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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we finally went to a group class last night with a local dobe breeder/trainer. After class we discussed my 'goals', and she is confident that Zeus will be able to trial for his BH in may!! I am beyond excited, and we begin 'BH specific' classes with a group of 5 others this saturday morning.

A small brag for Zeus, he was actually looking at me and focusing in on me under a number of distractions tonight. The trainer even asked me afterwards if I had been working alot on 'focus' because she could tell as soon as she met him, that he did not have the temperament to actively watch without instruction.

It seems the whole group is about where we are, some have been working much much longer than us though, so we have a lot to catch up on! However, she is confident on us being able to work through the other levels of schutzhund doing the obedience and tracking, which makes me ecstatic! I had no idea I would actually be able to do schutzhund with a low drive dog none the less trial, but she obviously advised me that is a great route for what I want to do in the future.

As an aside, there was woman who came there wanting more experience handling dogs as she was going to acquire a therapy dog in the near future. Sandy let her use one of their dogs (who is a Ceasar V Pontiffhaus littermate's daughter), and boy was she a whole different world! So amazing seeing a dog so responsive, willing, and drivey! Boy was that girl hot!

They will be hosting a Schutzhund and PSA trial in May, which we hope to shoot for the bh, and also Caesar will be going for his PSA 3 there. I know his owner is a member on here, and his fabulous work with his dog is available on youtube. The trainer is also the breeder of "Pontiffhaus dobermans", as some people here may have heard of. Anyways, just wanted to share the good news, and that working with this woman and her helpers is Awesome!!
 

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Go Zeus!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't think I'd be updating this so quickly, but this boy never ceases to amaze me!

Just yesterday I began working on the sit out of motion, as he had no clue why his mom would tell him to sit then walk away from him. After his lack of progress yesterday using various methods (attempting to get one step away from him and turning around) he still acted like he had no clue what we were doing. I worked on a few shaping skills around sitting, then worked on something else before ending a quick session.

Today, I walked 10 strides, slowed down a tad and said 'Sit!' while continuing to walk in front of him and he sat perfectly, quietly, and watched me walk ahead, turn, and return to heel position! :D We had a huge party after doing it well two more times and calling it quits.

What amazed me is that I only use his prong or chain collar for 'training' he does not associate it with walks, runs, etc, only training. I always take off the collar when we have our 'parties' for doing well, and today I laid it down in the hall. About 5 minutes later, I hear jingling, and here comes Zeus bringing me his collar!! Totally out of character for him to put anything in his mouth, none the less something that makes him work!

Needless to say, I think he may actually be enjoying this ;)
 

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You are so lucky! I had my dobie trained in obedience in German, hoping to be able to do schutzhund. Unfortunately I was unaware of a close group and the ones that did the obedience training and were champions in it with german shepards were almost 2 hours from me. I wish you luck in it all and hope your doggie continues to do well!
 
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You are so lucky! I had my dobie trained in obedience in German, hoping to be able to do schutzhund. Unfortunately I was unaware of a close group and the ones that did the obedience training and were champions in it with german shepards were almost 2 hours from me. I wish you luck in it all and hope your doggie continues to do well!
You do not have to train your dog in German to compete in IPO. It states in the rules what commands are acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ah ok! I did ask her about it, and everyone in my 'group' trains for it without the pause. She said for practice sake, we will begin with a slight pause until he fully understands it and demonstrates the attentiveness and ability for me to walk way w/o acknowledging him. But we will gradually be working up to it without the pause. As far as the may trial is concerned, we will be pausing or not pausing depending on our situation at the time. (ie how well he is doing on it just before the trial).

During the full run through sat, he surprised me with how well he did off lead. Our biggest goal for the next month or so is building drive and actually maintaining the intensity throughout the entire pattern. My homework is to only ask for commands while he is 'fully engaged' per say and quitting well before his drive and focus walks off the field. Looks like some leerburg dvds are headed my way :p
 

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Two weeks ago is when we officially started doing the pattern with the pause prior to sit/down. It is actually much easier, I was kind of upset they let off on the rules to make it easier. Owell, the we teach it, it doesn't matter if we pause or not the dogs know the command, whether we keep walking or pause makes no difference to them.

Good luck with your training, keep us updated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well today it was pouring rain during the entire practice.... Needless to say Zeus was not happy. The trainer came out to me before practice and says "Now I realize he's probably not gonna get much done today, because I know my dobies think they're absolutely melting in the rain, but BH is rain or shine, so it'll be a good opportunity to practice". Needless to say, Zeus was the only dobie there today :p

His down was absolutely terrible, everytime I turned my back he would be creeping up off of the wet grass and after doing a 5 minute down, we decided to just skip the downs for the day.

On our 'turn' to do the entire BH routine/pattern, I can not put my excitement into words!! We began the 50' long heel out and Zeus actually began prancing with drive and suspension and held my eye contact the entire heel portion (down each way atleast). It was incredible! I always watch videos of beautiful heel work in envy, but I never expected Zeus to not only hold the focus/eye contact but also prance with drive and energy.

When he did it on the first heel portion I thought it was just a fluke because when he started to 'lose it' here and there. But all it took was me calmly saying 'that's a good boy, thats a good heel!' and he would perk right back up and began the happy hopping type heel.

Today he was the ONLY dog in the BH group who held the focus/eye contact during an entire pattern. I did reward him with some high value treats ~3-4 times because I want to reward that behavior as much as possible, but we're gonna work on maintaining a little bit longer before each treat is given etc.

On the sit and down portion he was terrible because he did not want to sit or down in the water, but she told me it was obvious he knows exactly what to do, but he's just being a sassy doberman :D

Thought I might add, the group today was 4 GSDs, one lab, and one border collie, and although Zeus was too much of a princess to lay in the puddles, his focus and drive were more so than the GSDs! Considering he's the only one there with 0 natural drive, it was GREAT to see him outperform the 'drivier' dogs.

Go dobermans ;)
 

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I don't know what organization you will be trialing with or how they interpreted the rules but out of interest the GSSCC in Canada has stated that in the BH the sit and down out of motion is not optional..in other words you must stop ..pause 3 secs and say the command and then walk away.
It would be interesting to hear anyone with a different organization and how they interpreted this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
She did not mention it being mandatory, will obviously be double checking on that! However, the pause with the sit and down he will do 100%, and especially since we've been working on it, it makes no difference whether we pause or not. Since we are 'training ahead' a bit, he is also learning and becoming accustomed to the sit/down out of motion. From working with this so much, I will not be so concerned on the day of trial hoping he sits or downs, thanks to the added benefit of the pause! Sometimes I pause, sometimes I don't. During the full run-throughs though, I do do the pause.

I still have not received the 'official' information for the trial, all I know is that it is May 19/20 and that I need to complete my information stuff for DVG to be able to register.
 

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The pause is allowed for the BH only. If you are going on to IPO 1, you will have to train past the pause. We are at the "pause" level ourselves; hope to get past it soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Had to update this with exciting news!! Zeus performed the entire 'retrieve' today! We've been working on all of the different parts of the retrieve, and I had him sit in heel position, threw the baton I used for training, released him to 'bring it' and he came back and sat in front of me, then dropped it in my hands! I think we both got over excited XD. Tomorrow, we will try the dumbbell on the field, and then add in obstacles. He liked the dumbbells way too much and thought they were all chew toys, so I trained with everything I could think of except the dumbbell until he realized retrieving is a command. (earlier this week did have him 'holding' the dumbbell and walking with it without chewing though)

As far as the BH is concerned, I am extremely confident. We've gone through the entire thing a couple times including the temperament test with only a couple treats while maintaining drive and focus, so until right before the trial we are supposed to keep everything 'new and exciting' to keep the BH from getting dull. I purchased the '"Training in drive" book and it has really helped our OB.
 
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