Schutzhund Training is not for every dog and certainly not for the average dog owner to teach their dog without a Skilled and Experienced Trainer. Watching a German Shepherd Dog (GSD or GSDs) performing the well taught skills of this sport is amazing and a bit intimidating.
Schutzhund Training is not "Sic em" training. It is a three part Sport, that includes, Obedience, Tracking and Protection training. Each, of these three training parts is as important as the other for dogs to earn their Titles from Schutzhund Clubs.
If you decide to train your GSD for Schutzhund, be sure you will be consistent and fair with your dog. You could be training a weapon, and this could sure backfire on you badly. Schutzhund is not something to just go off and train your dog on your own. This is a Sport that you will need Trainers and Proper Equipment and Proper Helpers to train.
Do not enter this training lightly! Do a lot of research on Schutzhund before deciding if this is training you want for a dog you own. Read a lot. Talk to people in the sport. Decide if this is a Sport or Training you can afford (it is not inexpensive to proceed in this sport). And if you choose to teach this, train this your dog in this manner, do it correctly and consistent.
Along with a Certified Trainer, if you are buying Equipment to Train your dog, do NOT scrimp. The Schutzhund Training Equipment is expensive for a reason.
Start from the beginning with the correct Collar, Leash and Harness for your dog. It sounds like an easy thing. You would think everyone would know this. But collars are not all made the same. Many people think that all dog walking and working equipment is the same, but some is just made cuter. Leashes are not all made the same, and some just with lights in them! Check the leash, check each part of the leash, the materials it is made out of and the stitching as well as the snap used to hook the dog to. Same with collars and Harnesses. And Harnesses...as a Harness Maker (Sled Dog and Goat), I can tell you for sure, not only are all Harnesses made the same, but each harness is made for the job it was made for. Another words, a Tracking Harness is NOT made for and should not be used for pulling a sled...
A long sleeved shirt with a jacket or coat over your arm with a large dog coming at your ready to grab you, will not keep your arm from harm and pain. The Body and Arm Shields are made tough using the correct, and expensive, materials to keep a person safe.
An A-Frames will need to be wide and stable and strong to hold a dog's weight. You sure do not want some wobbely piece of wood, with someone saying "On, it will be fine." or "It will do." The A-Frame also needs to be built to the Standard for the Sport. If you are building your own A-Frame or handcrafting one for your club (call it homemade), do it correct, spend the money that needs to be spent to make a nice product that everyone can work their dogs on safely.
You do not want a Hide Hut that is blowing away, or transparent, or anything that someone says, "It will be fine for today." You want a study, stable, area a person can stand behind for the dog to "find" them. Overbuilt is better than flimsy.
When you are looking for a Schutzhund Trainer or Club, you want the one that tells you from the beginning what to bring with you when you come. You want the one that tells you (even if you have to ask) that they have the specified, certified equipment and trainers.
Read about the sport before you start. This also means before you start looking for a trainer and or club. Know what it is, by reading, that you are looking for and getting yourself and dog into. This is not a sport to enter lightly, you will need to be "all in".
Any and all equipment for every job a dog does MATTERS! You want the best, the correct, the safest. This is true with Schutzhund Training as well as any other training or job your dog enters. Your dog counts on and trust you for it's safety. Don't break that trust.
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:03:08 -0400