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For my dogs I require a male to be a champion before I would breed him or breed to him. For a female, if she can't have puppies then I am not sure that I want to spend the money required to finish her championship. Before she had a litter, I would want her to have some points toward her championship, and a performance title, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money until I was sure I was going to like what she produces. I have also finished shampionships on bitches that I had no intention of breeding, but they didn't have to take time off to have puppies either.
What do you use to evaluate nerve, temperament, drive, aggression...?
 

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Jackie,
think about what you are saying in regards to the time it takes to get sound heeling.
Every single female in Germany and most of Europe must have a Sch type title to be bred period. This title requires a thorough off leash heeling exercise. This is every dog in Europe....surely heeling isn't something that takes that long to teach the dog, if you make it a priority. Too many thousands of people doing it.
Certainly it doesn't take years.
 

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This title requires a thorough off leash heeling exercise.
I have thought about it. I'm not necessarily saying I agree, but IME the people that have the UDX and OTCH dogs aren't out trialing at 12-18 months. I'm not sure how the methods differ between there and here either. And the picture presented in AKC is very different from SchH.

Just saying.
 

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I've only so far done Schutzhund obedience and tracking, so limited insight. But so far from what I have seen, I would say that a TD is about equivalent to SchI or II track, and a TDX to a SchHIII or FH. A TDX is hard! The failure rate is high! But the style of tracking between the two organization are so different, I don't know if they can be compared, as airscenting is allowed in AKC/CKC venues, but heavily penalized in SchH.

Not that familiar with AKC/CKC style obedience either, but I would say that a BH is equivalent to a CGC/CD/ and some elements of the CDX. Though the venues test such different items in a dog's trainability and temperament, not sure if they could be comparable. Just as an example - The BH has a long down with the handler 30 paces away - standing facing away from the dog, while another handler/dog team do the obedience portion of the BH. the long down is about 7 to 10 minutes long (depending on how quick or slow the other team is), and a LOT of heeling - that is a LOT of sustained focus.

But the AKC/CKC obedience venues present more distractions, and the sit and down in a group is a challenging situation for many dogs to deal with.

For me, I wouldn't say that certain titles are equivalent to SchH titles, so either are acceptable. SchH was established as a breed test to preserve the qualities of the breed, so to me SchH titles are the minimum acceptable for breeding titles.

And it often takes at least two years to get a BH, then on to the SchH I (often done shortly after) - so the excuse that anything beyond a CGC/CD takes too long is not a valid one - since the female should not be bred before two years of age anyways.

But moreso than the titles itself, what I consider breedworthy would be the dog and what qualities it has the potential to bring forward in its progeny, and the breeder who needs to make a call on whether to breed the dog, and how to choose a complimentary pairing - the titles in and of itself are just a starting point, and not the decisive factor.
 

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What does off-leash heeling and UDX or OTCH have in common. Are you saying a Sch one doesn't require competent off-leash heeling. C'mon Jackie...have you ever completed either a BH (which requires off-leash heeling) or a CDX which is less than UD. I guess I am curious as to what your estimate or opinion is based on as to difficulty in acheiving good heeling.
 

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AKC has tracking and obedience, but how would you evaluate nerves and aggression without a protection title?
Well there is always herding.

The question of what titles dogs should have prior to breeding isn't really as straight forward as it may. On one hand, titles don't really mean more than the dog they are attached to. I have seen highly titled, Ch or equivalent dogs that I wouldn't want to breed or have puppies from. And a good dog is a good dog, even if the owner doesn't have the time or money to pursue high level titles. On the other hand, people serious about breeding need the experience training and trialing dogs to certain levels gives. It's hard to evaluate if a dog has proper drive and soundness if the dog is only expected to be a well mannered pet. Pursuing an AKC CH title can be an extremely expensive and drawn out process. Given the number of GSDs who show every year, only a handful will finish. Around here we can easy get 20-60 GSDs at a show and of those dogs only 1 male and 1 female each day will get CH points. An AKC CH can be both the hardest and at times, most meaningless title one can get with their dog. It's totally subjective and you only have a shot of you have the right type of dog and even at that, it's hard without a handler. It seems to be a bit of a silly thing to base breeding choices on.

On the other hand, people serious about breeding need the experience training and trialing dogs to certain levels gives. It's hard to evaluate if a dog has proper drive and soundness if the dog is only expected to be a well mannered pet. And how does one even know what is proper if they have nothing to base it on? Then you end up with breeders who think any hyper dog is a performance prospect and any dog that lets people touch him has a "good temperament".

I think there are legitimate reasons for experienced breeders using untitled dogs in their programs. But people who are fairly new to breeding IMO should strive to do everything they can with their dogs. Not only to prove themselves and their foundation but for the learning experience of it. Getting there is in many ways, the most important part of a title.
 

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I see a lot better attention and focus with heeling across the board with SchH dogs. For that venue such heeling seems to be expected of the dogs for competition. You see a wide range of dogs in AKC trials from not very good to really outstanding. In AKC, you can Q as long as your dog is within a couple feet of heel position during most of the heeling routine. You won't get a high score if your dog isn't precise but AKC also doesn't require the focus or enthusiasm seen in SchH heeling. If the dog is precise, even if they are fairly "flat" they can still earn higher scores. OTOH, some of the SchH dogs would be knocked a lot of points for forging. They would still Q but that could put them out of the running for high scores.
 

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Not that familiar with AKC/CKC style obedience either, but I would say that a BH is equivalent to a CGC/CD/ and some elements of the CDX.
Having done both, I'd say not really. A dog can not only pass the CD/CDX but get a really good score even if they almost flinch or crawl through the exercises. I find the openess of the SchH field to be a much more difficult distraction then the obviously contained AKC ring, and the group part is pretty easy to practice if you have a few friends with dogs, trained or not. The CGC test, while commendable, is pretty easy to rehearse a pass and have nervy dog get a certificate. I know that it makes sense to have every test be exactly the same because Americans want everything to be fair, but it does lead to a less than true reading of the dog's character in many cases. I was at an fun event a few years back and we had 6 dogs with us, they were doing CGC tests as a fund raiser. We had never done the test but decided to enter ours for the heck of it. Of course ours were all at different levels in their training, but what the heck. They all passed with flying colors and so many of the spectators and testers just gushed over our dogs. We were shocked that they were so impressed at what we considered basic minimum skills.
We also offer dog daycare as part of our business and many prospective new clients feel like they shouldn't have to do the evaluation if their dog has a CGC. We always ask what age they did the test. If the dog was younger than 15mos or so, then we tell them we need to do our own evaluation as the dog has probably matured now and we need to make sure the social skills are compatible with daycare. I am always shocked at how many were done at 7-10 mos. I'm thrilled they took the time to do it, but I am not going to take at face value that the adult dog will react the same way now.
Every GSD in our house (7 at the moment) has Kkl parents. I know it is expensive to do all that, but we have done it with our own and when we bought from other breeders we were perfectly willing to pay what they asked since we understand the time and cost involved.
Granted, we have only been involved in producing 3 litters in the past 10+ years since that is not our "thing".
 

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I don't think there's really a comparison between each phase in SchH and an AKC equivalent. To me Schutzhund is THREE phases. How you imprint and train each phase directly or indirectly carries over to the other three phases. I'm kind of a purist with this. I do not think that training in one or two phases is training in "Schutzhund". To me the whole point is training in all three phases. I would just never feel I'm getting a full, clear picture of my dog not doing all three. I don't think it's wrong to only train one or two (I have a dog that only does two) but it's just not the same, so it's not really even worth comparing to other forms.

As a buyer, not a breeder, I'm not all that interested in rally and AKC obedience titles because any dog can achieve those; they are not at all breed-specific and do not give me any sort of idea about the dog and temperament other than the handler had enough money to enter shows and get those titles. Actually I look mostly at the breeding dog's lines and what the dogs have already produced, moreso than I evaluate just based on the titles achieved. When looking at titles I also want to know the scores and the judges.
 

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Just came from an AKC trial and didn't see any dogs flinching or crawling through the exercises-There are dogs in schutzhund who lack enthusiasm and focus and still pass. There are dogs in AKC who have focus and enthusiasm in heeling I see them there. AKC is also welcoming to all breeds. If an AKC title isn't enough to breed oh well I never have -enjoyed my time with my dogs though
 

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Holland,
My issue with Jackie's statement has nothing to do with the venue of the heeling. My issue is it does not take "years" to get good off leash heeling. Regardless of whether it is SCH or AKC....WHEW!!!(Why do I bother)
My reference to Sch is only to "prove" that EVERY dog in Germany (soft ,hard, show, working, pink, etc) has to have competent off leash heeling to be bred. This certainly contradicts the difficulty of it, if EVERY DOG and EVERYBODY can attain this. I'am sure the show people in Germany have the same concern about the length of a females's breeding career.......YET.
So I am not contrasting AKC obedience to Sch obedience, I just have problems with people justifying an action based on a premise that is counter indicated by the entire breed in Europe. Doesn't make sense to me.
There are so many suppositions in the German Shepherd world that will not stand up to common sense scrutiny and until we flush them out people will continue to buy into them, and the breed will continue down the path of doing less.
 

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Just came from an AKC trial and didn't see any dogs flinching or crawling through the exercises-
I'm not saying they all do by any means, but I have seen it MANY times. I don't think that people shouldn't participate and work towards the AKC titles, but I will stand by my opinion that the Kkl was intended for the GSD as a way to preserve the breed and it's abilities and traits. Capt. von Stephanitz devised the system to continue the breed he created and loved and I for one don't feel like anyone has come up with anything better or even equal.

AKC titles are great, and when we get clients who sign up for a training program to get a CD, a TD or a CGC then we love to help them reach that goal. It gets people involved with their dog (regardless of the breed) and hopefully continues the hobby for further generations. So yay, but as a minimum breeding requirement, not so much.

Oh, and our club is DVG club, which is an all-breed Schutzhund club. We have members who are working specifically toward a BH and have no interest in bitework, and some who are just aiming for a tracking title.
 

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I have seen flinching and crawling at schutzhund trials.... SE Regions last year, and the WDC this year. Dogs still got decent scores because they were "correct."

And I believe that sucessfully completing legs at the Atlanta Expo Center, with 2000 other dogs there, can show nerve strength.

I am learning so much by training my dogs and by being part of an informed group of people. My schutzhund club and the process of training my dogs for titles is invaluable in learning.

Back to the OT: I would be OK with breeding a dog with a Schutzhund or herding title, or an array of other titles (ie. tracking, agility, ob, etc.).
The more I learn, the more I see the importance.
 

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Jax,
I actually don't think that any of the titles is a minimum for responsible breeding. (On this I disagree with people like Chris, Lisa, probably Anne, Sue, Joker,etc. And its okay because at the end of the rainbow we will believe that the same dogs should and shouldn't be bred)
I think that responsible breeding requires two things; 1) knowledge; based on education and experience, 2) integrity; to breed a sound working breed dog.
I know many people that breed based on titles and certs that are clueless about breeding. I know many people that breed without titles that are producing very nice dogs.
I will say that by and large the better breeders of German Shepherds in the world ARE bred with titles as Europe still produces a superior dog than the rest of the world and they ALL breed with titles. (I know that bothers some American breeders but the reality is working people still look to europe for breeding stock, and lo and behold where do you think these dogs (WGSL) that the AS people are mixing with their stock to improve temperament are coming from??)
I remember when American breeders made wise breeding decisions without titles routinely, and there are still some that do, but I have to admit that the pendulum has swung in this country, to a reality that most people should have titles of some sort, because there are so many American breeders that have lost sight of temperamental soundness as witnessed by their decline in working or performance.
 

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Anette,
I totally agree. Our club is a SDA club. We have three Doberman breeders in the club who are top show people and ALL their adult dogs they are particpating with are AKC champions. When they first joined the club three years ago it was primarily to try to get their dog though their WAC testing.(WAC is temperament testing). Talk about a breed in the same shape as ours, the Dobes are in worse shape in terms of mental soundness.
As time has gone on I have seen these people change their attitudes about many things to include who they should breed to. When they first came in all that was important to them was "fronts", "rears", "shoulder" and temperament was a necessary evil to get the WAC so they could get their ROM.
Now they are looking at studs with performance titles to breed to, they are acquiring protection titles in our club. (we have 4 Doberman Champions with a Protection dog one title), they are going to seminars with people like John Soares and Phil Hoechler, and their new generation dogs are much stronger, stabler, and still winning in the ring. They are so much more knowledgable about their dogs working ability and their dogs working deficits so that they don't make the breeding decisions they did in the past. They even "factor" in temperament now in selecting a stud as opposed to three years ago it wasnot part of the equation. You can see the pride at this year's WAC testing as their dogs showed better mental strength and their young dogs are much much better than their counterparts at the WAC.
But what I feel best about is that they have changed their attutude about what they thought they knew about their dog's working ability and the importance of it. And this is how we turn it around, IMO.
 

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My issue is it does not take "years" to get good off leash heeling.
I'd say 2 years would be years. That's the consensus that has been reached with the AKC people I've talked to. And the venue is different, as was mentioned. The kind of forging that is allowed to go on in SchH would be heavily penalized in AKC, and AKC exhibitors spend a lot of time refining the position to get it just right.

And no, admittedly AKC does not care about enthusiasm in the work. They only care if the dog is where it's supposed to be. A dog that is out wide and lagging behind the handler is going to be severely penalized, as opposed to the dog that maintains a perfect heel and is almost glued to the handler's hip. I don't know what the criteria is for bumping the handler in SchH, but in AKC, every bump is half a point...and they add up relatively quickly.

I certainly won't trial a dog before two anymore. I don't know many seasoned AKC people that do trial their dogs very early anymore. Largely they teach the dog exercises all the way through utility and then go trial. Bang bang bang, there goes all their titles. They're done and it takes less time (and less money).

How much is a SchH trial entry? How long does a trial last? You can go to a one day trial and have your title for one entry fee, correct? I have to go to a minimum of 3 trials under at least 2 different judges in order to obtain my title. I'll take my time with my training so I don't have to spend $1000 on three legs of a title (Strauss completed his CD in 4 shows).

I have not completed a BH. Why? Because for 6 years I have attempted to memorize the BH pattern and have been unable to. I've had every sort of help under the sun, and tried everything to retain it in my brain....and I just can't remember the *#@&*( pattern. So if I want a BH on one of my dogs....Jon will have to do it. Strauss is trained all the way through his CDX exercises, but I gave up on getting his CDX because....he won't shut up in the ring. I have been unable to correct it, and he kept being excused for being too noisy.

With any luck, I'll be able to train Mirada all the way through a UD. Would I do a UDX or an OTCH? No. Why? #1 I really don't like obedience to begin with. Just too stale and too much perfection for me. #2 A UDX and an OTCH are freaking expensive to obtain! I'm not sure if you've seen the rules for them, but they're pretty ridiculous. You have to enter in Open AND Utility the same day for your UDX and qualify in both to get a leg. You also need 10 legs in order to get the title.

For the OTCh, a team must earn a total of 100 points, based on a rating scale distributed by the AKC. In addition, the team must win 3 first place awards - one in an Open B class, one in a Utility B class, and an additional first place win in either Open B or Utility B.

You don't have to agree with me, but my feeling on the matter is that you can't get a consistent heel in a short amount of time unless you use a good deal of compulsion.
 

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Jackie no! (and then I :) at you because you're you!) I don't do competition anything so maybe I am talking out of my hiney butt - I have one PB dog and mixes, and maybe PB fosters here and there, but a good motivational boring heel can be done starting as a puppy or adult. Is the issue confusing them between ring gaiting and obedience? Regardless, something like the Vollhard method would work for both, I am guessing. My dogs are smart enough to get it and they aren't exactly wanting to please me all the time either (Chow mixes) but they love to heel.
 

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Oh, Jean, I was addressing cliff! I should have been clear!

Is the issue confusing them between ring gaiting and obedience?
Not at all :) I use different collars and different commands for both. I'm also only on my SECOND competition dog, and thus have no chosen method of how to start and work my dogs (especially on my own). I also have troubles with health issues (Separate problem) and in training struggle with breaking things down to make the dog understand what I want (I am not a "think outside the box" type person, and struggle terribly with puzzles).

I am also the type of person that struggles with asking for perfection, because I can't make myself care that much. With the exception of the "life saving" commands, my feeling has been "I don't care, as long as the dog does it", so getting a nice heel takes me a long time.

I also suck with bridging and removing immediate rewards, and that may get better as I have more dogs, or it may never improve.

Mirada is 9 months old, and I'm just starting heeling because I didn't want to create the same issues I did with Strauss. It's much harder without the help of my kennel club trainers.

Mirada is certainly smart enough to do it all (we're actually working on the dumbbell again...and she just locked the cat in his carrier after shoving him into it). I just need the motivation to do the work. I'd rather be doing agility, but there aren't any nearby classes for her :p
 
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