fit...just getting Shasta out will help with the energy release!
Many dogs don't have the temperament for SchH training so that is something to consider as well.
 

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Personally, I like to have control of my dog and when and how he uses his/her mouth. My husband has been involved in Schutzhund since 1980, me since 1994. We train professionally as well, Schutzhund is what we do in our off time. My husband likes to tell people that in all the years we've been training as a business (all breeds for families, not just working dogs) he's never once been bitten by a dog trained in bitework, not so for the "family pets" we've worked with. When you train a dog with a knowledgeable helper/club you and the dog become a team. The dog learns to rely on your assessment of a situation (scary bad guy, or guy delivering a pizza) and to me is a much more reliable dog. Having said that, it is not a toy that you can turn on and off, the dog needs to be taught the entire picture, and build to that level of confidence. Our club is one that has a bunch of "pet" owners, these people will probably never title beyond the BH, but it doesn't mean they can't enjoy the activity with their dog. Most clubs are very firm in the rules that you must train the obedience if you want to participate in bitework, and all of our "pet" members have learned to enjoy the tracking as well and come work on that as often as they can.
We have one new member who we encouraged to start Schutzhund because she was having trouble with her GSD getting too amped up at the dog park and then his prey drive would kick in and she had trouble getting him under control once he got going. We got her started in the club and already she is loving it. In addition to more structured obedience we started him on bitework on the puppy wedge. He now has an "Aus" command which she can use at the dog park. When he gets really crazy at the park she can now put him on a down to chill for a sec, and she can also use the Aus command to tell him to take his mouth off another dog. She is VERY impressed with how smart her boy is now LOL.
Someone stated that if you get involved in Schutzhund you won't have time for anything else in your life. Not so. You can get involved to that level, but that generally applies to people who love to compete. Like I said our club is mostly families, we work twice a week and the members work on their own as much or as little as they'd like. Both of my children are now into Schutzhund, my 14yo daughter will be going for the BH this spring and my 19yo son is becoming a very proficient helper. Most of our members have kids and bring them to practice, the kids learn dog skills and the dogs learn kid skills!
 

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I need to know how my dog works and thinks, what is his balance of drives, how high or low is his threshold level, etc. I think we have a better bond and better trust in each other because of it.
Personally, I like to have control of my dog and when and how he uses his/her mouth.
This is EXACTLY why I started Schutzhund. Except my dog, Madix, WAS a mouthy puppy and he is nippy and he does have high herding/prey drive so I had my hands full. This sport has helped enormously to teach him when/what is appropriate. It can only get better in my opinion.

I also train for: obedience, rally, flyball, dock jumping, agility and hopefully will start herding in the spring.
 
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