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Looking for my first schutzhund/PP dog

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Noah

Herpaderp-apotam- us
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 7:58am PST 
I know there's some debate about whether or not a dog can do both schutzhund and personal protection work, but that's not really the information that I'm after in this thread (although any input on it from those with experience would be appreciated). In either case, I want to be able to do bite work with my next dog. This would be a brand new area of dog training for me but it's something I've always wanted to get involved with. I'm looking for advice on which breed might be a good fit for me. I've had working breeds before but never done any dog sports with them, just had them as pets.

The breed I've been drooling over for the past couple years is the Beauceron. I think they are just beautiful dogs but I don't know how good a fit they would be for me as a first time schutzhund handler. I'm certainly open to other breeds as long as it's a relatively big dog. I've considered a number of other breeds but that's the one I keep coming back to. I would also like to dabble in agility and other dog sports, like I do with Noah. I don't think I need the high level kind of dog that people who have been doing it for 30 years would have, but one that has enough propensity for me to get my feet wet. I'm trying to find a local club in my area so I could go and talk to people in person but I'm having a hard time finding events that work with my weird work schedule.

I welcome your thoughts and opinions. This is still a couple years out since my townhouse can't accommodate an aussie, three cats, two people and a large breed puppy. But if there is another breed that would suit me better than a Beauceron, I'd like to start doing some more research on it now.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 9:11am PST 
I know I've said this ad nauseam, but only because I firmly believe it to be true... if you want to start out in bitesport, with the sport and bite work being the primary goal, get a GSD.

Often this issue gets brought up and people complain that GSDs aren't "unique" enough, or whatever that argument is, but in terms of what you want of the animal, actually finding people to work with them and knowing HOW to, and giving you some wiggle room for mistakes... this is the breed you need to be on.

Rarer breeds like Beaucerons really should be left more to the people who have that breed in mind first, and allow the protection side of things to come secondary. Because honestly, they are not a dog you want to START protection training with if you are a beginner. A GSD will be forgiving of your handler mistakes (which you will make, all people do), which is in and of itself rather hard to find in the protection breeds, where as a breed like the Beauc will not.

Next choice would be a Rott, who still gives you a very fair amount of wiggle room with less potential for fallout should things not go as strictly planned.
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 10:46am PST 
I agree with Mulder. I'm actually going with a rare breed who isn't very forgiving of handler mistakes either, but like Mulder also said, i'm attracted to the breed for the breed. The Schutzhund side of things is secondary and still not my main reason in choosing the breed. If you're looking purely for a dog for the sport first and foremost than it's probably wise to listen to those who know what they're talking about.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 11:57am PST 
I agree with Mulder, and also would like to add the "general purpose-ness" of the GSD. With other breeds, there is some level of quirk or sensibility factor that makes a breed either work or not work for the individual. Experience there doesn't even matter.....I know some with tons of experience who have absolutely no success with breed "x," and others who "get them" and connect pretty quickly. Giant Schnauzers are a great example. Put a bunch of Schutzhunders in a room and they will range from "untrainable" to "brilliant," based on the individual.

We had a particularly devoted Schutzhunder here on Dogster for a while, Natasha. She rescued an imported Giant who was going to be euth'd by her kennel. She was trained, but she was trouble. When Natasha first had her, she loathed her. But I knew back in the day she had Dobermans, back when they were something different, and figured she'd get around to figuring it out. She did show back up, complete 180, the Giant was her favorite dog. That's when I said, "see, trains like a Doberman!" laugh out loud And she freaked and said she hadn't thought of it, but how on the mark that was.

German Shepherds just don't have that. They are by far....by FAR.....the most adaptable breed amongst those common/popular in bite sports, and that really makes a difference. It's one of the things that makes them more foolproof. None of this "train them like a Doberman" sort of stuff. Just train them howev', and they are great.

Soooo....if starting in bite sports are an ambition - GSD all the way. Then you have a fine shot to have a good time, whereas with most others, you may well not. The only other way around it would be to gain your "teeth" with a breed through fostering, so that you know them inside out and do feel you "speak their language" before taking on something as challenging as Schutzhund. You don't really need to learn how to "speak GSD" before pursuing things.....they are very multi lingual, training wise wink Whereas most of the rest require considerably more mastery and finesse.

Edited by author Mon Jan 28, '13 12:02pm PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 12:48pm PST 
I'm going to speak from a working perspective. One of the things that I always liked about the GSDs was their 'off' switch. I grew up in a family with police K-9s and it always struck me that when it was time to work, they were all about the work. Then they would come home, chase kids through sprinklers, lounge on the couch to watch TV or partake in the family BBQ. They maintain that protective side but let the job go.
When I was training Sabs I made a ton of mistakes and she would just roll her eyes and go with it. When I had to go back and correct things, she just shrugged it off. She was always my dog first and my partner second.
I think with some breeds they require a 'type' of handler, a 'type' of training. With a GSD if you are their person they will find a way,they will learn you.
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Noah

Herpaderp-apotam- us
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 1:46pm PST 
Thanks for the input guys. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some aspect of "oooh rare breed" in me wanting a Beauceron, but I'd been thinking of going with a GSD before I discovered Beaucerons. Especially since the wife has a friend over in Germany who knows a bunch of breeders out there. Any excuse for international travel is fine by me! I do like the breed anyway and may end up with one at some point down the line.

As I said, this all is still a couple years off and I'm not set on anything just yet. I just wanted the opinions of those wiser and more experienced than I.

Tyler - what is the breed that you're going with?
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 2:08pm PST 
I'm getting a Hovawart, Noah. Hopefully within this year.

It's good you're open to importing. I've found that with the rarer breeds finding a breeder that works their dogs and actually does more than just showing has been near on impossible here in the UK. So i'm importing my puppy too as there is just more choice in working quality dogs and kennels when you look further afield in Europe.


As it happens this will be my first experience with a working breed and getting involved in different sports. I've spent the past 2 years researching and talking to breeders and i feel ready and able to dedicate myself to the breed. Of course, everyone else posting here knows far more than i do on the subject, but i wouldn't rule out a Beauceron entirely if that's what you really want and you're determined and dedicated.

Edited by author Mon Jan 28, '13 2:10pm PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 4:40pm PST 
I'd also like to throw out there, on my pitch for the breed, their versatility in other sports is pretty astounding as well.

Want to do Sch, but also dabble in some agility and flyball? Sure, not a problem. Mulder currently runs agility and still occasionally does some OB, as well as train in PP. Ridley tracks and does OB, and hopefully someday (when he grows a brain) will do some protection work too. With this breed, if there's a will, there's a way... if you want to do it, you CAN find a way to make it so.

There's little out there quite as versatile. And I never miss an opportunity to brag up Ridley's breeder, who has produced everything from working K9s, to therapy and service dogs, to... get a load of this... game bird retrievers laugh out loud

What more could you want? laugh out loud
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Noah

Herpaderp-apotam- us
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 6:29am PST 
A Hovawart, wow that is rare! I've only seen pictures of them in books. I've had my heart set on a Beauceron for awhile but I think I need to talk to a few breeders and see if they agree with everything that's been said on this thread. If it isn't the breed for me now, then so be it, I can cut my teeth on a GSD and look into getting a Beauceron next time around.

Your situation sounds exactly like what I'm going for Mulder, a little bit of everything. Where exactly is this breeder located, they sound fabulous!

Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 6:32am PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 7:14am PST 
They are in Washington state. Good people to contact if you just want some info to see if their dogs will be right for you... though with her program, I don't imagine she can't find you something. Very versatile.
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