German Shepherd Dog > Can A Dog Be Used For Multiple Sports? (17 replies)
Can A Dog Be Used For Multiple Sports?
by aceofspades on 13 August 2010 - 18:28
|I have been a staunch GSD lover my entire life. When I was little little my grandfather had a beautiful GSD, and my uncle always had stunning imports that he used for Schutzhund. I have always been strongly drawn to Schutzhund and tagged along to as many trials and events that I could when my uncle would allow. Mostly in the summer and early fall since we lived quite a ways away.|
In 1997 I got my first GSD of my own. Beautiful working line, extremely high drive and I wanted to use him for Schutzhund. Unfortunately at the time our local Sch club was all but completely defunct and attempts to ressurect it failed miserably. What I ended up with was a dog that was loyal to the end, but suuuuuuuch a handfull. But I loved him and miss him dearly to this day.
Over the years I have had multiple GSDs, just family pets, but over the past couple of years I have really been wanting to try Sch, and now we have a very active local club. My daughter (7 years old) decided she wanted an Agility dog so for her birthday she got her GSD ( Ace, the one in my Avi picture to the right, he is 14 weeks old now). I was initially thinking that I would use him for Sch and she could use him for Agility......the more I thought about it I thought maybe not such a good idea to multi-task a dog like that so I went on to find my own Schutzhund prospect .....hoping she turns out to be a good one, based on her pedigree she should be a good Sch dog, I get her next week (YAY ME).
the thing is I would LIKE to still title Ace...is this a good idea or should I just leave well enough alone. Right now he shows a medium drive, but I think wiht some encouragement he would be a good prospect. He listens well at this point and my daughter works with him daily in multiple short sessions, just working on the basics at this point. Sit, down, stay, etc... He is already showing signs of protectiveness towards her, she is his person and clearly the alpha in their pack.
So I guess, if you haven't figured it out yet......would it be a bad idea for me to use Ace for Schutzhund even though he will be my daughter's agility dog? Or should I just leave well enough alone and just use my own girl for Sch and leave it at that????
Thanks in advance
by Slamdunc on 13 August 2010 - 19:23
|There would be no problem doing SchH and agility with a dog. The agility would actually benefit the dog in learning the jump and A frame. Agility is fun and no pressure for the dog. |
I'm not sure how the dog would respond to two handlers, you and your daughter. I have done agility with my SchH dogs and my dogs loved it. You may want to refrain form telling the "agility" people that you are doing SchH, some will look at you like your crazy and think you have a vicious dog.
We do extensive agility exercises with our Police K-9's, they climb ladders, walk on planks 8 - 10' above the ground. The dogs also do tracking, Ob and apprehension work often all in the same day. In addition our dogs are cross trained for narcotics or explosives. I definitely do not think it would be a problem as long as you have enough time to devote to both. Most people have trouble finding the time to do one sport well.
by aceofspades on 13 August 2010 - 19:35
|Thanks. It's nice to know that a dog CAN be multi-purpose. I'm glad to hear that Agility can be a benefit to Sch training. Thanks for the tip on keeping the Sch to myself when in the presence of the Agility folk. LOL.|
When Agility is being done I will be there with my daughter 100% of the time, and I will actively supervise her during training sessions etc... Ace has definitely bonded with both myself and my daughter, though when you watch Ace and Sadie (my daughter) together it is very clear that she is his person of choice. If my daughter could do the Sch training herself she would, she loves watching etc... But I'm not sure they are open to a 7 year old handler. ha ha. We will be starting obedience and Agility this fall with Ace and will start both dogs (Ace and my new pup) in the spring with the Schutzhund Club.
I'm hoping that my husband takes an insterest as well and gets his own dog to do Schutzhund with.
Thanks for the reply...others are welcome to share their opinions as well.
by Slamdunc on 13 August 2010 - 20:25
|I would caution against too much obedience if you are serious about SchH. If you go to a SchH club and do OB with them that is OK. However, I am not a fan of formal OB training with a dog that you plan on doing SchH with later. There are different styles of training and philosophies when it comes to doing OB. |
I have decoyed for many years and seen dozens of dogs that come down to the SchH club that are getting a late start in SchH or have done OB first. It can be very challenging to get these dogs "to work" well in the bite work. I would not start any serious OB until the dog has a very good foundation in the bite work. Motivational OB is fine, clicker training is great to start. Positive OB is ok, but be very careful about using any compulsion if you are planning on doing SchH later.
Why are you waiting for the spring to start the SchH, why not start that first now or in the fall?
by aceofspades on 13 August 2010 - 23:03
|Im waiting until spring because our winters are cold.....northern BC Canada and our Schutzhund club's facility is an outdoor facility and they are not terribly active in the winter from my understanding. I don't believe that they have an indoor facility, so from about November to the end of March they are not overly active.|
If by chance they are active over the winter we will be starting ASAP.
Thanks for the insight on the OB training wiht a Sch dog. With Ace we will just be playing it by ear, with my new girl she will be strictly Sch but I will do basic OB with her.....just so she learns good manners. I will be using a Schutzhund trainer for all of her OB training as well so we will be going in the right direction.
by Prager on 14 August 2010 - 03:47
|It's nice to know that a dog CAN be multi-purpose. |
Off course . Go for it!!!! I have a friend who competed with his dog in every possible sport including agility. I do not think that 2 handlers especially family members would be problem. Just be unified on training methods and motivations and commands. 7 year old girl may be too young for that but if she can do it, then good dog can too.
by Jacko on 14 August 2010 - 04:03
|I know a kennel that does show ring, HGH, and schutzhund, and actual hearding. Not considered working dogs by some here, as they have very good conformation, but hey. I guess that is multi purpose.|
by aceofspades on 14 August 2010 - 04:40
|Thanks for the support. I know that in most cases 7 would be too young but my daughter is mentally older than 7 and I think with a bit of guidance she would be great, and like I said, I will be there beside her every step of the way. I would like her to do some Junior Handling, though Ace will never win any Conformation shows as he is working line not show. My new pup is a cross between the two, though showline dad has Sch3 so we might give her a try in the ring, but Sch is a definite with her as that is my main motivation for getting her. I more would like my daughter to gain the experience in a show ring and I am not so concerned with titling either dog in a CKC confirmation event. I just want to give everything a try and my daughter can decide what she likes most. Once she is old enough she will likely do Schutzhund as well as she really enjoys watching with me.|
by GSDfan on 14 August 2010 - 06:59
|As everyone else said....yes.... and like Slamdunc said...easy on the OB.|
I train and have trained in several venues with my dogs and they love doing it all!
by malshep on 14 August 2010 - 17:12
|I also agree with Jim OB at Schutzhund is the best, sets the dog up to be able to multi-task :)))))) I sent my dog with my daughter on some of her dates, if the boy agreed then they could date my daughter. The man that married my daughter last week, I did not even have to ask, he asked me if the dog could go with them on their first date. |
by aceofspades on 14 August 2010 - 17:26
|Thank you thank you. |
Great advice and I am now thankful I am choosing the trainer I am for my girl. For Ace we are just going to have to take it a day at a time, either that or I will have to handle him period, which isn't really the plan as he was never intended to be my dog.
Cee....LOVE that story. Sadie and Ace are already so incredibly attached. Sadie is away in Washington with friends for the week and he is missing her dearly. They bonded the instant they laid eyes on each other and have been inseperable since. Any boys that come around when she is older are going to have to pass through Ace for sure.
by Dash2 on 15 August 2010 - 01:23
|Multiple sports can absolutely be done. You just have to be careful about some things that might cause the dog confusion when switching between sports (similar commands, hand signals, etc). |
It can be done and done well. Here's a link to a video about a 10 year old dog that just finished his agility championship. As you can see, he did a few things before that...
by aceofspades on 15 August 2010 - 01:43
|That is pretty much the best video ever.|
Thanks for sharing, I loved it. I am bookmarking for my daughter to see when she gets home from vacation.
by windwalker18 on 15 August 2010 - 02:01
|The first GSD I had Was about as sound a dog as I've known in my life. I started in basic AKC obedience with him... when he was 3 we started running him on the Dog Sled team with a 1/2 Husky teammate. At 4 I trained him for PPD which he absolutely LOVED... He also did Pet Therapy with mentally retarded adults in an institution... often on the same day that we trained in PPD. As long as I rememberd to use the right collar on him he never once made a mistake. My only consern would be having a young child handling a dog around her friends with the pushing and shoving that kids do, the yelling and screaming around the swimming pool etc.... I would have a bit of consern that the dog might alert on the chaos and feel that she needed protecting, so caution would be needed in that kind of situation.|
A dog that can get a title is different than a dog bred for top competition. The first can be calm and lay back unless actually working, the second is like your first GSD and always looking for something to do.
by aceofspades on 15 August 2010 - 02:30
|Windwalker, good to know. My kids don't have other friends over too often, but we do take all of the dogs with us when we go camping, and whenever possible on vacation etc... Good to know what to possibly watch for, however I think that is the case with any dog that is bonded with it's family, it will always try to protect it's people. Our 2 year old female is a family pet, but she can be mean when she wants to, and though I've never seen her get agressive towards a human unless warranted (ie: complete stranger poking around our property on a sunny afternoon when just the kids and I are home alone) I have seen her get between my children and others when she feels that they need her. I've owned GSDs for many years. I had 2 large males when we first moved to our property and before that when we lived in a bad part of the city. I was home alone about 75% of the time and although the boys were never trained in PPD, they never disappointed when put to the test and when the doorbell rang, if I was alone at least one dog was always at my side when I would go to answer or even if we were out for a walk and would stop and chat. They always accepted patting, but you could tell that they were always "on"|
If the dog(s) turn out to be high strung and don't adapt to the chaos well we can always seperate them when we have others around.
by nittygritty on 15 August 2010 - 04:32
I am of the opinion that a dog can be obedience trained early, before bitework is done, if it is done the right way. All of my dogs have been OB trained first, and been awesome workers in bitework. When we go out to do OB they run up and stretch out their necks to get that collar on and generally have their leash in their mouth! Bite is just another command, like sit or down. They are not mad at the world, dad just said bite, so they do. Teaching a dog to bite before you have control, to me, is akin to giving a 6 year old a loaded gun, but the OB must be done the right way. Some one mentioned clicker training. That may be a good way to go. JMHO
by aceofspades on 15 August 2010 - 04:36
|I am already starting with a clicker. Ace is responding extremely well to a clicker.|
by windwalker18 on 15 August 2010 - 04:50
|I agree with Nitty.... that's my feeling about teaching bitework in any form. Until I am SURE that my dog is as stable as I think he is I don't want him thinking that he can bite out of frustration or anger. Shiloh had never even seen a sleeve, and rarely did any tug type play before the day we started training for PPD. He took to it like a duck to water and LOVED that kind of work as much as he liked dog Sledding or going on a ward with 40 emotionally disturbed retarded patients. Never in his 12 years did he give me a second of worry, and I think that learning to meet and greet happily before the PPD work is part of the reason. The pup I have now (he just turned a year) goes to the Hospital Psych ward with us, goes hiking off lead and happily greets strangers who want to say hello, same with saying hello @ McDonalds Drivethru. I've zero doubt that he will excell in bite work or anything else we take up in the next decade but his #1 job is being my buddy..If someone wants to compete at a high level at regionals or nationals then starting earlier makes a lot of sence, but most dogs are going to live as companions.|