Might get into Schutzhund. Would like more info on the sport.

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Tall,Dark, and,- Handsome
Barked: Tue Sep 4, '12 2:27pm PST 
I was looking into schutzhund awhile back, and now we might finally get into it. I managed to find a club in my area, and emailed them. The guy would like for Chewy and I to come out to one of their sessions this Saturday and meet with them and go over everything. He said they'll be able to answer any questions I have and give me more info.

I've done some research on the sport, but I don't really know how it works for beginners. How you start, where you start, are there qualifications the dog must meet, etc.

I was reading something about a temperament test and saw some video where they had the dogs meet, neutral, friendly, and weird/threatening strangers, and introduced gunfire.

Any info would be appreciated.

Bark and Hold
Barked: Thu Sep 27, '12 1:36pm PST 
I'm assuming you are talking about your labrador? Show up to the club with an open mind. Learn as much as you can while you are there. Help out in any way you can think of. Keep your dog under control. Bring food to share.

I think all breeds can do schutzhund but some are better suited for it. It is the 'breed test' for the German shepherd dog for a reason. Other breeds that excel at it are belgian malinois and dutch shepherds. A few other herding breeds do well sometimes. Rotties, boxers, the odd bouv.

A dog needs a certain level of prey drive AND defense to do well in the sport. Many labs have super ball drive but don't have the 'full calm grips' required by schutzhund or the ability to turn drives on and off. (Defense to prey). So the training can be too stressful for the dog and end up being counterproductive. That's why the military uses labs for detection but not as dual purpose dogs.

Your training club will help evaluate your dog. It is worth trying out, but keep in mind that groups that train mainly shepherds may not be as welcoming to a lab. Plenty of dogs will act neutral to strangers and around gunfire. All three of my dogs do this. But only one is suited for schutzhund. It's great fun, and you can certainly get your BH with a lab. But consider a dog bred for the sport if you want to get serious.

This isn't something to just play around with, like agility or rally which any breed can do and do well. It's a real committment of time and energy. The club will fill you in on all this much better than I can, having never seen your dog or seen your handling abilities.

Edited by author Thu Sep 27, '12 1:37pm PST


Wiggle waggle
Barked: Sun Nov 4, '12 12:36am PST 
Check into the following books Advanced Schtuzhund by Ivan Balabanov and Karen Duet and schutzhund theory and yraining methods by susan barwig and stewart hilliard. Ivan also has videos online. Consider joining a club if possible. The dog needs to have the drive to work an d excellent temperment