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Storm's Mom
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Hello! I am extremely excited at getting the chance to observe a training session at the Cascade Schutzhund Club who surprisingly is very close to my house! I know nothing of the working aspect of Dobermans and thought it would be beneficial for me to learn more and see dogs in action. The woman I spoke with via email asked for me to bring Storm in to so that they can evaluate her. I would love to get involved in Schutzhund and have my girl trained for what she was bred for. Although she is an "American Doberman"(as some Euro breeders feel American Dobes can't work like Euros can, or that they would fail) almost half of her pedigree is nothing but working lines from some great Euro Dobes such as Baron Nike Renewal. Unfortunately all of the working Dobermans don't really start until the 4th generation, but that still can add to her working ability right? Either way, my question is how are dogs evaluated for Schutzhund? I know that some dogs lack the drive or the temperment for the sport, but what else do they look for? I'm just curious to know a little bit more so I don't look like a complete fool when showing up to the training session Thursday. Can anyone also provide some good websites that have solid info on SchH? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Even if my girl doesn't quite fit the criteria, SchH may still be an area of interest in the future with a dog that does. Thanks in advance! I really appreciate all of the help and advice/experience everyone has to off on her. =) Hope everyone has a great Monday!
 

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Different people look for different things in a schutzhund dog. Although some require a dog who is more serious regarding the work, many dogs with decent prey drive can still participate in schutzhund. Just don't go out there expecting to 'blow them away' and then be disappointed. The shutzhund club will know what is best for your dog and be able to tell if she has the genetic potential! And after all, it's all about having fun with your dog, and preparing for your future one.
 

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Schutzhund has it’s origins as a temperament test for German Shepherd Dogs. There are three phases- Tracking, Obedience and Protection.

In all three phases, a dog’s willingness to work is being tested and evaluated.

There are some exercises in the Obedience phase that test a dogs conformation or athleticism, but generally speaking a large number of dogs from many different breeds can successfully pass both the Tracking and Obedience phases of Schutzhund.

It is in the protection phase that a dog’s temperament is really brought to light. His nerves, drive, confidence, stability, trainability, etc, etc, etc. are tested in a way that (in theory) shows what the dog possesses genetically. This is the phase where only a limited number of breeds should be successful.

Because Tracking and Obedience can be done by many dogs of many breeds, it is the Protection phase that really separates the dogs with the correct Schutzhund temperament from those that don’t have it. So…. this is what most Schutzhund “evaluations” focus on.

As far as what to expect during an evaluation, Clubs and trainers will have differing views on how to evaluate a dog for Schutzhund.

Some people are old school, traditional thinkers who believe a dog should be serious about Protection work. Those kinds of trainers will likely evaluate by putting your dog into a defensive state of mind and then reading the dogs reaction.

Other clubs are more sport/fun orientated and will likely evaluate by seeing how interested your dog is in catching a prey object, barking and playing tug.

And of course there are clubs/trainers in the middle who may evaluate with a mixture of watching how your dog reacts defensively as well as how he reacts to play and prey objects.
 
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