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Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind.

Posted By: elisabeth

Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 03:22 AM

Do you think it is necessary to have your puppy enrolled in puppy classes AND belong to a club (schutzhund)?

I didn’t plan on attending obedience classes outside of the time we train at the club but was wondering what others have done?

I have a core group of dogs that we train with nightly (at least 4-5 times per week) at various locations (parks, neighbourhoods, malls, parking lots, sidewalks, middle of the city, country roads and forests, etc.) and we sometimes have new dogs come with us to train, or at least play with ours after our training is finished.

The trainers in this area are very “pet obedience” motivated while I agree that this type of training is all well and good - I personally don’t believe that it is the route I want to go with my new puppy. I did A LOT of “fixing” with Stark once we started at the club and don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.

What types of formal training classes did you participate in with your working dog? Or did you for-go the classes and stick solely with the club training?

I have also been taking agility classes with Stark and enjoy that and was hoping to take the new puppy there as well. Would this be beneficial to our schutzhund training or not?
Posted By: Jane Jean

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 03:32 AM

I took my pup to Schh club regularly when he was 10 weeks old, we just went for socializing and a bit of evaluation, support. But we went consistantly(then changed clubs:(
I took Karlo to a puppy playtime for socializing(3x's) and saw he was fine so never went back. Then I took him to an obedience class at about 4-5 mos. I didn't do the " NO jumping on me" exercises or squashed his drive, but he was handler sensitive, so obedience came easily with no correcting.

I never had to put pressure/ correction until he was almost 2(now).
It all depends on the dog, the level of their threshold and genetics.

IF I waited to start Karlo til now(in all 3 phases) it would not have been detrimental.

I think though, if you can get the pup to experience all or any different training venues, it is beneficial as long as you aren't over obediencing them.

Confidence building is most important in whatever you do...you can always bring that down/building it up is the challenge.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 03:40 AM

This is what I was hoping to hear. I can do a few drop in sessions with Stark's old obedience instructor if needed just for the experience of being in a group class like that but I have no intention of using her methods (great for pet people, but not what I want to do with mine).
Posted By: Castlemaid

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 04:33 AM

With your experience, knowledge, goals, and resources, no, not necessary. You still can if you want to - fun to get out and do stuff with a puppy, and nice socialization for a puppy, but you are already all set up to meet those needs in other ways.

When I got Gryff, he was six months old, and started basic obedience classes with him right away; I knew how important this was for bonding and developing a relationship, as it has made all the difference in my relationship with Keeta.

But I dropped out after a few classes, because I felt it was counter-productive for my goals. For one thing, there were a lot of exercises I passed on, like Jane, and also I felt that the pace was too fast, and I didn't want to move ahead until I felt that some basics were very solid - for example, I didn't want to take one single step in heeling unless I had 100% focus - and that takes more than a couple of weeks to instill before we go from a stationary focus to a moving one. So I was spending a lot of time in a corner working on stuff on my own instead of following the class, so there wasn't much point in me going, especially since I would have to drive quite a distance for the classes.

I don't think that Gryff's obedience suffered any because of it. wink
Posted By: Vinnie

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 05:03 AM

I agree with Jane & Lucia.

I'd maybe go more for a social thing than for training purposes but it sounds like you've got a group already set-up for that where you go to various locations.
Posted By: Northern GSDs

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 05:44 AM

I'm with the others as well. You really have "puppy on the mind" don't you grin
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 07:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Northern GSDs
I'm with the others as well. You really have "puppy on the mind" don't you grin


I totally do.

I spent the afternoon at Stark's breeder one day last week visiting (okay, to really spend some time with Lexi, a female I am considering a pup from whistle ) and she had 11, four week old pups from another female of hers that I got to cuddle. I also just fell more in love with Lexi and Shep (Stark's sire) and made me want one of their pups so very badly.
Posted By: Northern GSDs

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 07:42 AM

I read that!! And I have to say wub
Posted By: Wayne

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 01:49 PM

Canada...Minnesota...Michigan...this thread looks like its just a bunch of Northerner's typing to keep their fingers warm on a cold February night!!!! I am sick of the SNOW!!!

Anyway, great thread...can totally relate to not repeating what you did with Stark, or what I did with Dayna. The "GSDs of the Great White North" crew have given you solid advice, which you did not need. So let me jump on the validation pile and say it sounds like you are all over this puppy raising thing. Should be an awesome dog you're raising, and you're close enough I can't think of a reason Jane and I should not have an opportunity to meet you and this pup someday!!!

It is almost 8am, the sun it up high enough, I am going out into the cold now to run the dogs on the "nature trails"....seems wrong to call the hiking area that, although every local does...it would be more accurate to call them "squirrel hunting paths".
Posted By: Kayos

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 03:19 PM

Me thinks Elisabeth is getting serious puppy fever!!! Since I don't do SchH I have nothing to offer! smile
Posted By: lhczth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 04:44 PM

I go to classes more to just get my puppy out and about a lot of other dogs. I train on my own and don't follow what goes on in the class, but I have been around for a long time so they all know me. I do like the intro to agility class for the pups. From what you have described you will probably not need the classes except for the occasional drop in session for something different to do.
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 04:55 PM

i think the question is "how serious are you about schutzhund?". i raised fritz in a working dog way in that i didnt do alot of corrections while young. didnt encourage jumping up on us, but didnt correct it, didnt encourage him biteing and mouthing us, but didnt correct it. never played the "chase me game" with him (us chasing him) always played tug and encouraged that. i never let him get into a scarey situation, and if something happened that was scary to him i never reenforced his worried reaction just patiently waited untill we could reapproach the thing/person/situation. that being said i also took him everywhere and encouraged all kinds of environmental contacts. like the construction zone, the horse shows, the folk festival, the mondio championships... my trainer was not at a petstore or the city, our early training was just us and maybe a few others who where about the same level or at least working on a compatable issue. now we are a demo unit. while i want to do schutzhund, and am now with a club, i wanted my dog to be well rounded in anything i do. rally, herding, OB....all of it. that being said, though, my main goal is to have a dog that i can take absolutely everywhere with me and know that he will behave. that is the most important thing- a true GSD. alot of schutzhund/ringsprt folks i know dont think that way. they have thier dogs for sport only.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 06:15 PM

Besides the point about not doing any "pet obedience" that is how I raised Stark - and not with SchH in mind, I just wanted a well rounded dog.

I did a lot of foundation work with Stark that WAS ALL WRONG so when we joined the club we needed to correct that (positions, heeling, focus, squashed his drive which I am happy to say has improved 10 fold at this point from where it was).

I NEED a dog who I can take everywhere and do everything with yet will still kick some butt out on the field.

One thing I enjoy doing with my dogs is trying a bit of everything (herding, agility, might like to try flyball) and would like to include the newest addition along with that.

SchH is my main goal and I would like to title in the sport with at least 1 dog (not sure if Stark will be able too, we have a little ways to go still) but like I said, I really need a dog who is comfortable and confident in any situation I put him in because of my lifestyle.
Posted By: Northern GSDs

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/27/11 10:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Kayos
Me thinks Elisabeth is getting serious puppy fever!!! smile



Oh yes!!! I would say Elisabeth's temperature is sky rocketing! Better get some Tylenol and cool compresses grin
Posted By: Liesje

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 01:58 AM

I think even raising a puppy w/ Schutzhund in mind there is a lot of variation because there is still a great deal of variation among the dogs. I prefer dogs with a bit of a higher threshold and not nutty prey drive, so my Nikon and Pan have both been relatively easy, well-mannered puppies without much effort on my part. Neither have been mouthy to me at all, never even had to work on or train this. They are not the dogs that chase and bite anything that moves. Pan bit our pants but that lasted about a day. I tend to give my puppies quite a bit of freedom with the other dogs because I don't kennel or crate-and-rotate so everyone needs to learn to get along, plus I think there are some things that dogs do together as far as play and teaching life lessons that I cannot substitute. That said, none of my other dogs over-correct a puppy so that has never been an issue. If anything, I will step in eventually because the puppy is getting too rambunctious.

I did puppy classes with both Pan and Nikon but it was more for us to just get out and proof things like eye contact and self-control around other dogs. I don't train the same way as my puppy class trainer but she respects that. We just kind of do our own thing. I don't do any of the exercises like letting someone else handle my dog, and I don't use puppy class for dog-dog socialization. I've never had issues with puppy class being detrimental, but going in I already know how I plan to train the dog as far as SchH and I know how to tailor the puppy training so that the dog isn't getting mixed messages.

Likewise I've never had issues with agility either, but like I said above, SchH is my priority and how I train in any other venue is tailored to compliment SchH. We do agility, dock diving, herding, rally, and now flyball and lure coursing. I loved doing agility with Nikon (we can only do it May-Sept), I think it obviously helped with his jump technique but also self-control and staying biddable and attentive while in drive, and more problem solving opportunities.

As far as the general raising and training of puppies I really don't think I'd raise a non-SchH dog any differently than I've been raising Pan and Nikon.
Posted By: Wayne

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 05:01 AM

Originally Posted By: elisabeth
I did a lot of foundation work with Stark that WAS ALL WRONG so when we joined the club we needed to correct that (positions, heeling, focus, squashed his drive which I am happy to say has improved 10 fold at this point from where it was).

I NEED a dog who I can take everywhere and do everything with yet will still kick some butt out on the field.


You are saying the same things I have been saying the past couple of years....I totally get how you are looking at training, the GSD you want, and what you'd like to accomplish.

You're on the right path running these things to ground and planning.

Which is not to say I don't love Dayna to pieces!!!!! but Indy is different.
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 05:12 AM

I think some/maybe most people think that I am very critical of Stark and I am BUT that doesn't mean I don't love him more than my own life. I love this dog - he has taught me soooo much.

I am a better owner/handler/trainer/GSD enthusist because of him.

I am VERY honest in OUR abilities and want to ensure that the next dog to come home with me is what I am looking for in all aspects (companion/working partner). I love Stark but like I said, I see things in him that I am not 100% happy with. Not his fault, not the breeder's fault, not my fault - I will just know what to look/not to look for in the future.
Posted By: Jason L

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 05:46 AM

Elisabeth, you are doing a great job with Stark and will do an amazing job with your next pup, I just know it!
Posted By: Lexi

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 06:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Jason L
Elisabeth, you are doing a great job with Stark and will do an amazing job with your next pup, I just know it!


Agree wholeheartedly! thumbup
Posted By: elisabeth

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 07:27 AM

Thanks guys!

I try my best! wink
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: Raising and training a puppy with schH in mind. - 02/28/11 04:12 PM

when i went to a schutzhund eval when fritz was about 6 months i was mortified to be told that i had taught him the sit and down totally wrong. had to go back and work on sit and down for weeks ....
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