German Shepherd Dog > Opinion on Schutzhund prospect.. (79 replies)
Opinion on Schutzhund prospect..
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 18:14
|Okay, I'm not new here just new to posting here. I usually just lurk and get a good laugh and good information. But I've kind of hit a brick wall with my younger Schutzhund dog and would like some advice, honest and blunt advice (because I can take it, haha and sugar coating doesnt cut it in the Sch/show world)|
Quick background on myself:
I'm in NH. I'm 20 years old, will be 21 in May. I got my first showline when I was 16, trained him to his BH/AD and was prepping him for his Sch1 when I came to the conclusion that he was not turning out/maturing to be what I wanted conformationally, so he was sold to a working line breeder in NC who is furthering his working career and is helping bring conformation to her working lines (for a showline, he had incredible working drive, blew alot of working line people away). In the time I had him I also started raising a showline long coat bitch, who at 8months was sold to a woman in Michigan to work cattle, as her temperament for Sch was not what I was looking for (the older she got, the less confident in herself she got) but go figure, her conformation was outstanding and she gaited beautifully. I went dogless for a few months, but continued going to club training and learning. I ended up with a 6 year old import showline bitch, titled to Sch1, Kkl1, and V rated, could have easily gone VA had her pedigree allowed, and her training been furthered. She is, to me, my perfect idea of a German Shepherd, in temperament and in body. However, she is infertile, awesome. So she is my companion/demo dog. I had acquired a working line bitch who was incredible but due to unforseen circumstances with my job at the time, I had to sell her back to the breeder (who has kept her and is training her for sport). I now have my import bitch, and an 8month old showline male from a USA kennel.
This young male was purchased with intent to show, train to Sch3, and eventually be a stud dog (given he pass all titling, hip/elbow certs, and do well in the show ring) I got him when he was 7 weeks old, he has shown some incredible drive, overall confidence and independance, and his conformation is definitely what I'm looking for. Have had him at club a few times and his drive work/bite work is coming along, and he shows great potential. His obedience is awesome, have done bare minimal tracking with him (have gotten advice from many show breeders to start tracking once they know what to do in a showring so they dont have their nose to the ground) Granted i've never had a problem in tracking/showing but I really want him to excell so i'm trying it different this time.
Anywho, my reason for coming here is this; at home he is WAY too obsessed with me, and way too obsessed with getting attention from me, and fails to have confidence in himself or independance.
Example: When I go out to clean the kennels in the morning, I will let him out to run/get water and do his thing while i clean. Instead of taking advantage of the fact that he is "free" and has 12 acres to get lost in, he sits outside the kennel practically shaking, waiting for me to even slightly look at him or say "boo" to him. The second I walk out to move to the next kennel, hes obsessively jumping on me/licking me and circling me, and he will do the same once I enter the second kennel (mind you, i'm not spekaing to him or acknolweding him) And god forbid I say something in a different tone, or look at him the wrong way, he completely shuts down. He is super sensitive to me, and super sensitive to any kind of correction.
Example: If I take him out into the field off leash..he will not explore unless i explore with him. Most people dont want their dog getting lost, but for him i pray for him to go freakin' do something!
I dont know what to do! My trainer has advised me to not give him any attention except on training days, to basically keep him in the kennel and he only sees me to clean/feed. With my other dogs, this seems to work...but with him...it gets worse. What do I do? He's obsessed with me, to a very odd degree. Yes, I know the showlines are not as crazy and outgoing and independant as the working lines, but ive NEVER experienced a showline like this. I'm at a loss of what to do, any suggestions/advice?
Also, another seemingly odd issue. Hes OBSESSED with other dogs. He is RARELY out with the other dogs, just enough to socialize him. He is fixated on my bitch through the kennel, at all times. If she is barking at something he barks at her. She could give a rats butt about him and he doesnt get it. The days when I am short on time in the morning I let him out with her, and he just wont leave her alone, he wont drink water, go to the bathroom, or go do his own thing (not that he does that anyway when hes out) hes just completely obsessed with what she is doing and playing with her..when she literally ignores him as hes jumping all over her and biting her etc. However, when I introduce him to other dogs (like If I take him to the pet store that I work at, and we are approached by another dog/owner) he shys away, gets behind me, or gets..almost aggressive in his hackles go up and he growls or gets snappy, or cries and jumps up on me..which i ignore and just walk towards the other dog/owner. That has happened a few times. So I really dont know what to do about that either. Again, never had a dog that acted like that or was as obsessed with my other dogs.
Sorry for the lengthy post, but maybe some honest advice?
by LMH on 17 January 2012 - 18:58
|Get out of dogs......period. Not fair to them. BTW......who sold you that last dog? Did they know your record? I'm SURE you will never understand why I feel as I do.|
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 19:05
People/breeders/trainers/hobbyists buy/sell/raise dogs all the time..What is your problem with me? I purchased the first dog to excell in show and due to conformation, would not. I sold him to someone who wanted to do something different with him isntead of keeping him while I pursue other dogs' careers in show/sport. Why is that so bad?
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 19:12
|And btw, yes I had no problem giving this pup's breeder all/any information on my previous dogs and where they are now. She had no problem with it, I dont understand why you are making a problem of it? I purchase my dogs with specific expectations, if they dont meet them, Its not fair for THEM to be kept while I work on other dogs, so why wouldnt I give them to someone who has his expectations met?|
Or would it not be foolish of me to keep dogs that do not comply with standard (in temperament and body) that were purchased as showing/sport/breeding prospects and breed them anyway?
I dont understand where I am wrong.
by clee27 on 17 January 2012 - 19:47
|You're a young person, I do not want to bash you or discourage you, your post just sounds very callous, like you don't understand the bond that is possible between yourself and the living breathing being that is your GSD. That may not be the case, but it comes across that way. I'm not a trainer but GSDs are social animals and it seems to me with the right trainer, you could use your dog's desire to be with you and please you to your advantage in training|
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 19:53
|Clee, I completely understand that. I just feel he is TOO dependant on me, and confident in my abilities to guide him, instead of having the confidence in himself to feel like he can "tackle the world" by himself, if that makes sense. He's independant to a point, but ive taken him all voer, gotten him out and socialized in diff situations/scenarios etc. It just seems that he is not confident in himself.|
And I know I shouldnt compare him to my bitch, given his age vs. her age, her training vs. his training etc. But my bitch, or the dogs I've raised in my past, were noticably more confident in new surroundings and noticeably more independant (especially in their own backyard). I know he is young, and he may be slow to maturing, I was just wondering if there was ANYTHING I could do for him to help him gain self confidence/independance or if what I'm doing with him is right hes just slow to mature. Thats all, trust me, the bond we have has made every training obstacle seem scarily easy. I love that he is totally about pleasing me, but I want to see him have that confidence in himself, does that make sense? And not rely on "mommy" to "tackle the world" for him.
by LMH on 17 January 2012 - 20:13
|You asked for advice, honest and blunt. I gave it. Talking a good game means nothing to me. There's something lacking there........and probably not in the dogs.|
Alright.....Let's take one little example from your OP. Belittling the present young male for desperately seeking attention from his human after being locked in a kennel all night. Shame on that dog. Might lead to some confidence issues THAT you said was wrong with the sold, young, lhsl female????
As to your question, "What is your problem with me?", I can assure you I have no problem with you. So.....I have no problem......you have no problem......and your breeder has no problem, lol. You're a young woman who has gone through too many dogs in a few short years......too many dogs.......too many reasons.......just too much.....period. How long should we give the present male??
by clee27 on 17 January 2012 - 20:19
|The problem is that no one here can see your boy, so to say whether or not it's confidence or maturity is not really possible. Eight months is young, I would do exercises that set him up for success , praise and approval and by working with him, hopefully you will grow your bond and relationship. Constantly exposing him to new and positive experiences is something else I would continue to do. The problem is, this is the internet and you do not always know who is advising you. I'm not a trainer, I personally would seek out a trainer, in person that has a great track record and lots of experience. You may have to go through a few to find one who really understands you and your dog. Maybe if you give your general location, someone will know of a great trainer or club|
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 20:44
|He acted the same way when he was crated in my room over night as he is in the kennel at night. He was brought out to the kennel as a recomendation from a trainer to help conserve energy for training. My dogs are usually (except for weekly/bi weekly visits to the petstore or run through local parks) only out for training. They rotate weekly on who spends time in the house (its hard with 4 dogs to have them all in the house at once).|
Ive raised all the dogs/puppies the same.
The LHSL bitch, inherited certain characteristics from her motherline. I had originally thought it was something I did/didnt do, until I spent more time with the mother of the bitch and realized it was in her temperament. What she would do is submisively approach people (including myself) with her head low and her ears back. All the time, she would never approach anyone 100% confidently, and when it got worse, I questioned her ability to do the sport work. After talking to several people (including her breeder) we came to the conclusion she would do better in a pet/other sport home.
This male, is just seemingly overly obsessed with me. Even if I spend the day inside with him, or outside with him, doing work, or just lounging..he acts the same. I didnt know if there was anything I can do as far as socializing/training to help build his confidence in himself, not just in me. That is ALL i was asking for. I just want to do everything I can to help him in maturing.
And for the record, the working line bitch was sold back to her breeder/my trainer due to the fact that my finances fell through and work cut hours tremendously to a point where I couldnt depend on a paychecks to be stable, and until I could find another job (which I did, saved money, and waited until I had job security and could afford it to get back into the dogs) It was unfortunate for me, but better for the dog to go back so i wouldnt have to go week to week saying "gas in the truck or feed the dog". I dont see anything wrong with that, It happens to LOTS of people and I wasnt going to keep a dog if I couldnt afford it, period, thats how dogs end up in shelters.
The first SL male, and LH female, both were discussed and supported by the breeder when I decided to rehome them due to my expectations not being met in what they were purchased for. Neither owners that have the two dogs now are unsatisfied, and I'm happy the dogs are with people who love them and have given them "jobs" to do.
I understand the whole "buy a dog to be your life long pet". But with my long term goals to be a HOBBY show breeder/trainer, Ive come to realize you cannot keep them all. And not all dogs we wish to breed/breed, should be bred. Yes, theres no question to whether or not I loved every single dog, because I did, and it was not easy to give them up. But for the sake of the dog, and my long term goals, and my expectations/standards, the dogs were placed. I can GUARANTEE i'm not the only person to do this. So don't go bashing me for having standards and expectations and having the unselfishness to admit when there is something lacking in a dog that would prevent ME from breeding it. There are characteristics that I do not want to breed to, god forbid. And i'm not going to selfishly keep a dog if I know I wont be able to do as much with it because i'm putting my time/effort into a dog that will excell in all aspects.
I'm not an idiot. Save your time bashing people who breed untitled dogs that cant do the work, or dogs that shouldnt be bred, or people wanting to breed hybrids etc. I dont understand why youre bashing me for placing dogs that I dont see fit to breed. Breeders and hobbyists do it all the time.
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 20:46
|Clee, I am a member of a SCH club, this is where I got the advice to socialize him liek crazy, but also only take him out of the kennel to do so and to train, so he can conserve that energy. I came here to get a more diverse opinion of what could also be done. Thank you, I do appreciate your advice :)|
by Detroit SchH on 17 January 2012 - 20:57
|Its simple. He is a normal dog. Spend more time with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!|
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 21:02
|The problem (or so i see it) is the more time I spend with him, the more dependant he is on me. I've done trial weeks where I wont spend time with him and it seems to get better, and then weeks where I spend as much time with him as possible and it gets worse. So i'm getting alot of varying advice on whether to spend more time or not.|
In the time I spend with him, what should I be doing to help build his confidence in himself? He knows he can win at the game of "Pocken" against either myself or the trainer. But how can I help him gain confidence in himself in overall situations?
Also, is the serious obsession and fixation with my other dogs normal? Hes the only one (of the 4 dogs right now) that is like that, and hes the only one Ive had for show/sport that does that. Will it just get better as he matures?
by Fenrir on 17 January 2012 - 21:02
Crating the dog the day before training can help build drive but I only do that the day before training. High drive dogs built for working sports tend to go a little nervy and crazy if crated too often. I have 2 in our area alone, including my cousins that spent too much time in a crate and devolved bad psychological problems. My cousins dog snatches at invisible flies ALL day long, it is almost as if all that drive an not enough interaction broke his soul to work.
by destiny4u on 17 January 2012 - 21:04
|i kinda agree with LMH|
My trainer has advised me to not give him any attention except on training days, to basically keep him in the kennel and he only sees me to clean/feed. With my other dogs, this seems to work...but with him...it gets worse.
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 21:13
|Thank you Fenrir.|
Now that you use the word "insecurity" it seems you hit the nail on the head in what I was trying to describe. I do beleive he is insecure. I just dont know how to go about working with him to help build the confidence.
by clee27 on 17 January 2012 - 21:15
|Yes, I understood you have a club and a trainer who advised you to only take him out of his kennel on training days... my suggestion of trying several trainers or clubs was my gentle hint that I don't personally agree with that. ;D my personal belief is the more time and effort you put into a dog the better the bond and relationship will be. Trying to get in your dog's heading and figure out how to draw out the best. When there are issues, I look to myself and figure out how I can communicate clearly what I want, imo, issues that come up are opportunities for me to becomes a better handler and dog person.|
by destiny4u on 17 January 2012 - 21:17
|anyway u can re home him or sell him to a person that would give him the attention that he wants so bad?|
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 21:19
|Yes, thank you clee!|
That is one of the reasons I posted here, to get an overall opinion on what to do to help both him and myself excell.
There are a few local trainers/clubs I can go to, I just figured here would be an "all over" the world resource from other trainers/styles of training.
I have a few videos from Ivan Balabanov on obedience, that I used to help do his foundation obedience, and it has worked the way I wanted it to. He is really a great dog, I just want to work on his insecurities and wanted some advice from people how. :)
by vomtreuenhaus on 17 January 2012 - 21:23
Its not a matter of being able to give him the attention he deserves/wants, because i CAN. Ive heard different trainers opinions on how to help the obsession part, I spend alot of time with my dogs, he just seems insecure in HIMSELF and more dependant on me that he needs to be. There are differing opinions on how to help that, one was to not pay him much attention except when training, others are to spend time with him on a different level. I'm trying it ALL, trying to find what is going to work for him and benefit him and help him build confidence in HIMSELF.
That is the advice im looking for, there are lots of different "tricks to the trade" and i was asking for some, and will be willing to try.
by clee27 on 17 January 2012 - 21:32
|Good luck with him, do not to baby him if he seems uncertain just make sure you're not inadvertently encouraging the uncertain behavior, but encourage him when he shows wanted behavior. Perhaps others have more suggestions, remember, he's young and he's learning every day how to view the world with your help.|