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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I'm currently in the process of teaching the raw basics of schutzhund to my boy (I am a novice), however, I'm beginning to wonder whether it's time to channel my efforts into another area/sport.

Regarding training of any sort, I have never seen more drive, determination, and enjoyment than in our bike-jorging training (the guy's a beast!), but when it comes to anything schutzhund related, he either falls apart or is a little half-passed about it. Using his bite/grip as an example, he has NEVER clamped down on anything during training, and is very chewy. Then there's his temperament, the slightest bit of controlled aggression from me or anybody else (ie. threat) and he just backs off. So, my question is, do I have to admit to myself that he will never be schutzhund material and channel our efforts into bike-jorging (a sport he WILL excel in) or do I just keep at it, as it's something that he will learn?
 

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Hi guys,

I'm currently in the process of teaching the raw basics of schutzhund to my boy (I am a novice), however, I'm beginning to wonder whether it's time to channel my efforts into another area/sport.

Regarding training of any sort, I have never seen more drive, determination, and enjoyment than in our bike-jorging training (the guy's a beast!), but when it comes to anything schutzhund related, he either falls apart or is a little half-passed about it. Using his bite/grip as an example, he has NEVER clamped down on anything during training, and is very chewy. Then there's his temperament, the slightest bit of controlled aggression from me or anybody else (ie. threat) and he just backs off. So, my question is, do I have to admit to myself that he will never be schutzhund material and channel our efforts into bike-jorging (a sport he WILL excel in) or do I just keep at it, as it's something that he will learn?
It sounds like we have similar dogs. I cannot comment on whether you will have success in schutzhund or any other bite sport, but I can tell you that it is possible to work with your dobe to improve his bite and to condition him to deal with added pressure.

You just have to take your time and have patience and not push your dog too much too soon.
 
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Have you taken him to a schutzhund club? I have been speaking with a club that is about 2 hours away from me I am going to take Envy to see if they think she has what it takes. I dont know enough to tell if she will be good so i need the honest opinion from someone experienced to tell me. As it happens the person i have been speaking to works and owns dobermans so he is going to know if she has what it takes.
 

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Is there a good evaluator/worker/trainer you can trust to be honest with you?

I'm NOT an IPO person but there are ways you can work on the bite and be a threat but less threatening. For example, some of my Vizslas enjoy a flirt pole and gentle tug but if I am too much of a threat/too much pressure they back off at first. I turn my back, tug gentler, mark a correct bite (for what I want). You could do confidence building this way (if you haven't)
 

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Some dogs are made for it, others are not. You can improve bite and confidence, but only so far. Have you thought about just doing the other two components of IPO and leave the protection work out?

If you saw a dog casually complete a run in agility, not really into it, there is no spark or spring in their step, would you think that dog should try a different venue?

Chase does very well in obedience, but his skills and willingness to work would only take him to a CD title. Scent work on the other hand, he LOVES. The moment he knows what's up, his nose is working until he has hit that target scent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have you taken him to a schutzhund club? I have been speaking with a club that is about 2 hours away from me I am going to take Envy to see if they think she has what it takes. I dont know enough to tell if she will be good so i need the honest opinion from someone experienced to tell me. As it happens the person i have been speaking to works and owns dobermans so he is going to know if she has what it takes.
I haven't yet, but definitely plan to in the near future.

Brilliant! Just out of curiosity, where are you/he based?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Some dogs are made for it, others are not. You can improve bite and confidence, but only so far. Have you thought about just doing the other two components of IPO and leave the protection work out?

If you saw a dog casually complete a run in agility, not really into it, there is no spark or spring in their step, would you think that dog should try a different venue?

Chase does very well in obedience, but his skills and willingness to work would only take him to a CD title. Scent work on the other hand, he LOVES. The moment he knows what's up, his nose is working until he has hit that target scent.
Well, I'm currently working on his tracking (it's something he's picking up slowly, but surely), and as for obedience, this is done on a regular basis.

I'm assuming you meant 'avenue'? Yes, I would. I want to focus on what he's good at and enjoys. If he can learn to enjoy it, then all the better.
 

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I can't speak to your specific question about bite work, but for me, at the end of the day, I want to be having fun with my dog, and I want him to be having fun with me. The things we are training in right now are enjoyable for the both of us. If we stop enjoying them, we'll probably stop pursuing them. I am hoping to achieve some titles, but when I look back at the end of Richter's life, what I'm going to remember are the moments we shared where we both loved what we were doing together, so for me, it's not worth it if we aren't both having a good time. Just my two cents.
 

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For the most part, if you have a truly strong dog genetically, even with some of the worst upbringing in the world, they either "have it" or they don't. With problems like you described, to me, that would be a no-brainer to wash the dog out.

Focus on something the dog is good at and the dog enjoys. It will make the whole process more enjoyable for you both
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I can't speak to your specific question about bite work, but for me, at the end of the day, I want to be having fun with my dog, and I want him to be having fun with me. The things we are training in right now are enjoyable for the both of us. If we stop enjoying them, we'll probably stop pursuing them. I am hoping to achieve some titles, but when I look back at the end of Richter's life, what I'm going to remember are the moments we shared where we both loved what we were doing together, so for me, it's not worth it if we aren't both having a good time. Just my two cents.
I couldn't agree with you more. Everything you've said is right on the money.

It's clear to me that he enjoys bike-jorging way more than schutzhund, however, he doesn't dislike it - which is why I'm undecided as to what to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am in Cumbria but will be travelling to East Cleveland to have her evaluated but if they think she has what it takes there is an IPO club a little bit closer to me. Here is a link to their page and branches;

Branches - BAGSD IPO
Brilliant. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For the most part, if you have a truly strong dog genetically, even with some of the worst upbringing in the world, they either "have it" or they don't. With problems like you described, to me, that would be a no-brainer to wash the dog out.

Focus on something the dog is good at and the dog enjoys. It will make the whole process more enjoyable for you both
I think you may be right. It's a shame, as I'd have liked for him to 'have it'. I guess it's time to solely focus on bike-jorging, although there's always agility, which may add another string to his bow, and could be something I recon he'd love.
 

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For the most part, if you have a truly strong dog genetically, even with some of the worst upbringing in the world, they either "have it" or they don't. With problems like you described, to me, that would be a no-brainer to wash the dog out.

Focus on something the dog is good at and the dog enjoys. It will make the whole process more enjoyable for you both
I agree if educated training was in place. However, a dog can certainly be made to not bite. Actually, my TD just got a puppy back that he had sold. The puppy was in a club with some fairly experienced members but the puppy was not maintaining grips and did not have much interest in a tug. This is a puppy from two phenomenal parents. Lance has had the puppy back for a few weeks and it is biting like crazy now. So improper training can definitely block/squash a puppy.
 

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If you haven't had the dog eval'd and you admit you are a novice yourself, I don't think I'd throw in the towel until a professional or at least someone who does it on a regular bases tells you it's the wrong sport for the dog.

You could be training incorrectly or not focusing on the right stuff or not clearly getting your point across clearly to the dog.

I'm a novice, but I work with professional trainers, only about 9-12 times a year, but I do exactly what they tell me too and Gem seems to really like it now. But that being said, she will never have the love or drive for it that a well breed work dog has.

But I do agree with meadowcat. If you don't think its for your dog (or can't get professional help) I would move onto something your dog finds more fun.
 

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If you haven't had the dog eval'd and you admit you are a novice yourself, I don't think I'd throw in the towel until a professional or at least someone who does it on a regular bases tells you it's the wrong sport for the dog.

You could be training incorrectly or not focusing on the right stuff or not clearly getting your point across clearly to the dog.

I'm a novice, but I work with professional trainers, only about 9-12 times a year, but I do exactly what they tell me too and Gem seems to really like it now. But that being said, she will never have the love or drive for it that a well breed work dog has.

But I do agree with meadowcat. If you don't think its for your dog (or can't get professional help) I would move onto something your dog finds more fun.
You're right, I think an evaluation maybe needed first, as it maybe down to my training methods. I may have to start do some searching for a decent trainer.
 
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