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Okay, I've been mulling over something for a really long time. Once upon a time I was reading about German working lines vs. German showlines in Schutzhund. I don't remember for teh life of me where I read this particular idea, but it's stuck with me ever since (and that's about a year). What it bascially said is that German showlines get SchH titles only b/c Germans are excellent dog trainers, not b/c the dogs can actually do the work.

So my big discussion question is this: if it's true that these dogs really are not working quality and only perform SchH routines b/c they are well trained, then wouldn't it be possible for ANY dog of ANY breed to title in teh sport regardless of his/her drives and ability to work? And what does that say about SchH in general (especially its usefulness as a breed test)?

Is the same true of Ring Sport? IWhat about agility? SAR? Is dog sport "all in the training," or does there have to be some genetic propensity toward the tasks being trained in order for the dog to excell?
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Okay, I've been mulling over something for a really long time. Once upon a time I was reading about German working lines vs. German showlines in Schutzhund. I don't remember for teh life of me where I read this particular idea, but it's stuck with me ever since (and that's about a year). What it bascially said is that German showlines get SchH titles only b/c Germans are excellent dog trainers, not b/c the dogs can actually do the work.

So my big discussion question is this: if it's true that these dogs really are not working quality and only perform SchH routines b/c they are well trained, then wouldn't it be possible for ANY dog of ANY breed to title in teh sport regardless of his/her drives and ability to work? And what does that say about SchH in general (especially its usefulness as a breed test)?

Is the same true of Ring Sport? IWhat about agility? SAR? Is dog sport "all in the training," or does there have to be some genetic propensity toward the tasks being trained in order for the dog to excell?
wow. many questions. good ones too. i'll offer my $.02....

no, not ANY dog of ANY breed can get a schH title. yes, some very "weak" dogs get schH titles. that's why you have to take schH titles with a grain of salt. no sport title guarantees a truly "good" dog. even a KNPV title (which i have a healthy amount of respect for) does not ensure a dog can do PSD work or even SAR work. KNPV is all done on a field and thus dogs with environmental issues (the most common being slick floors) can get their titles and still perform very poorly on slick floors (not good for PSD or SAR).

the ring sports, particularly mondio where the routines change and are rarely the same, are much more challenging and the number of dogs that can get titled are much less than schH so no amount of training in the world will get some dogs titled.

so yes, genetics play a large role. as you go up the tiers of sports, a better genetic dog is required (and schH is at the bottom tier). you see 2 year old dogs getting schH titles all the time and some 3 year old dogs with scH 3's. good luck finding a PH2 under 4 and a PH1 under 3. selena can offer a better idea, but i think the average age of the PH1 dog is probably early 4 year old. and i have no idea about the ring sports (jeff?)...
 

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Just a short post here. Schutzhund titles given in Europe is so the money showline dogs can make them more money. They have the old bloodlines there but now so do we. I don't think the German trainers are any better than some schutzhund trainers here. Hey, it's all a money game.
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jerry Lyda said:
Just a short post here. Schutzhund titles given in Europe is so the money showline dogs can make them more money. They have the old bloodlines there but now so do we. I don't think the German trainers are any better than some schutzhund trainers here. Hey, it's all a money game.
Jerry
You know, I guess I take offense to the idea that German show kennels all purchase their titles b/c I have a boy sired by VA7 Marko della Valcuvia. My dog's pedigree is a mixture of Kirschental, Arminus, and well known Italian kennels (as well as tons of well known show kennels further back). He's linebred on good old Jeck v. Noricum, Visum Arminius, and Mark v Haus Beck. By all rights he should be a "weak" dog who couldn't really title in SchH with the best trainer on the planet (if I were to listen to the predominant opinions on show dogs in teh sport). He's not. He's excellent at bitework, has nice nerves (BTW, he thinks that sliding on my newly installed high gloss wooden floor is serious fun -- I've always had slick wooden floors and he isn't bothered by them even when he busts his butt). Marko apparently has his brevet, which surprised the heck outta me for a through-and-through show dog. Achilles' maternal granddam was sired by Iso v. Kirschental and she surprised everyone by earning her SchH 3! She was the breeder's first dog and she just did SchH to bond with the dog -- never in her wildest dreams did she think it would go as far as it did. After Hera's titles were earned she completed breeding requirements and bred her. Unfortuntaely, Hera never reproduced herself in the bitches the breeder kept; none ever acheived past SchH 1, but she has had hope for the 3rd generation (my dog and his littermates).

I'm sure that money does change hands sometimes in the course of titling a dog, and there are some crooked kennels and judges. But for the most part, I see these dogs worth teh titles they've aquired...I even had someone tell me that Hera's titles must have been bought b/c "every SchH 3 bitch he's seen from Germany hasn't been able to cut it on teh field here in the US." I found that an arrogant statement: I highly doubt that the wife of a 10th generation German farmer in a tiny ass town no one's heard of came up with enough money to pay off a judge to title her dog, and the first dog she'd ever trained in SchH to boot, and a dog from an unknown kennel whose dam was a mix of working and showlines. I just dont see it. If anything, the judge would have had good reason NOT to title that dog...

Tim, thanks for your insight. I do know that SchH is considered the "softest" of the protection sports. The idea that it's just training sort of intrigued me, but I just couldn't imagine a poodle on a bite sleeve :wink: . I'm sure it's been done, mind you...we had two fru fru dogs being trained for fun at our club in Germany.

So that's why I was wondering these things anyway....
 

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The SchH titles you are talking about in the show line dogs are gimme's. You know, trials attended by Hans (the owner) and Horst (the Judge) only, along with a lot of beer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Joe Jones said:
The SchH titles you are talking about in the show line dogs are gimme's. You know, trials attended by Hans (the owner) and Horst (the Judge) only, along with a lot of beer.
For your info, I grew up in Germany and the remark you made is more than a little insulting to German culture.

Can you tell me how many dogs you have personally come in contact with from German show lines, titled IN Germany, who you felt didn't deserve it and attended one of these so called "midnight" trials?

And FWIW, beer alone won't get you too far in Germany. Horst could walk into his own kitchen and get plenty of it, or go to the Gashaus and have better company than Hans and his (apparently) shit dog.
 

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It depends on how the dog is trained (sportbased, only in the programme or has really dressuur on him), and if it is sportsdog or a real police dog, but usually a dog is titled when he is 2.5-3.5 yrs old. We´re usually late with title the dog.
 

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There's dogs you can condition to do a routine to pass a sport, but a dog that is seriously gun shy will fail the courage test no matter what training you do, and a dog who doesn't wanna bite won't bite. A super weak dog will turn around n walk away if they hear a .22 shot off in the distance, or if the decoy cracks a whip, or if there's any pressure put on the dog. Some dogs just don't wanna play with people other than their handler. A dog who is borderline can be conditioned to do a Schutzhund routine, but a useless (I use that term in the nicest way possible) dog can't be conditioned to do the routine no matter how much you try.

Tim mentioned the slick floors, that's an excellent test, and we actually took Cujo out to the helicopter hangar for the Sheriff's dept helicopter yesterday and tested him on the slick floor. He did well, he didn't EXCEL in it, but he was at the end of the line, not really pulling because of the slick floor though, he bit, he carried the sleeve a bit (n this is a dog that a week ago would spit the sleeve out n go after the decoy again, but we're working on his confidence and the way he views training as well as holding his bite instead of popping off the bite when it gets too tough), n he even continued to advance on the decoy when he got stung in the legs by the whip for the first time. This is from a showline dog! Yes there's alot (probably the majority) who may tuck tail n run or just stand in front of the decoy barking, or hide behind the handler when whipped on the legs etc, but a good dog can be a good dog regardless of the lines. I doubt you will find the BEST dog in showlines, but if you have a good dog then worry less about the lines and more about the training. I was actually planning on not working my dog at all because everyone made such a big deal about how useless showline dogs were!

I'm sure theres corruption in the world, I'm sure a SchH title can be bought, but I think the vast majority of them are legitimate titles. Whether the dog is an excellent dog or not can't be determined by a sport title though, but it takes at least a moderate dog to title legitimately.
 

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Jerry Lyda said:
I've seen show line dogs as well as working dogs purchased in Europe that came with a SchH1 title that could not do the work. Some one please tell me how they got their titles.
I'm sure bribery could have been involved to buy a SchH1 title.

There's also clubs designated to training showline dogs, they do trial and title the dogs, but the training is different in order to get these dogs to look good enough to a judge, n these dogs are often trained and titled on one field with the same decoy that decoys the dogs at trial, so take em to another field or another decoy and they shut down.

By "can't do the work" what do you mean? Half-ass or just won't bite or what? Are these dogs just given up on? Because odds are if you start from scratch you can get em to bite on another field with another decoy, but they will just be "home field" kinda dogs. But like I said, I have no doubt that you can bribe someone to buy a title :p
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mike Schoonbrood said:
There's dogs you can condition to do a routine to pass a sport, but a dog that is seriously gun shy will fail the courage test no matter what training you do, and a dog who doesn't wanna bite won't bite. A super weak dog will turn around n walk away if they hear a .22 shot off in the distance, or if the decoy cracks a whip, or if there's any pressure put on the dog. Some dogs just don't wanna play with people other than their handler. A dog who is borderline can be conditioned to do a Schutzhund routine, but a useless (I use that term in the nicest way possible) dog can't be conditioned to do the routine no matter how much you try.

Tim mentioned the slick floors, that's an excellent test, and we actually took Cujo out to the helicopter hangar for the Sheriff's dept helicopter yesterday and tested him on the slick floor. He did well, he didn't EXCEL in it, but he was at the end of the line, not really pulling because of the slick floor though, he bit, he carried the sleeve a bit (n this is a dog that a week ago would spit the sleeve out n go after the decoy again, but we're working on his confidence and the way he views training as well as holding his bite instead of popping off the bite when it gets too tough), n he even continued to advance on the decoy when he got stung in the legs by the whip for the first time. This is from a showline dog! Yes there's alot (probably the majority) who may tuck tail n run or just stand in front of the decoy barking, or hide behind the handler when whipped on the legs etc, but a good dog can be a good dog regardless of the lines. I doubt you will find the BEST dog in showlines, but if you have a good dog then worry less about the lines and more about the training. I was actually planning on not working my dog at all because everyone made such a big deal about how useless showline dogs were!

I'm sure theres corruption in the world, I'm sure a SchH title can be bought, but I think the vast majority of them are legitimate titles. Whether the dog is an excellent dog or not can't be determined by a sport title though, but it takes at least a moderate dog to title legitimately.
Thanks, Mike...I like your insight. I hadn't thought about the courage test but that's a good point. The Schutz platz we trained at was next to a firing range. I vividly remember the day they were firing machine guns at the range during puppy class. The other pups tucked tail and ran behind handlers when the noise started. And what do you think Achilles the 13 week old puppy did? Cocked his head and ran then off toward the fence to figure out who the heck was doing that!!! He hasn't heard a noise like that in a long while (and his kong hitting the metal screen door just made him jump a bit), but it was ineresting at the time. He also is never bothered by fireworks and the other night lightning hit a tree in my backyard and the thunder was so loud the house shook. HE SLEPT THROUGH IT. My kids are screaming and crying and the dog is snoring...funny since the dishwasher banging bugs him :?

Kristen -- please see teh discussion on dogs being a reflection of their handlers :wink: . Puppy boy actually belongs to Michael..he's worse than I am (yes, it's possible).

Jerry, how many dogs have you encountered that you woud describe this way? I couldn't tell you how they got their titles, but I KNOW it didn't involve beer (more like Euro or goods and services). I would never contend that underhanded practices dont' exist in SchH -- I'm sure they do. But if all show dogs' titles were bought, we wouldn't have any dogs who could do the work at this point. Since it's not the case, I believe that there are still plenty of show pooches who actually do earn their titles.
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
......Because odds are if you start from scratch you can get em to bite on another field with another decoy, but they will just be "home field" kinda dogs. But like I said, I have no doubt that you can bribe someone to buy a title :p
Kind of a tangent......... do a lot of SchH-trained dogs have a "home field advantage" thing? I mean, is that common that they would be somewhat (or way) better with their usual decoy and field?
 

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Wayne, Jak's trainer, brought out a showline dog at a club day not too long ago that was just gorgeous to look at, and he DID bite, but he did not have the 'intensity' that a lot of the working lines have. During the bark and hold, he barked, but he appeared to be more distracted with that butterfly over there, or the person standing over here, or the car that just went down the road. He did sit and bark at the helper, and bit when the helper moved, but it was all very nonchalant. That's what I think of when I hear someone say a showline dog "can't do the work." With training, many of them WILL do it, but they just don't do is as "well" as the more drivey workinglines. This particular dog had a SchH 1 if I remember correctly.


It's been said already, but I want to say I agree. There are some intense showline dogs, as well as some that are crap. The same thing goes with workinline dogs! There is crap in workinglines, too!
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Mike Schoonbrood said:
......Because odds are if you start from scratch you can get em to bite on another field with another decoy, but they will just be "home field" kinda dogs. But like I said, I have no doubt that you can bribe someone to buy a title :p
Kind of a tangent......... do a lot of SchH-trained dogs have a "home field advantage" thing? I mean, is that common that they would be somewhat (or way) better with their usual decoy and field?
Yeah, I thought explicitly this happens...training a "send-away" on a home field can be rigged in a way that it can't in a different environment (run to that flag pole because usually there's a treat there, etc.). I would be interested to hear responses to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Connie Sutherland said:
Mike Schoonbrood said:
......Because odds are if you start from scratch you can get em to bite on another field with another decoy, but they will just be "home field" kinda dogs. But like I said, I have no doubt that you can bribe someone to buy a title :p
Kind of a tangent......... do a lot of SchH-trained dogs have a "home field advantage" thing? I mean, is that common that they would be somewhat (or way) better with their usual decoy and field?
Well, I can tell you that one week we had a different helper. Achilles did fine with him. But the next week when the usual helper was there the dog did NOT do well, and we had trouble with training at home during teh week. We think it might have had something to do with the helper's methods, though...he was a little off kilter and was being very gruff with the dog whereas hte usual helper was very encouraging. Or it coulda just been a bad week. We'd just had our household goods picked up so things at home were really helter-skelter, too.
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Kind of a tangent......... do a lot of SchH-trained dogs have a "home field advantage" thing? I mean, is that common that they would be somewhat (or way) better with their usual decoy and field?
Alot of dogs have this PERIOD. Even dogs who have the temprement to not have it, still have it, because alot of people make the mistake of working the dog with one decoy on one field all their life. The first few times Cujo went out to a different field with a new decoy he'd kinda mouth the sleeve n sniff the grass while the decoy was yelling at him for attention LOL. But now, only a few months down the line, thru training in lots of locations with multiple decoys, he doesn't care who or where he bites.

If a dog doesn't focus where he's supposed to focus, sting the dog with a whip, that'll make em look for sure... if they aren't focused I consider it avoidance because they damn well know what they're supposed to do. I've seen police dogs with the same problem, quickly solved by making em pay attention.

I'll agree that showlines don't have the decoy smacking intensity that some working lines have, but their enthusiasm and intensity in their bark and "display" depends on the dog. I know a guy who's been around some of the hardest dogs you'll ever have the misfortune to train, n the dog that scared him most in his life was a showline dog lol. You just never know. Like I said, I wouldn't look at a showline to work, but I would work a showline if they had the nerve :p
 

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I have seen a number of dogs that have been "shipped" to Germany to be trained and "titled" that weren't worth a crapola on their best day, yet amazingly come back titled up the wazoo. If you don't think that happens, or alternatively, don't think that breeders host teeny tiny little trials at their own field with no other competitors, I can't help you. And, no I won't name names. I'm not an internet slammer.
 

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Stacia, I think you are misunderstanding me, a little. Yes there is some very good showline dogs out there. Europe doesn't have the only market for these dogs. We have good ones here in the USA too. What I'm trying to convey is that there IS dogs from there that aren't what they are sold to be. Yes I have seen a few that were bought from there and big money was paid for them that wasn't worth even 1/4 the price. We also have those jere too. What gets me is that someone will purchase a titled dog from Europe and when it gets here, it can't do a SchH1 routine yet it is titled. I agree with, I think it was Mike that said these dogs are titled on their home field bitting the same decoy and the dogs owner is the kin folk to the judge. Only a few people there in order to say they even had a trial.
That also goes on here as well. A dog that only competes on his home field with the training decoy. People enjoy the sport and may be short on money and trying to strech what they have and this may be the only way they can afford to participate. That's OK, but do they really have the dog that the title says they have? I bet that they do have the dog that they LOVE. I'm glad they do. There's many resons why people have dogs that aren't top notch. Mines not top notch and that's OK with me. He is what I have and I LOVE my dog.
Schutzhund is a good sport and back to the original post I don't think there is any better trainers in Europe than what is here. We have learned a lot from them and we've taken the ball and ran with it. There's bad trainers there and here also, but that's not what we're talking about.
One showline dog that comes to my mind had a SchH1 title when she got here and she had to be trained from scratch to get her where she is now. She is now a pretty damn good SchH2 dog and she'll make a good SchH3 dog too.
As in another topic we had had I said that I had rather look at the dog and not so much at the pedigree. Good peds is a starting point to start looking but if I found one with less peds and showed a lot of ability and desire I'd take it to work with. I hope that makes sence.
Politics on the schutzhund field is no different than anything else. IT'S THERE.
I didn't mean for this to be long, Sorry.
Have fun training what ever you have, that's what it's all about.
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Jerry Lyda said:
Stacia, I think you are misunderstanding me, a little. Yes there is some very good showline dogs out there. Europe doesn't have the only market for these dogs. We have good ones here in the USA too. What I'm trying to convey is that there IS dogs from there that aren't what they are sold to be. Yes I have seen a few that were bought from there and big money was paid for them that wasn't worth even 1/4 the price. We also have those jere too. What gets me is that someone will purchase a titled dog from Europe and when it gets here, it can't do a SchH1 routine yet it is titled. I agree with, I think it was Mike that said these dogs are titled on their home field bitting the same decoy and the dogs owner is the kin folk to the judge. Only a few people there in order to say they even had a trial.
That also goes on here as well. A dog that only competes on his home field with the training decoy. People enjoy the sport and may be short on money and trying to strech what they have and this may be the only way they can afford to participate. That's OK, but do they really have the dog that the title says they have? I bet that they do have the dog that they LOVE. I'm glad they do. There's many resons why people have dogs that aren't top notch. Mines not top notch and that's OK with me. He is what I have and I LOVE my dog.
Schutzhund is a good sport and back to the original post I don't think there is any better trainers in Europe than what is here. We have learned a lot from them and we've taken the ball and ran with it. There's bad trainers there and here also, but that's not what we're talking about.
One showline dog that comes to my mind had a SchH1 title when she got here and she had to be trained from scratch to get her where she is now. She is now a pretty damn good SchH2 dog and she'll make a good SchH3 dog too.
As in another topic we had had I said that I had rather look at the dog and not so much at the pedigree. Good peds is a starting point to start looking but if I found one with less peds and showed a lot of ability and desire I'd take it to work with. I hope that makes sence.
Politics on the schutzhund field is no different than anything else. IT'S THERE.
I didn't mean for this to be long, Sorry.
Have fun training what ever you have, that's what it's all about.
Jerry
Thanks for the longer reply!! Now I see where you're coming from.

I suppose there are those who pay for a kennel name and aren't getting what they paid for. I think that goes on no matter where you live.

We do have excelelnt dogs nad excellent trainers here. I had a much easier time finding people to train with and a place to train in Germany (every town has their own Schutz platz LOL). I think I also encounter a LOT more prejudice against my dog here than I ever did in Germany. I bristle at the paid-for-title issues b/c I have had more than one working dog person roll their eyes when I tell them that one of the reasons we liked Achilles was his grand-dam's SchH 3 title and say, "A SchH 3 means nothing in Germany." Huh...just smacks of American arrogance to me. I'm not a fan of "Americans are better than everyone else on teh globe at everything possible" attitude b/c it's not true. I like to appreciate other cultures for their contributions, too...and I think it's just plain ridiculous to go around insisting that the Germans dont' know jack about SchH. It would be like a German telling me Americans can't make a decent apple pie.

I also wonder sometimes if certain people overlook a dog b/c of its pedigree or b/c they only like certain traits and then cant' figure out how a dog got its title. I could see if the dog in question tucks its tail and runs at hte sound of the whip, can't bark and hold, won't take a bite, is horrible at obedience -- that would get me thinking, too. But I know people who have perfectly dogs who were told by a SchH club here in America not to "waste their time training that dog" only for it to title or go into a differetn sport and title. I'm taking a long time to say that some evaluators don't know what they're talking about :wink:

It costs us NOTHING to train in SchH in Germany. The platz was maintained on a volunteer basis by the club members, and they all shared and pooled equipment (took turns purchasing worn out sleeves, tugs, ties, and agility equipment). They trained fro teh love of the dogs nad no one made even one cent. The sport seems to cost a LOT more here in America (club fees, equipment fees, trial fees). Maybe that's why I have a difficult time wrapping my head around the money portion of it. If were talking about Arminius, Waldsteigerland, Batu, Bad-boll, etc., I could see it. People pay big bucks for those kennel names (among others) and I could see where there would be pressure to get titled adults to make money off of. And you're right: it isn't fair to the dog, to the person who buys it, or to the breed in general.
 
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