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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went yesterday and met with a local schutzhund club. Its the only one nearby (within 2 hours) and the members were all GSD owners, which isnt a problem, just a little background. Anyway, the trainer teaches in a 3-method technique; 1- obedience 2- tracking 3- protection. Overall I think he was a good trainer but I had a few personal red flags (or just one really) and I'm not sure if its normal for the sport or that I could be just a little too sensitive?
His obedience training was not all positive. It was certainly positive based with food and luring, but for the more advanced dogs, he did quite a bit of leash popping wearing prong collars. I wasnt interested or pleased with that at all. I personally felt that if they had used more positive OB training methods, the leash popping wouldnt have been neccessary? am I wrong or over-analyzing?
Everything else for the most part was great, lots of praise and playing after a job well done.

I mainly went out to check out the club and am interested in getting Cadence (16 week pup) into sports. Her breeder is a conformation owner/shower but I am more interested in sports. She has been to puppy kindergarten and did VERY well; she starts OB 1 training next week with a positive only training club, and is also in agility training with a personal trainer. I want to try many venues for now and see what SHE likes and excels in. On a side note, the schutzhund trainer (who is GSD all the way) was EXTREMELY impressed with Cadence and couldnt stop bragging on her. Claimed she is "a GSD in a dobie body" I dont agree, but thats neither here nor there ;)
Pending your expert advice, My thoughts on the issue at hand are that (if we want to continue into the world of schutzhund) I will do all of her OB training with another trainer that uses only positive training and possibly get involved with the schutzhund club for the protection portion only? (with the understanding that there will be no harsh corrections) What do you guys think?!
Thanks in advance!
 

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GSD are very very different than a Doberman. That is the biggest challenge for those of us who do Schutzhund. Since it is a test devised for the GSD most trainers know GSD and don't know or understand the make up of a doberman and how to balance and bring out the drives.

Dobermans will work better with more postive and far less corrections. Since you are the one on the end of the leash you keep it postive for the puppy. Nothing will turn off a Doberman puppy faster than corrections - they will die to please you if it makes you happy and they are rewarded.

Good luck and so sorry you don't have a trainer close that is familiar with Dobermans.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, I appreciate your feedback! Do you think it would be appropriate or offensive to tell him (trainer) how I do and do NOT want her treated, in a polite and professional way of course. ie no snatching/popping etc. Or should I just stay away from his training all together?
 

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Michael Ellis' Philosophy of Dog Training

Watch that video. It's long, but IMO, some of the best stuff out there. I really dig his philosophy.

Using a philosophy like Michael Ellis's type. If you can get to the level you want without corrections than there is absolutely no need to correct. Remember that corrections are not only used to "correct", but when used right they build drive. The trainer shouldn't want to correct a young puppy. Wouldn't hurt to run it by them that you want to keep it rewards based, as "positive only" is a myth.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
just to clarify: he did NOT want to correct any puppy, but did use correction on the older dogs.
eattheleash, do you work your dogs in schutzhund?

EDIT: ps, thanks for the video- I enjoyed it :)
 

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Very basic stuff right now with a yank and crank guy that does training for many organizations on his property. I use corrections, but not the way this guy does. He's 90% old school. Not for me.

Youtube some of the Ellis videos after you watch that link. Great stuff.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I sped through the video as a lot of it was repetitive, but I got the jist and like his method. In comparing the two, (trainer I saw vs ellis) I think they are very similar. The guy I met with is maybe just a little too harsh and doesnt stress to his students/handlers the importance of reward. But I didnt see a whole lot, and it was my first time, so I could be wrong. He did say the same things as far as not correcting puppies, luring, dont want a dog to shut down later or get too much correction so that you have to get harsher, etc.
 

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MOATS
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Every trainer and every club is different and there are lots of training philosophies / methodologies, of which Michael Ellis' is just one. But, from what you have described of this club, it sounds like they use a pretty common approach of a positive foundation and a balance of reward and correction for more advanced dogs.

There are many different types of corrections one can use, leash pops on a prong included (which is a fairly common type of correction in bite sports). Also, the level of correction is variable / dependent upon several things, (i.e. the dog itself, whether or not in drive, the reason for the correction, etc.). You also have to factor in a given handler's ability, some are better than others as far as timing, type, and level of correction. Sorry, but I don't think your one visit to this club would have given you insight into all of those things to determine whether or not the type / level of correction was appropriate or not for each individual dog, and it is possible that from your perspective / personal experience what might have seemed like too much was maybe just enough for the dogs that you saw that day.

As far as splitting obedience and protection between clubs, that may or may not be an option for you. It would depend upon the individual clubs' rules, and I would not be surprised if a new person was not permitted to show up for protection sessions only. Also, as you progress beyond building a foundation there is a lot of obedience required within the protection phase, so don't think that there would not be the expectation that you adhere to the club's training philosophy / methodology in that regard. Best bet, if you are not comfortable with this club and not on board entirely with their philosophy / methodology, then find another option. It's not really fair to anyone (including your dog) to not be consistent as to expectations and how the exercises are trained.




So I went yesterday and met with a local schutzhund club. Its the only one nearby (within 2 hours) and the members were all GSD owners, which isnt a problem, just a little background. Anyway, the trainer teaches in a 3-method technique; 1- obedience 2- tracking 3- protection. Overall I think he was a good trainer but I had a few personal red flags (or just one really) and I'm not sure if its normal for the sport or that I could be just a little too sensitive?
His obedience training was not all positive. It was certainly positive based with food and luring, but for the more advanced dogs, he did quite a bit of leash popping wearing prong collars. I wasnt interested or pleased with that at all. I personally felt that if they had used more positive OB training methods, the leash popping wouldnt have been neccessary? am I wrong or over-analyzing?
Everything else for the most part was great, lots of praise and playing after a job well done.

I mainly went out to check out the club and am interested in getting Cadence (16 week pup) into sports. Her breeder is a conformation owner/shower but I am more interested in sports. She has been to puppy kindergarten and did VERY well; she starts OB 1 training next week with a positive only training club, and is also in agility training with a personal trainer. I want to try many venues for now and see what SHE likes and excels in. On a side note, the schutzhund trainer (who is GSD all the way) was EXTREMELY impressed with Cadence and couldnt stop bragging on her. Claimed she is "a GSD in a dobie body" I dont agree, but thats neither here nor there ;)
Pending your expert advice, My thoughts on the issue at hand are that (if we want to continue into the world of schutzhund) I will do all of her OB training with another trainer that uses only positive training and possibly get involved with the schutzhund club for the protection portion only? (with the understanding that there will be no harsh corrections) What do you guys think?!
Thanks in advance!
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, that makes sense. Additionally, would you think that if my dog met the requirements as far as obedience goes, that most clubs would be open to accepting her. I feel that my dog's obedience would be FAR better than the dogs I witnessed yesterday, given training elsewhere. The majority of the correcting was for obedience related issues; ie not "downing" immediately or heeling too far ahead (with german terminology related to the sport). There were 2 younger dogs <1 year and Cadence's obedience is already better than theirs and they have been with the club for a few months already.
On another note, its a very small club, less than 20 members and one trainer. He was very enthusiastic to my doberman because she impressed him so much,(but didnt seem to be a fan of the breed overall) and I feel that they would be open to opinions and/or my own techniques. They do not make members do everything one certain way, but said there are many ways to get the job done and whatever works for your dog.
 

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MOATS
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Thanks, that makes sense. Additionally, would you think that if my dog met the requirements as far as obedience goes, that most clubs would be open to accepting her. I feel that my dog's obedience would be FAR better than the dogs I witnessed yesterday, given training elsewhere. The majority of the correcting was for obedience related issues; ie not "downing" immediately or heeling too far ahead (with german terminology related to the sport). There were 2 younger dogs <1 year and Cadence's obedience is already better than theirs and they have been with the club for a few months already.
On another note, its a very small club, less than 20 members and one trainer. He was very enthusiastic to my doberman because she impressed him so much,(but didnt seem to be a fan of the breed overall) and I feel that they would be open to opinions and/or my own techniques. They do not make members do everything one certain way, but said there are many ways to get the job done and whatever works for your dog.
Probably, at least in terms of training for OB. I think most clubs / trainers are willing to look a the ability of an individual dog versus the breed, but if it's primarily a club of herders you might get razzed a bit now and again.

When you describe your dog's obedience as better, what do you mean? How do you define better?
 

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I think tnh explained it all very well. Many people in schutzhund use corrections, and it really depends upon how they are using the corrections as to how effective or ineffective it can be taken by the dog. IMO I would find it hard to train a dog through the IPO levels without ever using a single correction. I've still yet to see a high drive dog training in schutzhund to shut down due to an appropriately timed and effective correction, and when done properly it just offers another form of communication to the dog. Using tons of positive reinforcement sounds like they are not a total crank and yank club and you are possibly just not used to seeing dogs like that or ever having corrections? Would the dogs cower and flinch at their owners afterwards? Look at them out of the 'side of their eye'? Scream? Look like they were physically hurt and/or not happy working?

Also in a club, although many people may be 'taught' the same way, the methods will still vary. After all, a LOT of the training happens at home. There is one dog that trains with me who are almost completely positive on the field, but you can tell the dog receives nothing but corrections at home and it therefore effects their ob performances. Although the trainer can tell the person not to train a certain way, or to do things a certain way, it would not be fair to say that is the trainer's fault or the trainer's methods that are making that dog seem so much 'worse' at ob. You only see these dogs once a week most of the time, and what are the people doing the other 6 days of the week in the privacy of their own home?

I also don't think you will be happily heeling ('foosing') along with perfect obedience and then see the trainer tell you to give the dog a correction. If you show up to training every week and your dog doesn't NEED a correction, the trainer is not going to tell you to correct her for no reason whatsoever. It might be worth watching some more or trying it out. None of us were there so no one can really say if they were using bad training techniques or what. You never know the full story on some of the dogs and people until you really get to know everyone, and after learning more about some of the dogs, you may understand that dog's particular training more.

ETA: There is a dog who trains with me, that you could literally smack him in the head and he would just look up at you tail wagging and say "Is that all ya got? That was fun, do it again!!!"
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
She knows her basic commands WELL and will pay attention (if only for a brief period). Whereas the 5-9 month old GSD puppies that I met-and have been in the club since ~3-4 months old- didnt know their basic commands as well and would either hesitate or sometimes not even perform (ie otherpuppy "sit".... dog walks away. Cadence "sit"..... snaps to a sit with eyes locked on me)

I can handle being razzed sometimes :) as long as my dog out-shines (jk) I'm still SO new and learning, and am open for criticism as I told a few members yesterday. They do know one other doberman person so hopefully I can get hooked up with them as well, but they are not local.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think tnh explained it all very well. Many people in schutzhund use corrections, and it really depends upon how they are using the corrections as to how effective or ineffective it can be taken by the dog. IMO I would find it hard to train a dog through the IPO levels without ever using a single correction. I've still yet to see a high drive dog training in schutzhund to shut down due to an appropriately timed and effective correction, and when done properly it just offers another form of communication to the dog. Using tons of positive reinforcement sounds like they are not a total crank and yank club and you are possibly just not used to seeing dogs like that or ever having corrections? Would the dogs cower and flinch at their owners afterwards? Look at them out of the 'side of their eye'? Scream? Look like they were physically hurt and/or not happy working?

Also in a club, although many people may be 'taught' the same way, the methods will still vary. After all, a LOT of the training happens at home. There is one dog that trains with me who are almost completely positive on the field, but you can tell the dog receives nothing but corrections at home and it therefore effects their ob performances. Although the trainer can tell the person not to train a certain way, or to do things a certain way, it would not be fair to say that is the trainer's fault or the trainer's methods that are making that dog seem so much 'worse' at ob. You only see these dogs once a week most of the time, and what are the people doing the other 6 days of the week in the privacy of their own home?

I also don't think you will be happily heeling ('foosing') along with perfect obedience and then see the trainer tell you to give the dog a correction. If you show up to training every week and your dog doesn't NEED a correction, the trainer is not going to tell you to correct her for no reason whatsoever. It might be worth watching some more or trying it out. None of us were there so no one can really say if they were using bad training techniques or what. You never know the full story on some of the dogs and people until you really get to know everyone, and after learning more about some of the dogs, you may understand that dog's particular training more.

ETA: There is a dog who trains with me, that you could literally smack him in the head and he would just look up at you tail wagging and say "Is that all ya got? That was fun, do it again!!!"
Thank you, I think your post was the most helpful thus far in answering my questions and reading what I initally wrote. I think you are right as far as me not really being used to or seeing a lot of the leash/pong popping and I wouldnt blame the trainer completely, taking into complete consideration the owner and their home training- I get what you are saying for sure.
The dogs didnt flinch or cower but they were hot and tired. They were doing a lot of looking from the side of the eye, ignoring or not doing what they were commanded which made the owner and dog frustrated :/ The owner/handlers were also excited to show their goods for us and really wanted to do well, so when they ddnt get what they wanted, got a bit more frustrated with the dog. As the day went on, I think we saw things clearer and people were just working their dogs as opposed to trying to show off.
 

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Thank you, I think your post was the most helpful thus far in answering my questions and reading what I initally wrote. I think you are right as far as me not really being used to or seeing a lot of the leash/pong popping and I wouldnt blame the trainer completely, taking into complete consideration the owner and their home training- I get what you are saying for sure.
The dogs didnt flinch or cower but they were hot and tired. They were doing a lot of looking from the side of the eye, ignoring or not doing what they were commanded which made the owner and dog frustrated :/ The owner/handlers were also excited to show their goods for us and really wanted to do well, so when they ddnt get what they wanted, got a bit more frustrated with the dog. As the day went on, I think we saw things clearer and people were just working their dogs as opposed to trying to show off.
Yeah when people feel 'under pressure' they usually come off with some of their worst performances and let their emotions get to them. Just watch a few IPO trials and you will literally feel the emotion from some of the owners! They might have just resorted to corrections due to their disappointment and pressure they felt by performing etc (which is not good, but does not mean their trainer is harsh/bad).

I've been working my trainer's dogs while both trainers are there 100% focused on me and I'm a nervous wreck! If it were Zeus I would be better with it, but having two trainers watching you work with their dogs makes me do the craziest things. I don't give corrections or anything like that, but I just get super anxious when people are watching and expecting something out of me, and it effects my training. I'm so worried about messing up their dogs, that I have a hard time just relaxing and focusing on the dog. Not saying that's why the people gave what you thought was too many corrections, but pressure does make people act funny if they are not used to it.
 

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MOATS
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She knows her basic commands WELL and will pay attention (if only for a brief period). Whereas the 5-9 month old GSD puppies that I met-and have been in the club since ~3-4 months old- didnt know their basic commands as well and would either hesitate or sometimes not even perform (ie otherpuppy "sit".... dog walks away. Cadence "sit"..... snaps to a sit with eyes locked on me)

I can handle being razzed sometimes :) as long as my dog out-shines (jk) I'm still SO new and learning, and am open for criticism as I told a few members yesterday. They do know one other doberman person so hopefully I can get hooked up with them as well, but they are not local.
I would not be so quick to judge puppies. That could be a function of when they started training OB versus when you did. Some clubs / folks only work on some phases or don't do much or even anything with puppies for various reasons. Also, Schutzhund obedience is very stylized and some folks prefer to teach it from the get-go in a way that will get those end results, but this can sometimes mean it takes longer to get to that end result.
 

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In Shcutzhund you want a very fast response from the dog - so if the dog does not drop on the down command they will often correct the slow behavior. If you use Michale Ellis, Ivan Balabannov (sp) out of Florida etc you will see that you can shape the behavior through positive direction. Dobermans respond well with these methods John Soares is or was the Natl training director for UDC and has some very good materials also.

I do believe that there comes a time for a correction. Just not in every training session on continually popping of a lead even for an older dog. Yes I do Schutzhund.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One can only help but judge, its human nature and I am the worst at comparing too :/ But when the dogs have been alive longer than mine and training twice as long, I cant help it when I notice that my dog is further along at this point. Additionally, even the adult dogs in the club didnt have sound obedience- which is another reason I would rather train my dog another way in OB. Dont get me wrong, they were amazing and very impressive but th OB portion is IMO the weak point. Mostly due to human error, I imagine, and less likely because the dog doesnt have the capabilies < talking about the adult dogs here
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In Shcutzhund you want a very fast response from the dog - so if the dog does not drop on the down command they will often correct the slow behavior. If you use Michale Ellis, Ivan Balabannov (sp) out of Florida etc you will see that you can shape the behavior through positive direction. Dobermans respond well with these methods John Soares is or was the Natl training director for UDC and has some very good materials also.

I do believe that there comes a time for a correction. Just not in every training session on continually popping of a lead even for an older dog. Yes I do Schutzhund.
Thank you; you guys have all cleared up the air for me :) I am ignorant to the sport but not to common sense, thanks again!
 

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MOATS
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One can only help but judge, its human nature and I am the worst at comparing too :/ But when the dogs have been alive longer than mine and training twice as long, I cant help it when I notice that my dog is further along at this point. Additionally, even the adult dogs in the club didnt have sound obedience- which is another reason I would rather train my dog another way in OB. Dont get me wrong, they were amazing and very impressive but th OB portion is IMO the weak point. Mostly due to human error, I imagine, and less likely because the dog doesnt have the capabilies < talking about the adult dogs here
Does this play out in their trial scores? What does the club's overall performance record look like for both the handlers and the trainer?
 

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MOATS
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In Shcutzhund you want a very fast response from the dog - so if the dog does not drop on the down command they will often correct the slow behavior. If you use Michale Ellis, Ivan Balabannov (sp) out of Florida etc you will see that you can shape the behavior through positive direction. Dobermans respond well with these methods John Soares is or was the Natl training director for UDC and has some very good materials also.

I do believe that there comes a time for a correction. Just not in every training session on continually popping of a lead even for an older dog. Yes I do Schutzhund.
Correction not in every training session? So then what do you do if your dog doesn't respond in the way it should? Do you just ignore the unwanted behavior and carry on as if it didn't happen?

ETA: Statement is also referring to older dogs.
 
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