Sunday, July 31, 2011

Should we have sport dogs trained in Schutzhund

Should we have sport dogs trained in Schutzhund??????

I will just come right out and say it YES.  It might be considered just a sport by those who do not have a complete understanding of working dogs, but for the serious breeder of a working dog it is an excellent way to test temperament on your dogs.

Why do I say that - well first before the dog can participate in any Schutzhund work the dog must pass a BH (basic handler) which is a 2 part test the first being obedience (making sure the dog wants to work and is trainable) and the 2nd part is a temperament test.(Making sure the dog is stable in temperament).

While most breeders do not do police work this tool is too valuable to throw out, not to mention the teamwork and bond that you develop along the way.  Once you have experienced that special bond forged in trust and mutual respect you can never look back and be happy with just a couch potato.

From the BH on, every single time the dog participates in Schutzhund it must demonstarte continued obedience and temperament testing.  How could this be anything but valuable to a working breed???

What about those that are not breeders, but just love the sport - I say good for you.  It does help show the depth of a breeders program when they produce dogs that go on to succeed in Schutzhund and it also teaches the individual about working temperament.  A lot of the problems and misconceptions today are due to the fact that  we have far too few, even among breeders and supposedly dog trainers, who understand what a good temperament is.

There are all kinds of sports and activities for people to participate in.  None is more valuable than working a dog and learning about the real dedicated dog world.  Most of the problems we see are because PETA,  HSUS, and the other AR groups would like to see all dogs eliminated from domestication. 

They don't own dogs themselves, deny the value they serve thier owners and others and in general are not capable of coping wth real life.   Can you imagine a world with out service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue, narcotics and drug detection, bomb dogs, war dogs, therapy dogs and none more valuable in raising children than the beloved family pet?  This is the world they would give us...

Schutzhund dogs are not for everyone.  Working dogs period are not for everyone - just look at the number of border collies turned into rescue.  They are high drive - high energy dogs that were bred to work on a farm and you just can't lock them up in an house without a physical and mental release.

Look at the number of these dogs that are purchased from a shelter and go on to be top dock diving dogs, frisbee competitors, weight pulling, obedience and agility dogs or even service dogs.  Was it a miracle - did a long sit in the dog pound make them realize they needed to get their act together or did they find a human who understood their needs and trained them to compete so they had an outlet for all that energy???

Do not ever tell me we do not have the right to train a dog to participate in this dog sport or that we can't have a dog for protection sake.    We just might need them to protect us from the big football convicted felons we have running around loose.  Now there is a sport hero for you.

The problem is not the dogs - the problem is the people who get them and then are too lazy to train them
A well trained and socialized dog is at least 10 times safer than and untrained and unsocialized dog who is allowed to run loose. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't be fooled by the AR groups - there is solid medical reasons to crop

Dr. Purswell on the advantages of ear cropping:

I came across some informaiton from a very distinguished vet Dr. Beverly Purswell who shared her opinion concening ear Cropping...  Other than every vet I have worked with she is one of the few to speak up about the advantages from a medical perspective on ear cropping.  I thought I would share her comments here as it is a good follow up on my articles on Ear cropping.

Dr. Purswell, DVM, PHD:
"...I remind them of all the ear problems seen in flop ears dogs, which are not seen in erect eared dogs. No wild canids, or any wild animal for that matter, has flop ears. Animal control officers will tell you that flop ears are eliminated in the F1 generation of dogs that go feral. Nature gets rid of the flop ear that quickly."

My only point is that an erect ear is a healthier ear. There are many scientific articles in the literature finding this to be true, that most ear infections are in flop ears dogs. This is due primarily to the lack of air circulation to the ear canal. I point this out to my veterinary students as a counterpoint to their blanket condemnation of ear cropping as being cosmetic only. And, yes, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) Animal Welfare Committee came out against docking and cropping because they could not support cosmetic only procedures.
Beverly J. Purswell, DVM, PhD
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
VA Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Every vet I have every asked, except for new vets coming out of school have told me this same thing - they see far more ear infections from the floppy earred breeds thatn cropped.

Second point I read this past week is, that while the cropped ear does not improve hearing significantly it does make it easier for the dogs to locate the direction of the sound.  In tracking this would be a very important ability to have.

I know when working with my guys they are constantly turning one ear of the other as they hone in on a particular sound.  It is like watching radar at work as it searches for any sound.

The AR (Animal Rights) folks would like you to believe it is just cosemetic because they want to put their nose in a business that they know little about and could honestly care less about the welfare of any animals.  They suffer from tunnel vision and delusions -  with no real plan on how the world will survive when they have destroyed one of our major food sources and taken away our rights to own animals and have pets.

This fight has never been about cropping and docking it is about pushing their vegan twisted lifestyles on everyone.  It is about taking something to the extreme and so far out that in the end the total destruction of life and food as we know it will be changed forever.

Copyright © 2010 [Suzan Shipp/J Bar S Dobermans/Dobs4ever]. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever and may not be used or copied without express permission from the owner Copyrigted 2010

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Schutzhund training - the bite work stigma

I am writing this article in response to a post I read today about  a mayor in Arkansas that is implementing breed bans.  At first I thought what else is new, and then I read further and she has thrown in the "attack training" programs along with the breed ban.  This really shocked me as first, it is sneaky and second it shows a complete lack of any knowledge on what Schutzhund or now more often referred to as (IPO - International Police Organication) training is all about.  This is how stupid laws get on the books. So lets take a look at IPO training and what it entails.  At least make decisions after you have some of the facts.

Some of the things I want to cover in this series is: 

Should we have sport dogs
Why would I want to train my dog in IPO
Is bite work dangerous

First Schutzhund was a test devised to help breeders evaluate their dogs for specific work - that of police work. It was a test to help  evaluate temperament, character, trainability, courage, stamina and heart of the dog.

Good breeders want to breed sound stable dogs both physically and mentality.  While many refer to it as "bite work" that is not a complete understanding of what  Schutzhund is about.  It is not about teaching the dog to bite as the dog already knows how.  It is about teaching the dog what to look for that could mean trouble and when to bite.  Not all situations call for biting.  When training you want a dog that shows steady nerves and can contain themselves until necessary.  A dog whose first response is to bite is more likely a fear biter and weak in nerve.  This is not a good candidate for a breeding prospect or for Schutzhund.

Schutzhund training is like a triathalon  for athletes as the dog must successfully complete three separate exercises.  Tracking, obedience and protection work all of which are very demanding for the dog.

Notice that 2/3 of this test has nothing to do with bite work, but focuses on postive traits needed in successful police work. Whether the person is on the run or lost it would be nice to have a dog that was capable of tracking them down.  Schutzhund dogs are trained to track foot steps and clues such as torn clothing, guns or drugs tossed aside which if found can be used as evidence and to find the suspect.

This tracking does differ from the SAR (search and rescue) dogs who do far more air scenting as they are usually covering a lot larger area.  When a police dog goes on the hunt the area is much more defined  from the starting point to the finishing point and often with a much fresher scent trail.  The person being hunted is usually in a highly aggitated state and is throwing off strong ferons whereas the SAR dog may be following a trial that is a day or two old.

Tracking is an obedience exercise - all dogs know how to track.  How many times have you seen a dog outside,  with nose to the ground, running around following a track???  The dog knows what to do with the nose, but you will just as quickly see that dog go on to something else if they loose the track.  So we teach obedience to the track.

1.  to follow a specific track or scent
2.  to find specific articles dropped on the track
3.  to indicate those articles to the handler who is back 33 feet behind the dog
4.  to find the track if it turns and veers a different direction
5.  to ignore rabbits and gopher holes and stay on task

This requires skill and precision.  Dogs don't do these things naturally so we train them to be obedient to the track.

Obedience - Obedience- obedience - You do not want a dog that won't listen.  For this exercise the breeder is looking for several differnet things - pack drive - a dog that wants to work with you,  Trainability - a dog that responds to the training and likes it - solid nerves - a dog that takes whatever is thrown at them in their stride and shows good judgement.

Obedience is critical as the dog is often working away from the handler and acting on his own based on the training and direction he is given. This is the true test of the dogs pack drive, trainability, willingness to work with his handler to accomplish a specific task and courage to engage if necessary an opponent.

Unfortunately as in all things we have good and we have bad.  Some people unfortunatley just want to see a dog that will bite anything.  That is wrong as there is so much more the dog must have to be correct.  I see it as no different than bad doctors, vets, mechanics, teachers or politicians. Some are good and some are not.  You can't throw out all including the good just because of a few bad apples.

A good breeder and handler wants a well balance dog as Schutzhund is all about building a relationship and team work.  The handler and the dog must trust each other and function as one unit.  The handler must be able to read his dog and the signals the dogs gives and the dog must trust the handler and listen to the handler.  There may be a time when your life depends on your k-9 partner.  Training is the difference between success and failure.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Misconceptions on Vwd - Vets can be the worse

Because of the scare tactics used in the beggining even Vets found a way to capatilize on Vwd.  They uaually run and Elisa test prior to any surgery and depeinding on what it shows will tell people that their dog is VWD affected and they can't do the surgery without a lot of additional blood work and measures to have blood for transfusion if needed.  This is very costly.

I have had people call me when it was time for spaying or neutering and they were freaked out when suddenly a $200.00 procedure turns into a $600.00 procedure and I don't blame them.  Before I went to clear dogs I told them to find another vet and in all those years never had a bleeding problem.

I had a VWD affected bitch that at 2 ate something andhad to have emergency surgery -  Came thorugh with flying colors and went on to have 2 litters - today she is 8 years old and still acts like a teenager. 

The only way you know if you dog is Vwd affected is with the DNA test.  The elisa test is very ineffective and inaccurate  Clotting factors can change based on outside things - thyroid, stress etc.

Most affected Doberman's still produce enough of the clotting factor that it is not a problem unless something major happens which is beyond anyones control.  The safest route to take, however, is still to not breed where affected puppies will be produced..  That has and reamains our postion on this issue.