German Shepherds Forum banner

81 - 97 of 97 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #81
I think that finding and training a dog that will truly bite a human to protect you may be more difficult than it seems.
Many people get significant ‘protection’ through deterrent. My pup is only 6 months and he gets a lot of respect and fear on walks. It would take one strong nerved attacker to approach.
This might be asking too much. But what type of protection do you foresee needing?
I'm a really outdoorsy person. As soon as I move out, I plan out being on any and every hiking trail I can find, visiting every and all types of national and state parks and just being outside whenever I can be. On my own. My mom barely likes me going to parks on my own now (even one right down the street!) so this dog would really be my best friend and guardian while also reassurance for my mom that while on one of these outdoor adventures I won't just be a sitting duck. So I guess that would mean protection from unwanted company?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #82
I find PP training boring, usually done by people not committed to become better handlers and trainers and not really knowing how to train a dog, and its utility is limited. If someone wants to harm you they will simply shoot you and/ or your dog. There are a handful of people out there that can actually select and train the right dog for PP. Sport should be for enjoying your dog, and for some, if you are going to invest the time it takes to accomplish the most you can with your dog, it make sense that you have a dog with the genetics and training that he will protect, even though a dog is no match for a gun. There is also real liability and responsibility that goes with owning a dog trained and genetically suited to bite for real. As I said, IMO schutzhund/IGP has significantly declined as a way of assessing and selecting GSDs for working ability and breed suitability. GSDs from European working lines don't often come from top winning IGP dogs/lines. There is KNPV in Holland, which is still a sport, but its goal is to select dogs for police work and some of the best dogs come from there, but most are unregistered Mal X's that at some time over the years have been outcrossed to other breeds to bring in new traits or strengthen other existing traits.There is an effort to revamp schutzhund with American Schutzhund, but I don't think the changes remotely go far enough. PSA had a rough start and almost failed, but is largely thriving, originated as an American protection sport, which is unusual, and the quality of training has vastly improved from its beginnings. Because the U.S. is so large and the working dog culture is different than in Europe where in some parts you can find an IGP club with little trouble or distance to travel, finding a good PSA club is not so easy. What general area of the country are you in, such as the south, east, mid Atlantic, west, central, etc?
I'm in the west. California now, but I'll likely end up in another western state when I move out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #83
@Chip Blasiole And about that gun part, I know. I know you may just be saying that for emphasis but just to share-- my mom actually wants me trained and licensed the day I get out of here so I have two options because of the fact. Her thinking: If they're unarmed but determined, they get the dog. If push comes to shove, they get the bullet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
There are some very good PSA clubs out west. Regarding starting with an adult vs. a pup, there are pros and cons to both. A pup is a crap shoot, but you can increase your odds by doing your homework and making sure you get good information. With an adult, you can see what you are getting, check the dog out for health issues, but you often don't know what is the result of training vs. genetics. Also, if the dog is so good, why is he being sold? Sometimes a breeder has enough of a dog's genetics from the dog's progeny, but usually that type of dog will be older and used as a stud dog by his new owner. IMO, with the right pup and a good club, you will learn so much more than with an adult and you will be able to ease more comfortably into a dog's maturity and the potential issues it might present starting with a pup. My bias is that you really need to find someone who either knows the dogs and lines your are selecting a pup from and how they tend to produce, or a breeder who has actually developed their own lines through generations of breeding and can better predict what one of their breedings will produce. Too many breeders, often in the U.S. will breed two top sport dogs with little to no knowledge of what dominant genes the parents or the dogs close up in the pedigree tend to produce. Just because a dog is good doesn't mean it is a good producer. One rule of thumb is too look for producers of producers in the first five or so generations of a pedigree. And even then what one person defines as a good producer is going to be subjective depending on what type of dog one prefers. Other things like hips and elbow health, genetic diseases, etc. people tend to agree on. Someone looking for a police dog would likely be looking for a breeding that produces different dogs than someone looking for a high level sport dog, depending on the sport. A police dog should have a high tolerance for pain, where with, say an IGP dog, that trait is not so important because the dog is not going to be subjected to the same level of pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,554 Posts
I'm in the west. California now, but I'll likely end up in another western state when I move out.
If you're close to the Bay Area where I am Symone, IPO, there's a lot of options for you to see. People to meet, and dogs you're going to like. Being around people with a goal of not just going out training , but training for and trialing dogs gives you a different perspective. It gives you a different feeling about all the blah,blah,blah WIBackpacker mentioned. There are a couple of PSA clubs around here. Gilroy and the peninsula someplace, but I'm not so sure they're always active. So. Cal, I don't know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #87
There are some very good PSA clubs out west. Regarding starting with an adult vs. a pup, there are pros and cons to both. A pup is a crap shoot, but you can increase your odds by doing your homework and making sure you get good information. With an adult, you can see what you are getting, check the dog out for health issues, but you often don't know what is the result of training vs. genetics. Also, if the dog is so good, why is he being sold? Sometimes a breeder has enough of a dog's genetics from the dog's progeny, but usually that type of dog will be older and used as a stud dog by his new owner. IMO, with the right pup and a good club, you will learn so much more than with an adult and you will be able to ease more comfortably into a dog's maturity and the potential issues it might present starting with a pup. My bias is that you really need to find someone who either knows the dogs and lines your are selecting a pup from and how they tend to produce, or a breeder who has actually developed their own lines through generations of breeding and can better predict what one of their breedings will produce. Too many breeders, often in the U.S. will breed two top sport dogs with little to no knowledge of what dominant genes the parents or the dogs close up in the pedigree tend to produce. Just because a dog is good doesn't mean it is a good producer. One rule of thumb is too look for producers of producers in the first five or so generations of a pedigree. And even then what one person defines as a good producer is going to be subjective depending on what type of dog one prefers. Other things like hips and elbow health, genetic diseases, etc. people tend to agree on. Someone looking for a police dog would likely be looking for a breeding that produces different dogs than someone looking for a high level sport dog, depending on the sport. A police dog should have a high tolerance for pain, where with, say an IGP dog, that trait is not so important because the dog is not going to be subjected to the same level of pain.
Very good points and very questions that I'll keep in mind if I end up deciding to get a fully trained dog. Do you have any particular recommendations for PSA clubs? The only thing I really know to look for are dogs they've trained and titled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #88
If you're close to the Bay Area where I am Symone, IPO, there's a lot of options for you to see. People to meet, and dogs you're going to like. Being around people with a goal of not just going out training , but training for and trialing dogs gives you a different perspective. It gives you a different feeling about all the blah,blah,blah WIBackpacker mentioned. There are a couple of PSA clubs around here. Gilroy and the peninsula someplace, but I'm not so sure they're always active. So. Cal, I don't know.
Yeah, I actually am in the Bay Area. I've found a few and with the help of someone, was able to judge them based on some of the information they offered on their website. Apparently, the helper of one is going to be on a world team. I'll be going to one of their training sessions in about two weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
I am not sure what you mean by a fully trained dog. One of the nice things about PSA is that you can keep trialing for a PSA 1,2 or 3 after you have obtained the title to see if you can do better and qualify for regional or national competition. Then keep in mind that a titled dog is trained for that particular sport. If you wanted a dog for PP also, you would need to find a good trainer and do some retraining because in some ways PSA is inconsistent with PP because it arguably overemphasizes controlled aggression where dogs are challenged by a decoy and are not allowed to bite using their own discretion. As for what to look for in clubs, the better clubs are going to have members who have titled dogs to level 2 and 3 titles and have competed in national competitions. The exercises, training, and nerves of the dog become significantly more important and difficult at the higher levels, so only dogs with good genetics (for PSA) and good foundation training are going to be successful. As I said, only one GSD has ever obtained a PSA 3. Just to complicate things, there are those who would like to look at breedings that would have a good chance at producing strong police dog prospects and would never consider a breeding from a male and female with a PSA 3 title. One reason is because those dogs are likely not that balanced and are usually highly driven prey dogs that don't have strong defensive aggression or much dominance that can bring power to a police dog. It comes down to what you want to do with your dog, do you want to explore breeding, and what type of dog you like. For example, some of the male Mal X's competing only weigh about 50 pounds. Other weigh 95 pounds. There is a lot of variability in non FCI registered Mal X's which are more popular in protection sports than FCI registered Mals because the former tend to be better dogs. With GSDs it is a little different. Different working GSD bloodlines can vary a lot. For PSA, a GSD with very good prey drive and nerves, good food drive and a higher threshold for defense will serve you much better than a super hard ass, dominant GSD with very strong defensive aggression that is on the sharp side. Many top level PSA competitors will not train a GSD for the sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #90
I am not sure what you mean by a fully trained dog. One of the nice things about PSA is that you can keep trialing for a PSA 1,2 or 3 after you have obtained the title to see if you can do better and qualify for regional or national competition. Then keep in mind that a titled dog is trained for that particular sport. If you wanted a dog for PP also, you would need to find a good trainer and do some retraining because in some ways PSA is inconsistent with PP because it arguably overemphasizes controlled aggression where dogs are challenged by a decoy and are not allowed to bite using their own discretion. As for what to look for in clubs, the better clubs are going to have members who have titled dogs to level 2 and 3 titles and have competed in national competitions. The exercises, training, and nerves of the dog become significantly more important and difficult at the higher levels, so only dogs with good genetics (for PSA) and good foundation training are going to be successful. As I said, only one GSD has ever obtained a PSA 3. Just to complicate things, there are those who would like to look at breedings that would have a good chance at producing strong police dog prospects and would never consider a breeding from a male and female with a PSA 3 title. One reason is because those dogs are likely not that balanced and are usually highly driven prey dogs that don't have strong defensive aggression or much dominance that can bring power to a police dog. It comes down to what you want to do with your dog, do you want to explore breeding, and what type of dog you like. For example, some of the male Mal X's competing only weigh about 50 pounds. Other weigh 95 pounds. There is a lot of variability in non FCI registered Mal X's which are more popular in protection sports than FCI registered Mals because the former tend to be better dogs. With GSDs it is a little different. Different working GSD bloodlines can vary a lot. For PSA, a GSD with very good prey drive and nerves, good food drive and a higher threshold for defense will serve you much better than a super hard ass, dominant GSD with very strong defensive aggression that is on the sharp side. Many top level PSA competitors will not train a GSD for the sport.
Oh, by fully trained I just meant an older adult that'd already started some type of protection work and maybe even had a title. And thanks for the info, it helps a lot. I've actually found a few trainers for personal protection too, but I'll keep searching and will definitely keep an open mind about everything else just in case I change my mind or a sport ends up as the better choice for me and my dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,127 Posts
IGP, PSA and actuall PP are different beasts. I do not expect my IPO3 dog to protect me based on his training. He's trained to target a sleeve. I just now am moving into PSA with him and he will be taught to target the bicep. Would these dogs protect us in real life? Possibly but I know how a police K9 targets and is trains is very different than IGP and more similar to PSA.

BUT the first thing you need to do is just go watch dogs. Visit clubs and talk to people. Find a breeder. I also would NOT suggest, being your first dog, that you go for the hardest, baddest, dog you can find thinking it will protect you best. You need to be able to control it and that is obedience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Discussion Starter #92 (Edited)
IGP, PSA and actuall PP are different beasts. I do not expect my IPO3 dog to protect me based on his training. He's trained to target a sleeve. I just now am moving into PSA with him and he will be taught to target the bicep. Would these dogs protect us in real life? Possibly but I know how a police K9 targets and is trains is very different than IGP and more similar to PSA.

BUT the first thing you need to do is just go watch dogs. Visit clubs and talk to people. Find a breeder. I also would NOT suggest, being your first dog, that you go for the hardest, baddest, dog you can find thinking it will protect you best. You need to be able to control it and that is obedience.
Yeah, I will be soon. I can't wait! And the 'hardest, baddest dog I could find' was never an option for me. I've known my limits for a long time when it comes to dogs and they have yet to changed so I'll make sure to talk to spill every detail about them when I find a breeder. My siblings actually think that's the reason why I want a German Shepherd-- just to have this dog that I can show off and make attack people for the fun of it but that couldn't be furthest from the truth lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,127 Posts
Excellent. :) The helper I've been training with is a K9 officer as well as a PSA decoy and IGP helper. It's very interesting the different things the dogs are taught.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about PSA is the level of control needed. For example, one thing we train for is for a dog to maintain a focused heel heel while a decoy is walking next to the dog shaking clatter sticks and actually striking the dog with them intermittently and the dog doesn't break his focus on the handler. As you pointed out, this approach is very inconsistent with training a dog for PP.
 
81 - 97 of 97 Posts
Top