Is Schutzhund for me?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by AgilityPup, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    Okay, now I know you're probably thinking "well, Shay, you did just buy a working bred GSD and you have been working with a GSD breeder/watching Schutzhund for like a year now..." but just go along with me for a minute here.

    When I think of schutzhund, I think it looks fun and I enjoy it, but I don't see ME doing it. When I think agility, I love it and I want to do it. That said, I've done agility before and have never done schutzhund before.

    At this point, Simi is turning 6 months this month and we haven't been out for training at all. And I'm starting to feel like I missed the most important months. Training is an hour away, early on Saturday mornings, which are fine in the fall and winter months (minus weather) but in the summer months, I'm usually at a trial. The train with the local club it's a $100 annual fee for a years worth of training (usually 3 days a week, though I can only really make one or two). That said, I also have to join the GSSCC which appears to be a $115 fee this year, $100 every year after that. So $200 a year to train. That doesn't seem bad, really... but I also have no desire, as of right now, to ever compete in Schutzhund, and all I can think of is that that's almost 2 agility classes worth of money.

    So I really don't know what to do. There's a bit of pressure from her breeder/the trainer at the club for me to do the sport and I think a lot of that comes from Simi having been her second pick of the litter (she kept her first pick), and so I want to do it because her breeder really helped me a lot over the more than I year I've been working with and talking to her, and she was really helpful in my getting Simi... So I want to do it for her, so to speak, but I really have very little desire for Simi and I to ever do it... So I just don't know...


    Maybe this is mostly a rant? But thoughts, helpful suggestions, comments, any of that would be nice. :)
     
  2. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    If you don't want to do it, don't. It's obvious when somebody isn't enjoying what they are doing, and it's all supposed to be about having fun with your dog.
     
  3. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Yep. Honestly, I could never picture myself doing SchH. The endless heeling patterns, the long downs (yawn!), the dog always just biting the sleeve in the same way. To me, it's such a repetitive pattern. (French Ring on the other hand.... ;))

    But really, if you can't see yourself enjoying it, then why do it? I wouldn't feel too bad about the breeder situation.....plans change all the time, you won't be the first to decide on a different priority with their dog.

    Plus, how feasible would it be to train both SchH and agility? SchH requires a significant time commitment as you know, and you only have so many weekends in a year for training and trialing.
     
  4. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Just wanted to add that if you have a change of heart and do want to do it, don't worry that you haven't started bite work yet. Many people start pups, but just as many people wait until the dog is older. I actually screwed myself over by starting my pup too early and with helpers that put too much pressure on her. People buy green dogs at 2 years old all the time and start bite work, so don't feel like you have to hurry into it. :)
     
  5. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    SchH/IPO is a huge time commitment, so I would not do it if you aren't 100% into it.

    That being said, I agree that you don't have to start a puppy as a baby to do fine in the sport. I started Kes at 2yo and he's not even bred for sport! Aeri didn't truly start bitework until 6 mo.

    (your club is cheap btw - mine is $300 for up to 2 training sessions per week plus a $100 annual USCA membership and I know another club here that is closer to $1000/yr)
     
  6. Maliraptor

    Maliraptor Bite me.

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    Yep, we've been in $600 a year clubs, and that is PER PERSON. So 1200 a year to train, but UScA dues.

    I'd ask if you can be a temporary member for a while. Tell them, honestly, you're not sure this is for you, but you'd like to learn more about it. They might be willing to give you a probation period without fees.

    That way, you can tell if you like it or not. If you don't, then don't do it. Schutzhund takes a LOT of time.

    Age wise, you are fine though.
     
  7. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    Re-read my snarky sounding first post and just want to add that I didn't mean to insult the IPOers out there. I truly appreciate the time, training, and skill that goes into the sport. My girl comes from a SchH breeding and I watched a training session at her breeder's club and it was some pretty amazing stuff.
     
  8. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    If you're not into it, don't do it. It's a commmitment, a long one. It's not months or weeks, it's years. It's laying a thousand tracks before you trial, lots of OB and I'd say if you're only training bitework once a week, from the ground up to get decent scores you're looking at 2 years .

    If you're not committed, it's a long ass time :) and nobody is going to benefit. Don't feel pressured. Its your dog, YOU"RE supposed to be having fun with it.

    The tough parts to catch up are bitework obviously, but ob can mostly be done on your own. Retrieves are a huge part, but you can do those (the imporant parts) in your living room after agility training :)

    I started a 4 year dog and got titles. It's really not ever too late to do it, just depends on how far you want to go. 6 months is nothing a lot of people are just wasting their time before that. As long as you aren't squashing drive (behavior can be made appropriate without killing drive, but i'm sure you know that) teach him that certain things are appropriate to bite, like tugs of various sizes and rags you can always jump in later if you want to.
     
  9. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    If it were me (not saying this is what you should do), I would at least try it for a year especially since you kind of made a commitment to the breeder. It's tough to say if you'd like it or not based on watching only. But that's just me ;)
     
  10. Maliraptor

    Maliraptor Bite me.

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    Haha I wanted to comment, but didn't really see any REAL snark in your post. IPO is boring. And MANY people who train it don't bother to correct that. I see the same teams doing routine after routine, week after week. I personally never train the routine. Even my bitework. I mix things up. I even put my dogs on suits for variation. Because, well, it IS repetitive.

    Also, Shay, when I first trialed I thought I HATED the sport. For my BH and my SchH1 (first ones) I did not sleep a wink the night before and I was sick all morning, eating tums like there were candy. I told myself, "I love this sport, but I will not trial again." Hmm...that backfired greatly, huh?

    http://youtu.be/foR1qtG6Ljg
     
  11. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    I don't have as much commitment to the breeder with this puppy as I would have had I gotten a puppy sooner from her, because that would have been a co-own. I own Simi. When I told her I wanted a dog I said I'd like to do agility first, schutzhund as a second, maybe even a third if I get into herding or competitive obedience, which I've been considering. It looks like a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, but it also doesn't seem like a second place sport. Not one you can put AFTER agility training which is what it would be.

    As for a temporary member, that's kind of what I've been doing since I started working with breeder, as I've been going to club practices and such. However, that was never training my own dog.

    I'm wondering if the GSSCC is for trialing...? Maybe I'll send an e-mail to see if I could pay the club fee and train with no intention of trialing for the span of the year...

    I think that actually training for it is so different than just watching, though, honestly. But I also have no idea what my hours in terms of work will be like after I'm out of school, etc., and with Agility it's easier because I own all of my own equipment so I can train at home whenever I have daylight hours... It's not so easy with schutzhund.

    I just really don't know... I guess my best bet would be to e-mail the breeder/trainer about all of this and see what she thinks.
     
  12. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Ahhh, that makes sense then. :)

    Yes, email the breeder and talk to her about it.
     
  13. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    I'm the complete opposite - agility, to me, looks fun, is fun, and my dog would just LOVE it... but I just don't see myself making the commitment to do that on a regular basis. I don't get very excited about it, and could not justify the time or money (though I do respect those who are "in" agility).

    Schutzhund, on the other hand... I went to my first trial in November, it ran on until pretty late at night and it was FREEZING cold. I had to borrow about two more layers and woolen socks and gloves from someone and the helper brought a huge gas heater out for everyone to crowd around. The conditions were pretty miserable, but the entire time I just thought how cool and how fantastic it would be to be on the field with my dog. I really cannot wait for when I can finally get started in Schutzhund with my dog, and would look forward to training, even understanding what the commitment entails.

    Honestly, I would speak to Simi's breeder either way, but I would lean towards doing what I REALLY want rather than what the breeder expects/hopes me to do with my own dog. :)
     
  14. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    This is why I didn't end up sticking with doing SchH. After going to the club for awhile, it became obvious that if I were to pursue SchH it would mean giving up the other stuff I do with my dogs or at least changing priorities. The training sessions were super long - most of the day on Sunday and a few hours on one weekday. And tracking...tracking is hard for me to "get" LOL

    I can also understand your breeder wanting you to do SchH with her, since that is the "big thing" with working line breeders. However, if you own her outright and have no agreement to train in SchH, it doesn't sound like an issue to me?
     
  15. Shelteez

    Shelteez New Member

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    Just because you have a German Shepherd does not mean you HAVE to do shutzhund. You need to do something that you BOTH will enjoy. Seems like agility is more your style i'd stick with that ;) maybe some herding too, there are other lists of things she can do, shutzhund isn't the only thing out there imo. I'd say let her tell you what she's good at and go with that. Josie has very strong nose on her so i've been taking some tracking lessons with her.

    In the beginning i have said i wanted to do shutzhund, but plans do change.

    Yes do talk to your breeder about it and what you really want to do with Simi.
     

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