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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've always thought about doing Schutzhund with Diesel but I'm very new to it and want to learn as much as I can before I get involved so any of you with experience with this please chime in. First off what age do you start training for it? How much OB training is needed? What kind of equipment is needed? Also money wise can it be on the expensive side? What determines if a dog will be good for Schutzhund? I haven't done too much research yet into it but that is what I'm starting to do now is gathering lots and lots of info so if anyone knows any good websites or articles to check out feel free to send them my way. I really want to get Diesel involved in something and Schutzhund has always been fascinating to me.

Thanks everyone!

Side note: I hope I posted this in the right spot :)
 

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I haven't been in it too long, but it is very time consuming...more than most other dog sports because you are training for three different things at one time (obedience, tracking, and protection). It can be expensive depending on the club. The best way to know if your dog is a candidate is to take him to a club to be evaluated. I started bringing my puppy at 16 weeks, but that was really for socialization...but we have been doing light obedience and tracking work since then and are just starting to get serious about the protection work at 7mo (before it was just a tug game).

I have one dog that started late and one started at puppyhood...so from my experience I would say start as early as you can.

As far as what items to get...I would just start with a flat collar, leash, hotdogs, and a ball on a string. All you want to work on is getting him excited about working. Michael Ellis' videos are great for beginners.
 

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Doberman Slave
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The time it takes is a LOT! I think time is the most major investment. Actual expenses vary, but you will find yourself suddenly spending money on all types of equipment that you just have to have, let alone the actual training expenses. In terms of the OB training? It is ongoing, always. I think OB is actually the toughest phase even with a decent dog. :)
We start our babies imprinting on attention, tracking and some positions as early as 8 weeks, but I never push OB until way later. And TONS of socialization to environments, people, places, noises, whatever.
Having said that, it is the most fun I have ever had with my dogs and the bond we have is amazing. My dogs will scream, claw, dig, jump out windows, and do everything in their power to get on the field to work. Those here who know them have witnesed this terrible behavior. They love it. :)
 

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The time it takes is a LOT! I think time is the most major investment. Actual expenses vary, but you will find yourself suddenly spending money on all types of equipment that you just have to have, let alone the actual training expenses.
SO true. It's kind of a running joke with our club... we almost need to publish weekly shopping lists! I've found myself buying things I never thought I'd ever need for dog training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I haven't been in it too long, but it is very time consuming...more than most other dog sports because you are training for three different things at one time (obedience, tracking, and protection). It can be expensive depending on the club. The best way to know if your dog is a candidate is to take him to a club to be evaluated. I started bringing my puppy at 16 weeks, but that was really for socialization...but we have been doing light obedience and tracking work since then and are just starting to get serious about the protection work at 7mo (before it was just a tug game).

I have one dog that started late and one started at puppyhood...so from my experience I would say start as early as you can.

As far as what items to get...I would just start with a flat collar, leash, hotdogs, and a ball on a string. All you want to work on is getting him excited about working. Michael Ellis' videos are great for beginners.
So I guess I should probably find a club to get Diesel introduced to the idea haha How did the dog do that started late? What age?

Thank you! I'll look into the video and we'll start looking around for clubs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The time it takes is a LOT! I think time is the most major investment. Actual expenses vary, but you will find yourself suddenly spending money on all types of equipment that you just have to have, let alone the actual training expenses. In terms of the OB training? It is ongoing, always. I think OB is actually the toughest phase even with a decent dog. :)
We start our babies imprinting on attention, tracking and some positions as early as 8 weeks, but I never push OB until way later. And TONS of socialization to environments, people, places, noises, whatever.
Having said that, it is the most fun I have ever had with my dogs and the bond we have is amazing. My dogs will scream, claw, dig, jump out windows, and do everything in their power to get on the field to work. Those here who know them have witnesed this terrible behavior. They love it. :)
How much time would you say you spend? Time isn't really an issue for me. I want the bonding time with Diesel. I've watched so many videos and the bond between the owner and their dog is amazing! I love it.

Why do you think OB is the toughest?

My biggest task now is to get him used to noises. He doesn't like loud noises really so we need to work on that. I love how excited they get. That's awesome. Hearing stuff like that makes me want to do it so much more.
 

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I am very new to the sport and will only be getting my BH in may. Zeus literally had 0 ball drive, prey drive, work, ambition, etc when I evaluated him, and all we had to work with was deep love of food.

I've been working with a group and trainer for the past 2 months now, and despite all the other training I've done, this is by FAR my favorite. Zeus was never really 'into' working at all. Now he'll bring me his collar to go work, spin circles outside of the car, and will actually play tug for rewards. This also made our bond go out the roof. (As I mentioned in my other post about him only caring about me :D ).

Using schutzhund principles, drive building exercises unique to just him, and training so frequently has made Zeus a different dog. He still enjoys sleeping all the time, but when its time to work or when I allow him to train, he perks up beyond belief. No one (family friends etc) believes he can actually work due to his personality until I tell him a command, and then it is game on!

He is a humongous BYB rescue who was also abused/neglected pretty badly, so we train pretty differently than everyone else in the group. Basically just in shorter sessions, minimal corrections, and tons upon tons of reinforcement and drive building. I try 24 hours of the day to capture any time he is engaged or drivey and take full advantage of that. So my training is definitely time consuming. Despite the training, the way I 'treat' Zeus in the house has also changed completely. I treat him like a working dog, and make him work for everything ;)

We started out saying we were just going to do Ob and Tracking with him until I get a 'drivier' dog, but with the progress he has made, we may possibly work on the protection for our IPO1. Zeus 'knows' all of the ob now, so I focus 90% on drive building and making it fun, because this brings results 10-fold in return.

My training expenses are $120.month, but could be as low as $60 if I only wanted to train 1 day a week. However, as everyone else mentioned, the other expenses are what add up. I've probably spent around $300 in the last couple weeks trying to get Zeus ready to trial, registered, and with the proper equipment. And then there's another $300 or so in items I need to buy. :D


Just based on his personality change, how much happier he is, and how much he LOVES the work, it is worth every penny.
 

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sufferin succotash
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Isn't your breeder, Desert Legend, involved in schutzhund? They might be able to provide valuable info on training, commitment, expenses, clubs, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am very new to the sport and will only be getting my BH in may. Zeus literally had 0 ball drive, prey drive, work, ambition, etc when I evaluated him, and all we had to work with was deep love of food.

I've been working with a group and trainer for the past 2 months now, and despite all the other training I've done, this is by FAR my favorite. Zeus was never really 'into' working at all. Now he'll bring me his collar to go work, spin circles outside of the car, and will actually play tug for rewards. This also made our bond go out the roof. (As I mentioned in my other post about him only caring about me :D ).

Using schutzhund principles, drive building exercises unique to just him, and training so frequently has made Zeus a different dog. He still enjoys sleeping all the time, but when its time to work or when I allow him to train, he perks up beyond belief. No one (family friends etc) believes he can actually work due to his personality until I tell him a command, and then it is game on!

He is a humongous BYB rescue who was also abused/neglected pretty badly, so we train pretty differently than everyone else in the group. Basically just in shorter sessions, minimal corrections, and tons upon tons of reinforcement and drive building. I try 24 hours of the day to capture any time he is engaged or drivey and take full advantage of that. So my training is definitely time consuming. Despite the training, the way I 'treat' Zeus in the house has also changed completely. I treat him like a working dog, and make him work for everything ;)

We started out saying we were just going to do Ob and Tracking with him until I get a 'drivier' dog, but with the progress he has made, we may possibly work on the protection for our IPO1. Zeus 'knows' all of the ob now, so I focus 90% on drive building and making it fun, because this brings results 10-fold in return.

My training expenses are $120.month, but could be as low as $60 if I only wanted to train 1 day a week. However, as everyone else mentioned, the other expenses are what add up. I've probably spent around $300 in the last couple weeks trying to get Zeus ready to trial, registered, and with the proper equipment. And then there's another $300 or so in items I need to buy. :D


Just based on his personality change, how much happier he is, and how much he LOVES the work, it is worth every penny.
That's awesome. Way to go Zeus! I hope it continues to go well and that fee isn't too much. I could do that haha How often do you train?

I think I'll get carried away with buying things ;)
 

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I average twice a week. I would go more, but the facility is very far away, and I am a full time student. He gets usually one day off completely, but on days such as today, I will go somewhere with heavy distractions to practice 'focus', or go to an empty soccer field etc, to work on everything else. I also 'train' at home 2-3 times a day for only a few minutes at a time to work on one specific thing or problem area.

Most of the ones in my group go 3x a week and/or also have a few privates. They average closer to $200+, but these prices are different than if I joined an actual USA schutzhund club etc
 

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Doberman Slave
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How much time would you say you spend? Time isn't really an issue for me. I want the bonding time with Diesel. I've watched so many videos and the bond between the owner and their dog is amazing! I love it.

Why do you think OB is the toughest?

My biggest task now is to get him used to noises. He doesn't like loud noises really so we need to work on that. I love how excited they get. That's awesome. Hearing stuff like that makes me want to do it so much more.
Well, training is always ongoing. So at least something every single day. During most weekdays, I train during my breaks at work since I can take my dogs to work with me, and then some each evening too. I think OB is the toughest just because it takes the longest and the way we train, each component is broken down before it is put together. Like heeling for example take a lot of attention and position work before we ever start really moving. All trainers are different, so this is just what we do.
In the old days (meaning before we moved to California) we would never start a dog on bite work until they were a year or maybe just under depending on the dog. They would be brought out to watch and we would play tug, but that's about it. Now days, everyone wants to start their pups on the rag right away. But I would not worry about your dogs age at all. If he has the correct temperament and drive, it won't matter at all. The OB might as if you have been doing things a certain way, you may find you have to retrain which is usually harder.
 

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Doberman Slave
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If it is Desert Legend in AZ I do not believe they are involved in SchH.
I don't think any of the Desert Legend people are actually involved in sport. And there seem to be about 3 Euro greeders, maybe more with this name. Maybe it's a franchise. :rolleyesww:
 

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The dog that started late is Hans, my dobe...he was almost 2...like 21 months or something. We had started with a different club at 5months or so but I didn't really like that club so I waited to start again when I moved. (Thats the other thing...even though there may be clubs near you doesn't mean they will be the best fit for you and your dog.) So I had done a lot of basic obedience work on my own with Hans but he really lacked focus, and drive. Once we started with the club, he completely changed. Now he is a total PITA! We got our BH after 5months of working with the club and we haven't stopped! I really love it...obedience and tracking to be specific. The protection is what has taken longer to develop for him. It's a longgg road from playing tug to doing a SchH1 protection routine.

With the puppy its much easier (so far) because #1 he is from all working lines, and #2 I'm not trying to fix things that I did wrong the first time...its all fun fun fun.

I agree obedience is the hardest phase. Even a BH, the first title is pretty advanced compared to other sports. I would say it's also because obedience is used through all three phases. If your obedience sucks...you can pretty much count on the tracking and protection to suck too. :)
 

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One of the things I like best about Schutzhund is that it's not a rush job to get your dog trained and trialed the very instant s/he is old enough to attain a title. It's easy to envy those who have started very young with their dogs, but older dogs seem to me to enjoy the work every bit as much, and, for me, that's a big part of the appeal. I love what Asmit posted!

It does take time. It is also true, though, that both the human and the dog are learning by way of each and every interaction they have, whether or not it's called or considered formal training. So. Unless someone is ignoring their dog, the time will be put in anyway. And once you've seen how very much the dogs enjoy it, I just don't think there's any turning back.

I do have to say that my son was involved in Schutzhund when he was single. Now he has a wife and two small children, and he really just does not have additional time available to be working with a dog. So, I'd say Schutzhund does take time, and some people may really just not have time to be doing intensive training of any sort with a dog. My son would not have time to be doing agility, either, for example, at this point in his life.

Sooooo....I have to be the dissenting voice regarding cost. As a hobby, I think Schutzhund is really affordable.

Compared to flying. Compared to golfing. Compared to any other thing my husband might ever develop an interest in doing. And definitely less costly than my sewing/needlework hobby has been.

Club membership, parent club membership, a little bit for the helper when there's protection work, a fursaver, a prong collar, an agitation harness, a long line, a leash, ball on a string, tugs, and more treats than I can even believe. In our case, protection equipment, too, at some point, as DH is interested to learn to be a helper. I see that somewhere in our future may be an electronic collar and will be some articles for tracking...seems to me that what one needs is generally stuff that costs less than $200 at any one time, so the equipment cost is, or can be, amortized nicely.

And the overall cost seems reasonable to me.

The way hubby feels when Gracie runs hell bent down the field toward him....

....priceless. Absolutely priceless.
 

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The dog that started late is Hans, my dobe...he was almost 2...like 21 months or something. We had started with a different club at 5months or so but I didn't really like that club so I waited to start again when I moved. (Thats the other thing...even though there may be clubs near you doesn't mean they will be the best fit for you and your dog.) So I had done a lot of basic obedience work on my own with Hans but he really lacked focus, and drive. Once we started with the club, he completely changed. Now he is a total PITA! We got our BH after 5months of working with the club and we haven't stopped! I really love it...obedience and tracking to be specific. The protection is what has taken longer to develop for him. It's a longgg road from playing tug to doing a SchH1 protection routine.

With the puppy its much easier (so far) because #1 he is from all working lines, and #2 I'm not trying to fix things that I did wrong the first time...its all fun fun fun.

I agree obedience is the hardest phase. Even a BH, the first title is pretty advanced compared to other sports. I would say it's also because obedience is used through all three phases. If your obedience sucks...you can pretty much count on the tracking and protection to suck too. :)
Agreed 100%

Had to add to this :) There are a few people I train with that first did AKC ob and have atleast a CD title. Despite this, the BH is still proving very difficult. It seems 'simple' on paper, but it really tests whether the dog knows EXACTLY what sit/down/heel means for an extended amount of time, not just knowing the motions, no double commands, and no attention from the handler makes it much more difficult! Really tests the dogs patience and focus.
 
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