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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
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    2,076

    Default What do you know about Schutzhund?

    I have never had a warm fuzzy about it but I have been thinking about at least going out to a local club and checking it out.

    I have a 2yo Dobe who is smart as a whip (aren't all Dobes though?) and I would like to get him a "hobby". I can't see myself fitting in very well with the agility crowd and fly ball would be wasted on him....so I thought it might be worth a look. He is very trainable and already has a pretty strong desire to protect....not sure if tracking will be his strong suit.

    Thoughts?
    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
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    2,235

    Default

    I trained personal protection dogs for 10 years.

    It is up to you what way you want to go. Schutzhund in the USA is watered down to a sport now.
    If you want higher end sport, go Mondio or French ring.
    If you want more real protection, look for a personal protection group. I still trained some tracking even with PP.

    Go to Leerburg.com forums to discuss details with the people there.
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,127

    Default

    I started in dogs with a trainer of police dogs, that bred GSD and sold them, once trained, to police departments all over.
    Departments used to send him officers to train also.
    There was a local shutzhund group, but the training there was not very good.
    I didn't do any protection work with our dogs, just didn't really like it or had the time to train seriously for it.
    I did suit up and put the sleeve on to help work some of the trainer's dogs, all 4'11" and 95 lbs of me.

    I think that if you have a good group around there, no matter what they call themselves, why not?
    If you say your dog has protective tendencies, that is not so good, I don't think, as you really want a dog that is not so sharp they are hard to control.
    It is easy to set a dog off, no matter how sweet it is, but not so easy to turn one down that is more trigger happy.

    We did tracking with all our dogs and the rottie, dobies and others were not as good as one of our toy poodles, go figure.
    You won't know about that until you try it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    235

    Default

    I've trained for it, and a good friend is deeply involved in the sport/organization. I've seen good and bad clubs...so look around. Personally, I love the sport and it's diversity. It takes a certain temperament in a dog to be able to handle the work - in particular the protection. If the nerves are not good on the dog - you can end up with a dangerous dog. If the nerves are good and the training is good - they are the best.

    Also depends on how seriously you take it - if you're just looking for something to do with your dog....can be alot of fun. If you're looking to be competitive, the personality/drive and temperament make a huge difference.

    But, do your homework, as I've seent some clubs/trainers that have done more damage than good. You can get some very interesting characters :-)



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2002
    Location
    Chesterton, IN US
    Posts
    1,298

    Default

    Like others have said, there's good and bad. My pet peeve when I worked as a vet tech were people who claimed their dogs were in schutzhund training, but had difficulty with basic obedience commands. If you don't have enough control so that your dog will sit at the vet's on command, you have no business teaching it to attack on command.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2006
    Posts
    2,733

    Default

    I have a retired schH 1 female GSD and I do schH style tracking with one of my other GSDs.

    There is more to the sport than the protection work. In fact, I have no interest in that aspect of it and don't do it. The trainer I work with, and the club she runs, is a-okay with that. But I have heard that some clubs and/or trainers prefer that you be interested in all three phases and that some clubs are more competition oriented.

    I am having a lot of fun working my one dog. The female came to me as a 9 year old who retired from breeding. She was trained using compulsion and HATES anything that even looks formal. Her tracking is hurried and her obedience is sad to watch (she does everything at a crouch). Her protection work is sloppy, easily slipping right off the sleeve. She has no desire to work, at all, and was probably titled only through either really low scores or a "midnight trial" that I have since heard so much about (she was imported from Germany as an already titled, adult dog and used strictly for breeding once here in the U.S.). She is a bitchy, spayed, hates-all-other dogs house pet now, which she truly excels at!

    My almost 3 year old male is a tracking machine. He loves to track and the schH style really suits him. I had done a lot of AKC-type obedience work with him prior to getting hooked up with the schH trainer, so the whole idea of "training in drive" was new to me. It is coming along.

    Anyway! I have had fun with my dog and schH. I say go for it. Check out as many different clubs as possible, if you can.
    Sheilah



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2003
    Location
    northern California
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    1,445

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jherold View Post
    Like others have said, there's good and bad. My pet peeve when I worked as a vet tech were people who claimed their dogs were in schutzhund training, but had difficulty with basic obedience commands. If you don't have enough control so that your dog will sit at the vet's on command, you have no business teaching it to attack on command.
    Scaaary indeed!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Georgia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    We did tracking with all our dogs and the rottie, dobies and others were not as good as one of our toy poodles, go figure.
    You won't know about that until you try it.
    RIGHT!! We had an old fashioned Boxer that was an amazing tracker!! Besides it's FUN.
    ps Our Dobie was darned good, too.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
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    2,076

    Default

    Wow, thanks everyone.

    I am not sure how I feel about the protection component and didn't know excluding it was an option. I am not interested in making Ike into a personal protection dog, his appearance is deterent enough. I walk him off leash on populated trails and he is fine...that isn't what I meant when I said he had natural instincts in that area....he isn't a sharp dog in that respect, just very tuned in or at least more so than most of my other Dobes have been (and that is saying something). I have wondered though if that is something you want to "wake up" in a dog? I don't own Dobes because they look tough or because I want protection....I just think they are the most beautiful, smart, funny....dogs going.

    I am looking for something a bit more interesting than normal obedience. I also have a friend that has a GSD and we wanted to get into something with our dogs together. I'm not sure why it being a sport is a bad thing....that is sort of what I'm after!

    Thanks for the input, I will continue to investigate.
    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,009

    Default

    My dog trainer Pat Klausman in Alpharetta had a pit bull trained to that level, and the dog was very well behaved. She sat in the office at the kennel and didn't move when clients came in with dogs. That dog "starred" as a regular on the tv series "In the Heat of the Night."

    I have a copy friend who trains both dope dogs and police dogs for chasing down and apprehending criminals, but those dogs don't normally live in family environments.

    I've always owned aussies and my parents owned llewellyn setters, neither of which were candidates for that level of protection.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    N. Florida
    Posts
    417

    Default Be very CAREFUL!

    Do alot of research before getting involved with a Sch club. There are good ones and BAD ones. I am a Dobe person and I know that many of the "good ol" boys" involved with some of the clubs prefer Mals and GSDs and will actually try to show you that your Doberman is weak nerved. I have heard some bad stories, including a Dobe whose nose and tooth were broken by an aggitator because he hit the sleeve so hard that the aggitator almost went down.

    When I got my first Doberman, I started going to a local Sch club. I found out pretty fast that most of the members were only interested in bite work. I didn't fit in. I started agility and never looked back. It's been ten years since then and I've had 5 Dobes in agility.

    I'm curious about why you (OP) feel that you and your Dobe wouldn't fit in at agility venues. Dobermans are one of the more successful larger breeds in agility.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWinston View Post
    Do alot of research before getting involved with a Sch club. There are good ones and BAD ones. I am a Dobe person and I know that many of the "good ol" boys" involved with some of the clubs prefer Mals and GSDs and will actually try to show you that your Doberman is weak nerved. I have heard some bad stories, including a Dobe whose nose and tooth were broken by an aggitator because he hit the sleeve so hard that the aggitator almost went down.

    When I got my first Doberman, I started going to a local Sch club. I found out pretty fast that most of the members were only interested in bite work. I didn't fit in. I started agility and never looked back. It's been ten years since then and I've had 5 Dobes in agility.

    I'm curious about why you (OP) feel that you and your Dobe wouldn't fit in at agility venues. Dobermans are one of the more successful larger breeds in agility.
    See, that is what I am afraid of. I do have one club close by that is more Dobes than any other breed (the pres is a Dobe lady)....maybe they would be best.

    As far as the agility thing goes....that is a delicate thing to answer honestly...I am sure Ike would fit in nicely no matter what. I am more the problem. My (LIMITED) experience with agility people made me feel similar to how I would feel at a NH clinic. Just not my thing. But, maybe I should get out and meet some other groups.
    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Sunshine State
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    It is such a misunderstood sport but if done RIGHT it can be very rewarding for dog and handler.

    I personally would not do it unless the dog was already very competent in obedience and agility. We have several sch. trained dogs in our flyball club but these dogs are trained beyond reproach in obedience too.

    Personally I LOVED doing flyball with my dobie for years and that was our sport of choice but it is very much a personal preference. If your unsure about that, why not try out a lot of other sports?

    Ditto on the tracking being fun, I had a lot of fun doing Rally-O with my rescue BC who was too dog aggressive to play flyball and too nervous about strangers for the "stand for exam" part of obedience. Our dobie was also quite the disc dog. There are TONS of options out there and no reason why you have to stick to one.

    All of our five dogs are trained in flyball (even though the BC doesn't compete and the dobie is retired) and all are competitive, in training for, or retired from agility. We do obedience work, though not competitively because it keeps the dogs sharp.... Our retriever does field training and just did his junior hunter. The retriever and the BC currently compete in disc, and the dobie did in her younger years (she's retired). Our pointer has done some tracking training and it was lots of fun but there are not enough free weekends between the horse shows, flyball (our primary sport), agility (our second sport), disc and hunt tests (which we do if they fit in the schedule)

    The dobie actually earned an obedience leg and competed in a flyball tournament on the SAME weekend at the GA cluster- The dogs understand the sport and can go from one to another MUCH easier than a horse can switch from say dressage to western pleasure.....



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Agreed with the previous posters - if you train for Schutzhund - the dog should be well balanced and exceedingly well trained. A number of people in the sport think it's all about the protection and don't have the control or obedience they need...which creates dangerous dogs. Tracking is really fun, as is the obedience. There are also competitions/certifications you can get for just tracking, if you're not interested in the protection side.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Posts
    2,076

    Default

    Ok, let me back this up a bit.

    Ike has basic obedience. What would be the logical next step? It sounds like Schutzhund may not be it. I guess I am open to anything, can't hurt to try. Do basic obedience clubs exist where you can train with others working towards a title?

    Also, how do you guys juggle training a dog with any intensity and riding? I am trying to figure out how I am going to do this! Working full time so interferes with my real life
    "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,109

    Default

    Have to agree, finding the right training group can be difficult. I was looking at further training for myself, to make me better at the 4-H dog training we did. None of us had much in advanced skills for the really good kids to learn from.

    The one meeting of the only nearby (60miles one way) club was VERY heavy on the protection/attack part. ALL the dogs were quite enthused about that, from small toy Schnauzer, Afgan Hound, various Shepherd breeds, to the head trainer's (ex-military dog trainer) own Dobe. They were all over the padded suit guy!!

    I had my 18month old Bouvier dog, who had good basic obedience on her at that point. Well, after doing their tracking, other more advanced obedience work, attack stuff, they wanted to see what my dog would do. The head trainer was almost drooling, they had no experience in the club with a Bouvier. He had me stand and hold her on a firm leash, no choke collar, then tried to get her to react to his acting menacing. She stood quietly between him and me, but would not "go at" him the way all the other dogs did. He finally resorted to pushing and UNEXPECTEDLY tripping me, so I let go of the leash to break my fall. Dog grabbed his pants leg and pulled hard. She took him down by jerking his legs from beneath him! He laid still, I got up, picked up the leash and moved her away before he got up and started yelling at me about not holding on! WHAT?? I said "That's it! You surprised me, forced the threat to me issue with tripping, so you got what you wanted, AND she did NOT hurt you in the process!! Be glad she isn't like the other dogs here or she would have ripped out your throat while you were on the ground." I told them what they did to get results was unacceptable for me, not interested in their club or training methods, good-bye.

    I SURE could not have my dog reacting with an attack if some 4-H kid bumped into me accidently!! Those dog and kid training sessions were busy, with all kinds of stuff happening. Too bizarre an attitude of thinking to consider using in training! My dog had a good mind, was a sensible family dog. She did what was appropriate to that defending situation, ONLY when EXTREMELY provoked.

    So I have steered away from that kind of training for any of my dogs. Once you break the "people dominant" factor in a dog, I do believe they will bite easier, faster in touchy situations. Not often what you want to happen.

    Still have my Bouvier's, not the same one, but the ones I have are thinkers, not just reactors. Nice dogs to take places, don't take offense at crowds, strange people petting them unexpectedly, defensive without cause. They just move aside if bumped while going along on leash. I find them to be "Practical" in using their obedience training, sit all day, lay down quietly while you talk to friends at activities, heel right along thru MASSIVE crowds with no problems, and do it for hours. Dogs are entertained by all the stuff around them, watch everything attentively, live TV! Mine just don't think ring work is very much fun, so not competitive. They have demonstrated good skills at not letting folks out of their cars or allowing them to enter the yard, for thinking protection, without going crazy doing it. They moved ahead of the small children when strangers approached, did not let them near the kids, just growled, not attacking. Strangers kept back!! Obedient when called by family to come away.

    I admire the skills needed to train a Schutzhund dog, know they are very smart in the levels they achieve in competitions. Just not what I want from my dogs.

    Having a dog who attends Attack training classes COULD make you uninsurable, or defenseless in a dog bite suit, if dog does bite someone later. There is a thread on about being dropped by the insurance company for owning a certain breed of dog. Breeds have good and poor specimens to "prove" they are bad risks for biting. Insurance companies are using these statistics to escape covering problems or not willing to give you coverage because of "averages". Things to consider when under taking training a dog to defend on command.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 1999
    Location
    Chicago,IL, USA
    Posts
    886

    Default I also have dobies...

    Both of mine are finished Champions with their CGCs and I work my male in Rally, Obedience, Agility and this weekend we are starting in tracking. Like most Dobies he is a smart and committed worker. He is a certified therapy dog and we visit regularly at the local veteran's hospital. He also has his Temperment Testing and we are going for is WAE (Working Aptitude Evaluation- a temperment test) in two weeks. In the temperment testing, the dogs have to accept friendly strangers and protect against a threatening stranger. With no previous training, my male did great and showed what he was bred to do.

    My concern with training in Schutzhund work is how it might affect my insurance liability. Having obedience titles, CGC etc. lowers your insurance rates. Just owning a doberman can raise it and one trained in protection work could negatively affect your homeowners. I would recommend looking into this before starting training.

    By the way, I also have a Clumber Spaniel who we laughing call the "Anti-Dobie". People cross the street to avoid my dobie and cross the street to come pet my Clumber. Very funny!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 1999
    Location
    Chicago,IL, USA
    Posts
    886

    Default Sisu27

    In answer to your question...go to the akc website (www.akc.org) to find an obedience club near you. There you'll find great folks who will help you in your training.

    The good news is, you are training one of the easiest breeds in the world to train! Dobies were bred to work and are extremely intelligent. That means they are not a breed that needs lots of repitition and drilling. I know about that path having put obedience titles on a Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound and Italian Greyhound. Those breeds took LOTS of practice and repitition. I work my male dobie every day BUT rarely longer than a 15 minute session. There's a great book called "Playtraining Your Dog" by Pat Burnham who trained greyhounds. She developed a system of short daily sessions which helps create a happy working dog and avoids the drilling that kills a lot of enthusiasm. We work at home daily and I train once a week with a local club.

    10 minutes, twice a day with a reasonably intelligent dobie should work wonders...and give you plenty of time to ride...and earn a living!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,704

    Default

    It will make your home owner's insurance sky rocket
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    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2002
    Location
    UNITED STATES
    Posts
    2,869

    Default I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    I trained personal protection dogs for 10 years.

    It is up to you what way you want to go. Schutzhund in the USA is watered down to a sport now.
    If you want higher end sport, go Mondio or French ring.
    If you want more real protection, look for a personal protection group. I still trained some tracking even with PP.

    Go to Leerburg.com forums to discuss details with the people there.
    I have seen good and bad. I have seen some dogs come from Europe so mistreated and "fried"--dogs that were bought for over $40k!

    Interesting sport, but I like watching the PP ones best!
    Last edited by Horsecrazy27; Sep. 16, 2009 at 12:25 AM. Reason: better explain
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