Props to Steve for his honesty.....reference e-collar.
I was never a fan of the e-collar, but over the years I have found that once a dog is taught and has actually learned
what is required of them, an e-collar is a very useful tool in the right hands
, with the right dog. Admittingly, I just don't have the skills, experience or timing required to utilize the e-collar myself - at least not yet
. In protection, using a prong tends to send some dogs that much higher in drive (My current competition dog - Zane - is like this)....great for the obedience phase (for drive and power), but not so great for an already high in drive younger dog that needs to learn to cap his own drives and be obedient in the protection phase. Then one would have to consider the distance from handler to dog...especially in the protection phase. Like any other training tool...in the right hands.
...it serves a useful purpose. I personally think it is humane to train/proof
(not to be confused with the learning/teaching phase) utilizing what methods works best for each individual dog...rather then nag with corrections on daily/weekly basis using a tool that obviously has little to no effect for that particular dog
I over-heard a remark by a helper/decoy specifically concerning his mindset while working Dobermans....that left me thinking. He stated that Dobermans are pretty smart dogs (no surprise to any one on this forum I'm sure)...that if a helper permits a Dobe to get away even once with a fly-by without
consequences (not necessarily talking physical correction) and even worse is permitted an "easy bite" after a fly-by....it'll take awhile to extinguish this - if ever, consistently . Dobes are thinkers.....his opinion was that they figure why expel so much energy and slam into a sleeve at high speed when they can pass the first bite up and receive an easier second try. Makes sense...especially when I've witnessed, more then a few times on various training fields....dog flies past the initial long bite and a helper will stand still without any pressure to the dog what so ever or worse he gives a prey (helper moves away/backwards from the dog) bite . At trials, even though the helper is required to drive/attack towards a dog that fails to engage/stick on the long bite....it's still an "easier" bite if for no other reason then distance/impact.
In response to Steve's comments specifically about my previous post:
Judges - I've found that who I consider a "hard" judge is an "easy" judge for others...and the other way around. Rather then train a dog for a specific judge - hard or easy by anyone's standards - I try
to train so that my dog meets every requirement that is stated in the rule book to its highest level. How I interpret the rules, just like judges, is subject to interpretation. I once asked a specific question to three different judges and obtained three different answers and three different opinions as to how many points would/would not be deducted. Note: I was not trying to trick or prove anything - it was an honest question that I was really wanting to know the answer to. It's all about interpretation. What one judge sees as a dog that is to fast on the track......another judge might see as a dog that is free and has alot of drive for tracking. A dog that is slow and meticulous on the track...one judge sees as "to much pressure" while another has high praise for the dogs correctness and intensity. There is one particular judge (USA) that many people would call "easy". I have alot of respect for her....she is the reason I even decided to pursue the sport. Her pencil is not as sharp at club trials or trialing a SchH1 versus a SchH3 team, as it is at a regional or higher event....but then should it be? What she is--is fair and consistent with each team - easy-going and very cordial to each team.......which I can't help but respect and admire. No doubt she has assisted in keeping and drawing numerous new competitors to this sport..... AND
Dobes were her first breed to compete with
As for titles - I should have been more specific...I don't understand why it is of such importance to obtain the highest level title = SchH 3
, MR3, FR3 etc on a bitch....before breeding. As you well know.....the years it takes to attain those titles are long.....then to find out that the female is incapable of even having puppies or is not a good mother or produces way below what she is. I think that many people breed/have bred SchH3 dogs (of various breeds) that were much less then what should be bred but hey they titled....mainly because of all the time, money etc that it took to obtain the title - when the results probably could have been seen many years prior.