How to pick your puppy

HOW TO PICK YOU PUPPY The great adventure begins:

2,5 weeks Hexental puppy The day that you decide to buy a dog. Some of you have already had a dog, others are newcomers. The first selection is to choose the purpose of your future dog: family dog, working dog, show dog, show and breed dog, etc. But the best is to make a clear choice about working or show bloodlines because of the big differences in performance in their field. Your next important choice is the breed. We have about 25 recognized dog breeds to do the IPO SchH program, so there begins the first important choice. Which breed? You choose a certain breed for a certain reason, but then you have in almost all popular working breeds the beauty lines and the working lines. The pedigrees of both will often be completely different, so a clear separation of type will be visible. So again you have to make a decision: Working line or beauty line? But pay attention, a good working dog can also be a beautiful dog, it's not true that every ugly dog comes from working lines! It is necessary that before you make a reservation, you have to have as much information as possible about your breed. Read books before you buy a puppy, go and look on shows, on trials, ask for information in the recognized breed clubs. One good advice is not to ask for information from a breeder about another breeder, this would most of the time give incorrect advice. Get as much information as possible and trust your feeling or instinct. There are so many things which are involved with the resume of a dog. A lot of titles or scores are reached by politics and help, and not just by the dog himself. Always make sure that the performance in show or work of a certain dog are achieved under different judges and at different places. So you eliminate the risk of dealing with a "made champion". We have 3 different champions, the "made Champion", the "real Champion" and the "would be Champion". Which Champion is not marked on the pedigree, so be careful not to be convinced with paperwork. Go and see for yourself trials, shows, training or ask for videos or other virtual material and trust your feeling. It is not always a title on a paper which gives quality on a breeding. I know a lot of untitled dogs who produce far better offspring than some big Champions. It is important that both of the parents are good, most of the time a breeder goes with a poor bitch to a reputed stud dog in the hope that he will bring all the quality. The female is also responsible for 50% of the products. This bitch is even more important (about 70%) to the character specifications of the puppies, because of the influence in the first 8 weeks of the life of the puppies. So when you want a dog for working, inform yourself as much as possible of the qualities of the mother. How are the relatives of this bitch? Are there several good dogs in this family or is she the only good one? This last possibility is not ideal for breeding, these types of dogs are called "coincidence" and have more negative genes than positive. Let's say you have found a good parenting pair, then all the problems are not solved yet. Some combinations are not good, the bloodlines have to fit. There are several proofs of 2 Champions who produce together nothing else but poor puppies. Let's presume that you've found a future quality litter, then still there are risks of not having a good puppy. It is necessary that the dog fits his owner. There are different character types of man and dog. It is also the task of the breeder to put the right puppy to the right owner. The choice of this 8 week old doggy is an important step for the success of the following career of the team. The choice of the sex of the dog depends for a big part on the purpose. When you want to breed, it

can only be a bitch, for the sport a male is better. He is stronger and has normally more character and does not come in season like the females. There are several aspects which can be tested with a youngster of minimum 7 weeks of age: 1. The exterior; this has nothing to do with the working abilities. 2. The character; which has 6 different aspects: Self assurance, prey drive, dominance, temperament, forgiveness and fight drive. For show qualities every breed has his own specifications, so it will take us too long to write all this down. As a working Rottweiler breeder I have invented the following puppy test: Each puppy is marked with a paint spot so you can separate them from each other. A list is made for every individual puppy with each different aspect of character. The test person must be a complete stranger for the litter, and the testing place must be new also. In place of testing the whole litter together, they must be tested individually! The breeder is looking from a distance, his puppies may not see, smell or hear him. The youngster to be tested is taken by the tester to the "battlefield", he puts the dog down and goes fast several meters backwards where he remains still and observes well. The ideal is a puppy who immediately starts exploring the new place. Not good is a crying, desperate puppy who stays on his place or turns hopelessly around. The following step of the test is, the tester sits down on the ground and tries to call the puppy with a friendly voice. Important is the way the youngster comes. Does he come spontaneously and sure of himself or is he unsure and sneaking? The tester calms down the doggy and lifts him up for the next exercise. He puts the dog down on his back on the floor and pushes with a hand palm hard enough on his chest & belly. He may not play with him, just push the puppy on his belly. This is a delicate exercise because both a puppy who is dominant and a puppy who is scared and is in panic, will try to be on his feet quickly. You must look carefully to see the difference between dominance and fear. A tractable type will stay for a longer time on his back without moving, what is not necessarily negative. After this test the doggy must be calmed down by playing with the tester. The next step is to seek an object made of plastic or steel that is round and heavy for the puppy ( a screwdriver, a steel water pipe, etc) then the attention of dog must be asked by moving and teasing this object. The moment the dog is chasing the retrieve object, throw it about a meter away. Ideal is a youngster who is instantly takes the object in his mouth and brings it back to the tester (after he called the dog). Not good is a puppy who lets the object fall several times, or does not have interest at all. The next exercise is done with a little rag or a piece of tissue. Again the tester must try to attract the interest of the puppy to bite the rag. In place of pulling and moving the rag during biting, the tester just pulls with light pressure and doesn't move the rag. Ideal is a puppy who pulls intensely and tries every possibility to get the prey. Not good is a dog who lets go of the rag the moment it is not moving anymore, or a non interested dog. The next step is a part of the self assuredness test which is tested on noise and unknown objects or situations. The tester needs a big plastic sack or a box with noise making things in them. He must let this object fall down just near the unexacting puppy. A tool which makes a lot of noise, a car horn, a starting engine, whatever is unknown for the youngster. The doggy may have a little moment of fear but has to instantly regain his positives. He has to have interest in exploring the unknown thing. Ideal is a puppy who goes directly in the direction of the new thing. A puppy who becomes panicked after the fear, is not suitable for the top sport. The last test is the forgiveness, this is very important for any puppy ! The tester engage the puppy in play, once he's certain the youngster is focused on the game, take his paw and pinch him (hard enough to make him yelp) on the fatty edge of the webbing between his toes. The ideal reaction on this part of the test is forgiveness. When the pinch is over, the puppy should forgive him quickly, wither by re-engaging in play or licking the tester and allowing him to pet it again. The puppy that

only a trustful proof on the present quality of the litter. These influences will have an important consequence on developing of the character. Always remember. Nor is the puppy who's going too high in defense-drive and attack's the tester. because he has seen them grow and develop. After the puppies are chosen. it is . A good trainer can make out of a moderate puppy. This test is no guarantee on later performance. each go to different environments and will be raised on different methods.runs away and refuses to return is not going to be a good dog. Forgiveness is crucial for any kind of training. a very good working dog. but a bad trainer makes out of a very good puppy a poor scoring dog. A good and attentive breeder will know the test score before the test is done. With this test a score can be given on each part of the exercise and from this a choice can be made. Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium What exactly is IPO or SCHH ? .

obedience and protection. Since Schutzhund primarily was for German Shepherds.IPO / SCHH (International Trial Rules) is one of the "great dogsports" in Europe. all the dogs entered must be submitted first to a test of sociability: the BH. earning the degree IPO I. IPO is tested in 3 progressively harder levels. Each discipline is assessed on 100 points. the international dog association FCI decided to create a sport where ALL breeds could compete and today many people train and compete IPO and-or SCHH. IPO is a working dog sport comprised of 3 disciplines : tracking. IPO III. IPO II. The maximum number of points per competition is 300 points. with level III being the hardest. Tracking theory part 1 . Before being admitted to a competition according to IPO.

Important: Always make sure that the dog is hungry. If the dog is searching with a deep nose on the right place.. You step a circle of ±1 m Ø. A Schutzhund competition is usually won (or lost) already in the first exercise. one step against the other and you throw the bits everywhere in this circle (Fig A). You can do this type of tracking about 10 times. FIRST LESSONS You take the closed plastic pot that contains the small pieces of cheese or flesh. you say nothing ! When the dog puts his head up. a line of ±3 meter. fresh green grass of ±10cm height. THE FIRST LESSONS You can start with a puppy that is used to his chain. cheese. Here follows the best "Step by Step" theory on the web. Then you go and wash your hands (the dog may not make the connection of your hands and the rewards) or at least clean them well with grass. a closed plastic pot of ± Ø12cm (in a natural color). After 15 minutes you get your dog and show him with your hand (the palm of your hand up. never say the name of your dog or he will look up to you. WHAT YOU NEED A bag (to put all your tracking stuff in).TRACKING THEORY Tracking can be learned by almost every dog. a tracking flag (pole).pronounced "sook"). The little dog will be 3 or 4 months old. than you will see that your puppy knows what to do when he .. . You don't let him search before he enters the track or after leaving the track!!! Practice this training 3 times after each other until the puppy understands the word "Such" (associates the word to following the track and finding the rewards). with safe distance from each other. or doesn't look in the right place you show him with your hand the right place and say "Such". when the correct method is used. You make 3 of these circles next to each other. 3 or 4 different treats as cookies. You always lay the track without the presence of your dog and wait minimum 15 minutes before you get him.. not too hot.Tracking ! So you can understand the importance of this exercise. hotdog and sausage meat (soft meat that can be eaten very fast) cut this into ±50 cubes of 1cm in size. If you only track one time. not too cold and in the early morning. otherwise the dog may think the bits are coming out of your hand!) where to search. Let the puppy eat the rewards as much as possible and then leave the field by telling him he has done well. with a full stomach he has no reason to track! The best tracking conditions are no wind. The only thing that you need is a dog that likes to eat ! Please understand that you need to follow this method correctly as small differences makes the end result. The only word that you say is "Such" (search in German .. The 3 circles each contain a different type of rewards.. the dog will forget most till next lessons after a few days.

When you have reached this stage it is time to lay your bits at random in the footprints of the track. The reason for this is. You can lay 2 or 3 tracks after each other. FURTHER LESSONS Take the tracking flag and 2 plastic containers with 2 different cheese or/and flesh bits. At the end of the track he will find the closed pot that contains more rewards. when the dog pulls. Put the tracking flag always on the left side of the beginning of the track (Fig B. best is with every time other type of food rewards. When this is done. He must eat every bit of his rewards (don't let him go too fast and forget footsteps). within every footprint is a reward. over and again on the same pre-track. So we lay about 2 or 3 tracks all with different food during the track and at the end. For this it must always be a surprise for the dog to find out what's at the end. look for every step and eat all his rewards! .comes at the tracking flag. The dog is searching at your pace! As long as he is doing welt you say nothing. You then put your right foot the same way into the ground and also fill the hole with a bit. REMINDERS Always track with a dog that is hungry! Always make a pre start! Always track with the wind in your back! Always wait 15 minutes! Always wash your hands after touching the rewards! Always put the closed pot at the end of the track! The dog has to search at your pace. When the dog is searching intensely you let him go in the right direction. After 15 minutes you get the dog with his chain on and you put the line (just before the beginning of the prestart) through his forelegs (not under his back legs). After this one he will find the next one and so on. with the flag pointing in the direction of the track... When your dog searches intensely and eats all his rewards. You come like this to the beginning of the pre-start and show with your hand (when necessary) the place to search and give the command "Such". where you put the reward bit in). Do the rest of the track like this.). Make sure that you use one sort of reward on the track and the other sort of rewards at the end. But always at your pace! When the dog comes near the flag he will find the cheese in your footstep and eat his reward. Then you push the top of your left foot into the ground and pull this foot back ±3cm (now you have a little hole in the top of your footprint. When he has found this you praise him and open his final reward. between every step (reward) is a distance of ±30cm. Then you wait ±1 minute near the flag before starting the definitive track. After eating you leave the tracking field but don't let the dog pass his track again. he pulls his head to the ground. The length of these first tracks should be ±8 meter. your dog will have to look in every footstep even when there is not a reward. you can make the track longer and put the reward only every 3 steps. Always make a pre-start of ±2 meters before the flag. This means you step heavily 2 or 3 times.

Don't train with objects or corners before he is tracking perfectly strait! Don't let the dog search before or after the track! Always take small steps! Always make 3 tracks after each other so that he remembers fresh! Always use different food during the track as at the end! Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium .

When your dog has reached the level to work out a straight track of about 70 meters. Now we put a track of about 50 meters straight ahead (with the needed rewards in the footprints) and at the end we make a light. he will have no problems with this sort of corner. 3 meters after the angle you put the plastic pot with more rewards. etc. (on this point) and make the angle 90 degrees right or left. On the first part of the track you lay the rewards at random (how many. When your dog has reached the level to work out a straight track perfectly. but about 50cm directly after. We always do the same ritual: (as in Tracking Theory. When the dog has difficulties with the angle you can make it easier by marking your corner "double".. and then go further again passing this (double) corner. The length. C). IMPORTANT: In "tracking training" we always stay close to the first corner. you return on your steps till you are about 1 meter before the angle. and still searches footprint-by-footprint it's time to begin with the first corner. till you have a real angle of 90 degrees. and directly after the "corner". Always make sure that you know exactly where the corner is! Never lay food on the angle point.. By "wind in the back" you teach the dog to seek more intensely and to seek with a "deep nose". place your plastic pot (Fig. (Fig.Tracking Theory THE PREPARATION FOR SCHUTZHUND 1 part 2 In "Part 1" we have seen how to start with tracking. So after a few times training like this. Always make sure that the wind is in the back! The reason for this is that the smell of the footprints (and rewards) are not coming into the direction of the dog. when you see that your "tracker" understands what you want from him. D) . This means when you are about 2 meters after the angle. by turning 360 degrees. is different from dog to dog) but then you mark the point of the angle. Part 1 ) make a pre-start. In this "corner" you put more rewards than on the straight. tracking-flags on the left. after the corner you can make longer. you can make the curve smaller and smaller. round corner. After 3 meters you stop and place the plastic pot. The dog (about 2 meters after the dog).

with your rewards in the appropriate places and at the end you place your plastic pot. THE FIRST OBJECT When you have come to the level that your dog can work out a track as for SchH 1.After a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes you get your tracking champion. We mark our place well by stepping heavily with our feet. the pressure on the dog mounts. We do our usual ritual and just as our dog comes with his nose near the object we say "Platz" and pull the line. When the dog takes the wrong direction. when he goes on in the right direction you follow immediately! Don't' let the dog turn around several times. etc. the dog will find his first reward at about 50 cm and will praise himself. 3 corners. you stay on your place and give the command "Such". At this moment your dog is laying with his nose against the pot. Your end result must be a track of 3 corners (in the Schutzhund 1 & 2 trial there are only 2 corners) of about 120 meters long.. and finally. So it is important that we learn the objects with as little pressure as possible. Make sure that you always know exactly where the track is lying. But pay attention: once you have started with objects during the track. ) NOTE: We start to train with objects after our dog is going down at his pot by himself (without the command "Platz")! Before the track we place some food in a small plastic box. The dog does as he has learnt before. and when your dog takes the right direction. cigarette holders from leather. The . It is important that you are no further than 3 meters behind your dog. this means with food. After 15 to 30 minutes the next. It is very important that we know exactly where we placed the object. but when he smells his reward pot you pull his line and give the command "Platz". and that he can make his corners without your help. you follow immediately! You say nothing.. say nothing but follow. Now your dog has done one corner. First we have to search small plastic containers or leather objects where we can place our reward. so knowing this we can teach the first steps of pointing an object. so after several training sessions you can try two. It is very simple : you lay a track with 2 or 3 corners. From now on you always give the command "Platz" at the end of the track on the plastic pot. We lay the track as usual and between the first and second corner we place our "object". After this we lay the rest of the track as usual. this is very important! You start the track as usual but when coming on the corner. so you open it while praising your "tracker" and let him eat his food. Don't let the dog go wrong! At the corner you stop. and final step" of the tracking can be worked out. (candyboxes. Normally your dog knows the command "Platz" (lay down) already. stay at your place and give the command "Such" when he goes on the right track or direction. When he's off the track. we can start to train on his objects. you stop when needed. and lay down the "object" in the middle of this marking point. from his obedience training.

pieces of wood. he gets his reward from out of our hand. whatever. a tree. When our dogs really know what they are doing and they work. When the dog has learned his objects it is possible that he may begin to point to other things. tracking becomes a routine. we have to stop training with the objects for a time. Soon the dog will learn to push the object lightly to get his reward. This can be a house. but tracking is a form of practical training that is very difficult to write in theory. the dog will fall into a known pattern and will not have as much stress. or to wait till you have taken the object. But the most important thing is that the owner of the dog knows where the track. a rock. including the objects. When the pressure becomes too high. The most important thing is that the dog likes to track.. but "under". We must also look for an orientation point for our objects and corners. or even on the corners. When he does this do not pay attention and instead give the command "Such". and works his whole length with pleasure! But always at the end with a "Platz" at the reward pot. It is better not to train too much with the objects. I am sure that I will have forgotten things. we can say 3 is more than enough. We also do this for a trial. Our dogs can start to take the smell of the "route to follow" in his "computer". and for his reward we open the object as fast as possible. are! When we make our prestarts we also start to look for an orientation point. ) this is a warning that your dog is experiencing too much pressure or "not-understanding". DIFFICULTIES . The next step in object training is to not put the rewards "in" the object. This is the last thing he has to learn. For an experienced dog we can always look for other undergrounds and other wind directions.dog will lay down. but we teach our dog that after pointing. But we have to make sure that our dog remains in the "Platz" till we give the next command "Such". The remaining track we do normal so that the dog finds his "big surprise" at the end.. and the unsureness of your dog mounts. so we can start to give the command "Platz" at the beginning of the pre-start. The final and last step is "there are no rewards placed with the object. (leaves.

Than you do the same as the begin of fig. Maybe on the end of track you can put a sleeve or something he likes very much. minimum 30 minutes or even 1 hour. till you see he's getting better again. This method is only good for dogs who have not enough fooddrive. When this is really good. This will make the dog not to become "trial-smart" . -to trick your dog for the trial you need to make a complete trial track and than. So no rewards on the actual track. that he has a very high preydrive (balldrive). the dog should not watch anymore and the track will become longer and older. Typical things are: -not motivated to track (stops during his track).) and put in the pot at the end another type of food. Say "such" and let him search intense for his toy. but start to put rewards after the last object. A.. All these things can motivate your dog again. No more objects (object are kind of pressure). just strait tracks with lots of food. this may result in circling around on the track. Than you have only one hope. The odor is to wealthy when you get the dog too quick. Than dig a hole with your foot and bury his ball. as the dog tracks faster and more dirty as with the food-method. Get the dog and let somebody else keep him. Use 2 or 3 different kind of rewards during one track (cheese. tripe. no more corners. Use longer grass and mark the track better. than you need to make it more easy for a while.. -does not follow the track correctly anymore. Do not place the ball always at the end ! The track must be interesting from the beginning till the end. B but the dog much watch this time.After a wile your dog can be de-motivated to track. Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium . Show him his favorite ball and make a circle like you did in fig. Wait longer to get the dog. Close the hole and get your dog. When he finds it you need to praise him a lot. after the 2 or 3th object you put a further track full with rewards. meat. Somewhere random in the track you put his ball in a hole and close it. than it's up to you to find the reason. etc. -your dog has a low fooddrive.

The last two years there has been a new method developed which is called the "positive learning method". This method seems to find more and more friends. The end result was a correct but submissive working dog. accept food from strangers. The whole system was based on "corrections and rewards" and the end result was a fast dog who liked his program with a minimum of submissiveness. There is a very important point in obedience training which is often forgotten. These dogs had no pleasure doing their work because of the fear of doing something wrong and the correction after. 3. the command "platz (drop)" is given and a reward. But be careful. About 12 years ago a younger generation of dog trainers invented a whole new method. 2. but once released or from a distance of the owner..Obedience of the Schutzhund program The beginning: 1. This led to finding alternatives in the education. The training began at about 12 months because of the high pressure during the training sessions. When this way of training is superior. It is based on each dog learns himself without any sign of pressure from the owner. My way: I believe wholly in a mix of the "correction and reward method" and the "positive learning method". You can start with a youngster of 12 weeks. Another example is when a dog is not looking at his trainer during "fuss (heel)" the trainer ignores him. the "contact" of both is of very big importance! This "contact" is the base of the whole training! When a dog is not attentive or does not adore his owner there is no good result possible. dog and owner have to be a real team. Rewards were only given by the voice (Praise). so the judges decided to give more points to a happy looking dog. and after each good exercise. The puppies were raised as social as possible. the owner gives the command "sitz (sit)" and gives him a reward. In earlier days obedience was a matter of learning by giving corrections or forcing the dogs to learn.even the training began at about 3 months in place of one year. Because the learning process was based on "play and learn" they had no pressure of forcing anymore. the dog hears a "click". so after several times the dog is responding to the click. the click sound is built in. or part of the exercise. You decide to search for a unique noise that you can . These dogs were also not well socialized and the owner kept the puppy at home until about 10 months of age. The total image was a submissive dog. The system of "positive learning" is most of the time used together with a little "click maker" (a construction of plastic and steel blade the size of a match box). Then they were brought to the training club where it was not preferred for a stranger to touch the dog. but you have a guarantee of a very vast and always attentive friend who is never submissive. When you push with the thumb on the steel blade a unique click sound is made.. playing with strangers. The "positive way" takes more time than the two other methods. After a short time the youngster understands the relation with sit down and the word "sitz" which is followed by something to eat. make sure he is hungry. This younger generation of trainers saw that it was necessary to give a lot of stimulation and as little as possible of corrections. The same as with lay down. As long as they were "on the line" they worked relatively fast. There are no corrections made by the trainer. This way of training was invented by American dolphin trainers. the click warns of the reward.. the results must be seen in the next years on the trial fields all over Belgium. Just before the reward comes. but a lot of people stay skeptical because of the longer learning period. much slower. So the first and most important thing a puppy has to learn is the "attention exercise". etc. Once a dog knows what a reward (a piece of food or a ball) is. An example is when a puppy sits down by himself. The moment the dog looks to him a reward follows immediately. These little dogs learned their exercises during "play time" and got a reward after each good deed.

You have the ball in your right hand and making your "sound". you throw it away and 1et the dog take it as soon as possible. You make your "sound" and when the youngster is looking. This is between you and your dog. (A line of about 5m with no knots at the end. even with a SchH I or SchH III dog ! It will take us too long to write on paper the whole system. When he is pulling hard. When the dog is really longing to take his ball. one exercise at a time. Make sure that he is always carrying a long line. when you stop you lift the dog (with your left hand in his chain) with the forelegs off the ground. Always hold the end of the line and go backwards when calling him. Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium . We use a rubber ball which is not hollow and contains a rope of about 30cm. in high prey drive. A special noise with your lips or a clicking or thrilling with the tongue.make with your mouth. CAUTION: make sure that the ball is minimum 70-75mm big (=bigger as a tennisball) ! I have seen 2 Rottweilers choke in their ball and this is something that is really heartbreaking ! (Fig F). you give him the ball but you hold his line at a distance and then run backwards and call him. Next step is to teach him to play with a ball or a small biting roll. but the base is the most important. Do not let him make circles with his toy or retrieve object. In the beginning you cannot train too long because when you see the youngster's attention slowing down it is already too late. To make the dog release the ball you never pull it out of his mouth but you make a triumph tour running with him at your left side. The ball is lying on the ground and you move it teasing a little bit more but don't let your dog retake it at this moment. First you have to teach him to react on this. Next step is to learn the "bring" exercise at playing. When we start to play with the ball we always train with a long line hanging on the dogs chain. Something that the puppy never hears from another person or thing.) We make our "sound" during showing him the ball and pull the ball away several times to let him. The next step is to let him look to you when he is distracted (when smelling or something) once you have this first contact you have to build up the "noise reward" method. the ball will fall out after a time and at this moment you say "aus (out)". In "following on the line" you don't have to throw the ball away (this costs too much condition) but you give him the toy when he is correctly following. to teach him in full prey-drive the "marching on the line". Do not use the ball without the rope as it is not possible to pull or play with this. The following "fuss" and the retrieve "bring" exercises have to be perfect before beginning with the "sitz" or "platz"! Take your time and always train "step to step". The moment he takes the toy you pull on the line and run backwards and call him. You can take the ball again in your right hand and give the command "fuss". When you go walking with your puppy you ask for his attention from time to time and always give him his reward. take his toy (while you are keeping the end of the rope tight and pull the ball to play). you give him a reward (flesh bit or something he likes to eat).

You have all your time when you start at 8 months old. The puppy has to learn to bite the rag with a full grip and to pull his prey. as well in the watching of another dog. At 7-8 months we start to let the dog bite a rag. This training must become routine before the helper can put the sleeve on his arm to let the dog bite.) Only being a team with both sides respecting will a successful future be possible. give him food rewards for good behavior and start to use his prey drive. You can also let the dog watch a self assured older dog do the bite work. the . This way the dog is biting the sleeve without knowing it. When he pulls he gets the rag. In this period you must build a strong foundation of being a team ( to work with a dog is not. but is taking both ends in his hands (like using a biting roll}. What can we do in the first months? There is a lot to do if you want. do not force him to sit. So play with your ball and make sure you build up a healthy relationship with your dog. the dentition is not complete (between 4 and 6 months the dentition is changing). The helper may never give the prey without a full grip. Let's return to your puppy at 8 weeks. After teasing and pulling away the sleeve he has got to let the dog bite and give him the sleeve. Beside the qualities of the dog there is a very large part in the hands of the helper. My opinion is that it is best not to use a biting roll because this is too closely related with the later bite work and many faults can build in without knowing it. The helper is in the beginning not wearing the sleeve. to follow on the line. This youngster arrives in ideal circumstances at 8 weeks. Some good advice: do not let the puppy bite before he is 7 months old. The best way to give the dog enough air while he is pulling so intensely is to use a tracking harness. etc. as in the later training not to wait till the interest is going down. the youngest age to do your SchH I is 18 months. This has nothing to do with defense work. We do not take nor pull the rag or sleeve out of the mouth of the dog. There are several reasons for this. The moment the rag or sleeve is falling. No. The helper must get the maximum out of the prey drive of the puppy by running circles and moving the sack around the dog. As for the "Aus" take of the prey. Let the puppy live a life of a puppy. and everybody is always impatient to see how their puppy reacts on the bite work.Defense training of Schutzhund To succeed with Schutzhund training we need in the first place a suitable dog: Let's presume we bought a puppy out of a quality litter which has enough prey drive (this is very important for Schutzhund training) and is self assured. but please do not put pressure on your puppy. It is important not to look at a problem dog because the negative reaction of the example can give a bad influence on the puppy. It is of great importance that you have a good helper (a good trial helper is not always a good training helper) and that you have a good relationship with your helper. So play with him. The owner has to let his dog (with his prey in his mouth) make a triumph tour around the helper before taking the sleeve away. Leave the field when the dog is at the highest level of his drive! ' Now I will explain to you how we have the best results with our dogs. Always let the dog re-bite and take full grip before giving the rag. not in groups where the dogs are looking more to their friends rather than to the helper. because this is putting unnecessary pressure on your puppy. his prey drive you cannot lose (the dog has it or not). We do not use the biting roll in later bite work because we Belgians have a very soft sleeve which is invented for our National Ring sport and his Malinois. you (et the dog do things for you. In a later stage the helper has to put the sleeve on when the dog is coming back to him. We just lift the dog on his chain with his forelegs from the ground. This is a very light and soft sleeve which goes perfectly together after using the sack. the dog must have respect and must adore you. I have the best result with a rubber ball on a rope. Also important is. We use a jute bag that is used here to put potatoes in. The body is too fragile and delicate (he is in a very fast stage of growth) and last but not (east. So like we have seen so many times the dogs are ready for tracking and bite work but not the obedience at this age. but this must happen behind the fence. At a younger stage the puppy's character is not well enough formed (especially the defense instinct). The reason why not to use a biting sausage is the dog can learn a bad grip. So be patient and do not let a puppy bite before he is 7-8 months old. Also an important exercise is to pass just before the helper so he can retake the sleeve and pull it before giving it back. We train each youngster separately. until he drops the rag.

Here the dog is learning to bark to get the sleeve. make a tour with his prey. Later on the dog will bark more intensely and longer before getting the sleeve. At this moment the owner is giving the command "Revier" and lets the dog go after the helper.. Make sure he is 100% clean before you "Revier" with the sleeve in the normal . The helper must stay far enough away from the dog and make the dog bark by his way of looking and his attitude. it is a matter between dog and helper) and give the sleeve. With harder dogs this will not result in a quick and spontaneous out of the sleeve. Our helpers are putting their sleeved arm up above the head because a dog is more stimulated to bark than when the sleeve is in the normal position. without pressure on the blind line in front of the helper. We always start with the blind (to turn around before barking on the second blind of the IPO I). At the same time the owner has to push the sleeve with his feet to the direction of the helper. When the dog is biting so hard that it hurts the helper it is time to change the soft sleeve to a trial sleeve. the trainer has to pull very hard Helper on the dog's line so. After several times training this way.. The dog makes his triumph tour and is lifted up to let the prey fall out: This is where the helper begins to tease. This must be built up very slowly to have the maximum result. You lift the dog up on his chain. Now it is time to start with the real "Revier". without putting pressure or mistrust on you. ) Make sure you give him a sharp hit so it frightens him and he lets go of the prey. letting go of the prey on command of "Aus" and begin to bark again we are already a long way. This is an important stage in the bite work. you must try another and harder way. with the face of the dog towards the helper and just after the command "Aus" you hit the dog with an open hand on the head. A dog does not understand the "unhappy feeling" (you have to hit so he cannot see your hand) and let the sleeve fall. now the party is instantly re-beginning. The helper is putting the sleeve behind his back (so the dog cannot see it) and is not moving at this moment. By this way the dog will develop a connection between "Aus" and giving the sleeve. The same scenario is always used. Do not try too early to let him go along because when he can jump to the sleeve. his barking will slow down. Once we have reached the stage that our dog is barking to get the sleeve. The helper must immediately start to attract the attention of the dog and let him re-bite. This way the dog is learning that when he is losing the prey it is not over yet. When he is too close to him. Put the sleeve behind the back. He has to stare the dog frontal in the eyes and may not be too close to the dog. (With your left hand you pull the dog up and with your right hand you hit him. It is important to put the sleeved arm down on the first bark. The barking ("Revier"). wait for the barking (the barking is done without the command of the owner. but many dogs will understand the command "Aus" and give the prey. As soon as the dog gives one bark (even when it's a light bark) he has to give the sleeve immediately. When all this is becoming routine and the dog is beginning to bite so hard it hurts the helper's arm it is time to learn the next step. The helper is teasing the dog and runs to the outside of the blind. Normally when you have done this correctly after one or two times the dog will go out perfectly. he cannot grip the sleeve. The moment the dog has to let the sleeve fall because of his need for air) the owner gives the command "Aus". when your dog is not reacting on your command. so the "good feeling" of the barking to get the sleeve can begin. and not to wait until 3 or more barks.helper has to move and tease the dog again. we must wait until the dog is really barking to get the sleeve and is able to sit. the dog doesn't understand this silence and is waiting for the movement of the helper without barking. Just before he wants to grip the sleeve.

make the sound. So it is up to the owner to pull the dog's line when it's necessary. MOST IMPORTANT LESSON: . However. Do this repeatedly for a number of times until your dog has associated the sound with something pleasant like the threat. I think this is the most valuable lesson as very often. All these while in all the Internet info and books I’ve read..Obedience. having already associated the sound with a reward.. Schutzhund. It will think that by NOT paying attention to you (looking elsewhere).DO NOT MAKE THE SOUND TO GET THE DOG’s ATTENTION.. one has to be very patient. to get a dog’s (puppy) attention. Or else. Phase 1: Give your puppy /dog a threat (or something he really likes) and make any unique ‘sound’ with the mouth. The dog. the practical is tomorrow. correction and reward. Something we all knew and Guy just emphasized that the dog's undivided attention is fundamental to all dogs training. today’s seminar was engaging and Guy spoke about the different methods of getting and maintaining the dog's attention. we are actually teaching the dog not to pay attention and wait for us to keep calling to it.. Make sense eh? Well. However. Once the dog is clean the helper will pull the dog in his high drive into the inside of the blind and give him the sleeve there. When the helper is holding the sleeve at trial position the dog again will try to bite the prey.. makes all sort of actions and noise to get the dog’s attention. Usually. Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium SOME COMMENT ON 'TRAINING THE BELGIAN WAY'.e. I cannot be writing the whole lot of what Guy said tonight. you will make the sound for his attention and gets a reward. tonight. By doing so. 1) Well. we as humans always consciously or otherwise. the dog cannot associate the reward with looking to you in the eyes and paying attention. We shall be practicing what we learned today. Guy explained in real details both the advantages and drawbacks of each method respectively and for obedience (attention training in particular). Guy displayed his openness and practicality when he emphasized that as far as attention and obedience is concerned . Just watch closely your puppy /dog’s antics and as soon as he stop pauses to look you in the eyes. . Just to share very briefly. Repeat this for a number of times. Guy went into meticulous level on the why’s and how’s of positive reinforcement training to maintain a dog’s attention. etc. will come running to you and you give it the treat. clicker trainers almost never concede that the opposing method works better sometimes and likewise conventional trainers will always usually don’t give a hoot about clicker training methods. Phase 2: Let your puppy or dog run about in an area that is neither too big nor small and DO NOTHING. one would defend vehemently on his chosen method of training. judging from his lecture.position. Initially. I might bore you to death. one would conclude that Guy is of the conventional training school of thought i. You will have to wait until the dog looks at you spontaneously and voluntarily before you make the sound and reward. His openness and impartiality really impress me. the “positive learning method” (Clicker-training or positive reinforcement) works best. each time your dog receives the reward. according to Guy. The secret is to imbed in the dog’s mind that he (the dog) will have to look at the owner in the eyes to earn the sound and reward.. and answers to questions on certain training problems.

Spontaneous handclaps from us dog trainers ? Very rare indeed). The dog is suppose to seek out the Helper and upon finding him behind the blind. It must bite only at the moment the Helper jerks the sleeve upwards. In such a case. A trained Schutzhund dog belonging to one member was used in this demonstration. Let's talk about the fetch. In Schutzhund obedience. With its excitement built up to such a peak. Stand firm. must give warning by barking in a threatening manner WITHOUT biting. This proves the dog is in prey drive. it will loosen its grip and the ball will be released. the dog should go after the sleeve and ignore the Helper. not all dogs can be a Schutzhund dog. This would only drive the dog further and grip harder as it will think that you are playing /challenging it (the prey drive). Once the peak is reached. we saw how the dog did it right after the correction. it was told that this dog is very 'unclean' in this exercise. Hence. The dog (still held on leash) is then judged to see if it goes after the thrown sleeve or continues to 'attack' the Helper. At that precise moment. you must first have a dog with lots and lots of drive and hence. Again. say. 3) Now for a bit of bite work. Nonetheless. That guy literally spent >3 hours talking and training non-stop!! Really a committed instructor. Guy demonstrated what should be done and it really works. the dog bit the sleeve held by Guy without warning and we were shown how the dog was corrected with the special rubber baton made especially for Schutzhund training. it was very educational as Guy. (There were actually handclaps when the dog did it right. . This was actually demonstrated and it was really interesting to see words put into action by him with the desired result. The dog with leash held by the handler is being teased with a sleeve by the Helper to bring up the drive / aggressiveness. do not tug and in a firm but composed manner give the 'leave' command. your dog will readily releases the toy on command. The handler should just hold the rope tautly with the ball still gripped by the dog. the reward of the ball being thrown for it to fetch will follow. the training focus not on getting the dog to execute the exercise but Guy also taught us how to bring out the excitement of a dog in performing. In Schutzhund. the Helper throws away the sleeve away from himself. Here. the dog will literally power-off to fetch the thrown toy. One needs to evaluate a dog before actual training. the handler makes the sound and swing the ball away for the dog to run after and retrieve it gleefully. Chances are that the dog will still hold on to the ball. it was demonstrated that before bite work training. it is now determined that the dog is aggressive towards the person and is not suitable for Schutzhund besides posing a danger if left uncorrected. What we have taught the dog is that the moment it obeys the 'leave' command and not challenge the handler. one has to ascertain if the dog charging strongly towards the Helper (decoy is the man with the sleeve) is actually on prey drive (desired) or aggressive towards the Helper (undesired). If it ignores the sleeve and continues to 'attack' the Helper.2) The practical on obedience: Guy spent much time on 2 dogs explaining in minute details. After a while and sensing no challenge plus getting a little tired. So. in his typical meticulous fashion. This is done by continuous teasing the dog with the sleeve and let it 'win' by allowing it to bite the sleeve and run away with it as a reward. A prevalent mistake would be for the handler to yell and tried to tug the ball away. Hence. the fetch as an example. the 'drive' and 'excitement' of the dog in performing the exercise is paramount. True enough. pointed out clearly the difference in training a dog for normal obedience versus obedience in Schutzhund. A common thing that happens is that it will now be 'over-driven' to a point where it refuses to release the ball to the handler. We were shown how a toy (a ball attached to a rope) was used to built up the excitement of the dog by tempting it to a optimum point before being thrown a distance the moment you feel the dog has reached its peak in excitement. after a few workouts. we were shown the dog seeking out the Helper hidden behind the blind. Guy showed that focus must then be on training the dog to shift his aggressiveness away from the Helper and towards the sleeve. Ideally. Hundesport. you are absolutely right. Next. meaning it has a tendency to bite the sleeve right away without first barking as a warning. Before that.

We will try to solve this mystery in the following article.To be honest. while being under stress we will show a typical expression. those are all signals who are read by our dogs. Many of these signals we show as dog handler. not everyone likes to see how the dog was corrected but then. It is a fact that dogs make a link between this expression and muscle tension and the consequences of this frustration for them. Prepare your dog for a trial The art of achieving high scores on a trial depends on the knowledge. that's why they react on the slightest body signals made by us people.. to smile. The help by pinching our eyes. . The same teams can screw up completely during the real trial. Our behaviour is changing under different circumstances. 2)Frustrated expressions and stress. By this the dog will have less attention for the actual commands and pay more attention for the “expected” correction to come. talent and nerve-quality of the doghandler.. It's amazing to see all our unaware signals and help while working our dog. most of them we are not aware of. Schutzhund is not for everyone or every dog. maybe the (impossible) dream to win ? Or maybe a few other reasons like bad conditioning of the dog can be responsible for this negative experience. As i said before: the training has to be harder and more difficult as the actual trial. In a book I read. Author during a seminar in Malaysia (2004). What causes poor scores ? 1)Unaware body-talk. Dogs are specialists on reading body-talk because they are missing the words to communicate. to make a subtle finger-snip or to move your feet into another position. I think this is something important we must not forget. This article handles on these so called stress-factors and the results of those. he need to bring the dog at his highest level just before the coming trial. The dog learns that this expression means that a correction can (will) follow. is an expectation. Let’s suppose that that the handler during training at home or on the training field gets frustrated and by this he brings his behaviour and facial muscles under a certain tension or position. it will make the handler more frustrated and this will make the dog more stressed. To avoid the correction our dog will start to look better and notice these signals at his handlers face or body. The dog must feel himself in peak-condition right before the exam or championship. Why is that ? Is this caused by de stress from that moment or is it because of the wish to perform as good as possible. Many handler/dog teams are able to show excellent performance on the normal training sessions. When the same team competes on a trial the chance is big that the handler will show the same frustrated expression (because of the stress or nervouseness) as the one who warns the correction on previous training. The handler of the dog has a task as manager of a sport team. finding a dog that is suitable for Schutzhund is an exception and finding one that is not. This will result in bad performance. Ideal to find out what kind body-talk exactly you are doing is to let yourself film during training your dog. You have no idea how defined our dogs are on this body language. This will also make the handler more self assured and this is also very important for the positive scores.

to give some common examples. by this I mean a new kennel. The quiet place near your house or in his local Schutzhund-club is only good to teach him new exercises but not to make your dog trial-strong. busy situations with many distracting sources. they must pay more attention and be more efficient and consistent.3)Confirmation of stress. different nutrition. Let presume that the owner is proud on his dog because he outs difficult during training. They do not have the full and correct attention from their dog during training but still they ask this on a trial. It is from very high importance that our dog knows all his exercises on training. Training near a busy marketplace or in a football stadium are examples who are helping the dog to prepare himself to the crowdy trial. sometimes it’s hot. Just before a trial we should not make big changes in our training program. We need to have our voice under control and even under stress be able to give the same intonation on our commands. without help from you or other people. sometimes it’s cold. other tracking-rewards. etc… This means preparing him on his much later task and please do not forget that the socialization-period can only be done before the age of 6 months ! After than it’s too late… 2)Structures in training. another Helper. buildings.. It is also important that your dog as a puppy had enough socialization with people. It is very confusing for the dog and the chance is high that the dog will make mistakes by reversing these different training methods on the actual trial. So when the dog is competing on a trial and because of the stress becomes unsure and nervous. dogs must be familiar to see so many people. We can prepare ourselves and our dogs by training as much as possible on the future trial-field. If we need to “clean him up” the last trainings we are certainly doing wrong. Lay down on the command "sitz" is also mostly caused by the pressure of the trial. the stress and louder commands given by his owner. flags or other promotion material used on a trial. by seeing his stressed owner. The same with our body-language… How can we better the scores ? 1)Distracting sources. 3)Changements in training. but our dog must be able to perform in every weather condition and under every circumstance. As trainer this behaviour is unexpected and unpredictable. the crowd. We can prepare our dog towards a trial by building up his condition and slowly progressing to the full concentration of all exercises. it's a fact that on exams or trials always things are happening that the dog never does. so that after than the training must become routine and “peace of cake” for the dog. By this the dog will make a link between a new field and a good feeling. On this trial the stress and distractions are so much higher as on a regular training. sometimes it snows. It will result that the dog.. or he’s impressed and happy by the magnificent fast platz-exercise while training. Prepare your dog on as much as possible situations.. so we can imagine what will be the result… We must also deal with different weather climates. Than we can see a dog who does not out under command or who does the platz-exercise while the command “sitz” was given. etc… All these things will cause stress for the dog and he will not perform optimal by this. strange noises. he will look for confirmation or happyness from his owner and may start his tricks to try to “please” his owner. Also important are the noises made by the many visitors. sometimes it rain's. Too much handlers are working to dirty on the training field. It is important that the dog gets a good feeling and many rewards when we train the first time on that “new” field.. Also important is that the living environment from the dog should not change before a trial. will start to demonstrate behaviour from who he knows that his owner likes this on the training field. The highest peak of training and correction must happen before the last 2-3 weeks of the trial or exam. in many cases it's the contraire. Too many trainers are building up the stress right before a trial in up going curve instead . etc.

Like in human performance we must prepare our dog on his important task. it is based on giving corrections when the dog does something what’s not required. but are never happy. In this article I will try to give a resume of each different art. They obey out of fear for the correction. The dog must be brought in the ideal proportion body weight/fat to reach the peak condition.. Still everything was learned by force and giving corrections as long the dog didn’t show the . 4)Food. Because of these influences from everywhere there is no other dogsport who is as good organized and where the training is at such a high level. which cause a lot of stress in the dog’s brain.. because it’s only the end result who counts. Now we are speaking beginhalfway the 80’s. The pulling stops when the dog follows close enough. The final result is the exam or trial. It doesn’t matter what kind of training you are practicing with your dog. A healthy mind in a healthy corps. The corrections are repeated till the exercise is good enough. After the Correction method the Correction & Reward art became popular. Good luck ! Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium Different training arts and their consequences There are several training methods in the dogsport. It's important that we spread these two completely different disciplines in a wider time span. The dogs who are trained by this method are working correct. we must bring our dog in peak condition to receive peak scores. 2. The aspect of manager is very important. and above all easy digestible. This training style is the oldest one. There are four big groups of training arts. We cannot do shows in this period because the dog must be in well fed condition for this. For example : the dogs learns to follow on leash. So we can say the dog is ignored when he does it correct. To be in peak condition our "sportsman" must have the right nutrition and the right proportion of nutrition. The command “Fuss” is given and if the dog doesn’t follow correctly he will be corrected by pulling the leash. Correction method. national and international.of building off and train more relax to give the dog more self-confidence. For top performance our dog must get top-nutrition from rich proteïnes and high in vitamins. off course there will be more methods or melting's of different methods in practice but we will have to make a selection. Especially the Schutzhund-program has a rich influence of many ideas. I will start from the old to the younger methods and this in simple words… 1. The dog must be lean and mean. Correction & Reward method. Every exercise is forced. make sure he's not too fat and also not too skinny.

It was invented by American dolphin trainers and came true the US Obedience program in to the English Obedience and finally in to the Belgian IPO. but the training stopped when the stress became too high for a play with the dog’s toy. the dog became “trial smart”. The Clicker method. This method works faster as previous method. The Clicker method is based on ignore the dog when he does something wrong (or not desired) and click and reward him when he does something right.Blind search ( 10 pts ): (Commands "Voran/Revier". In the beginning he was not taken seriously at all. Recently developed after the millennium. however I must say only in the all breed clubs. Geert De Bolster. a mix of Correction & Clicker system. a club named OC Vlaendren (in Ghent) where the Belgian Top was training. this to avoid stress. 3 to the left and three to the right. Instead of clicking. Slowly they began to see that this technique was not so bad at all. "Hier" with dog's name) On the Judge's signal the handler sends his dog to search. this with a few exceptions off course. The corrections given are very light. So inventive as the Belgians are. is more efficient and can be used unnoticed on exams or trials. The clicker method became hot in a few months. visible for the dog. These were found in correcting the dog when he does something wrong and reward him when he does something right. The actual training always happened with the ball in the hand. Belgian Mutated Positive Reinforcement method. 3. The man behind this pioneer work was Mr. The Belgian SV is still training the Correction&Reward method at this moment. . the mouth is used to make a certain personal noise. It was frustrating to see the difference in motivation (read: almost no drives and super performance) and the same or even higher scores for the less motivated dog. they started to look for alternatives or better methods. This works very good. i’ve decided to write an article about the ‘truth’ of defense.right behavior. The good thing about this type of new training was that the stress didn’t come so high anymore as with previous method. The dog must make 6 side-sweeps. IPO people said it was a joke. very light power. Positive Reinforcement method (Clicker method) Begin-halfway of the 90’s a brand new training technique was demonstrated. became very popular with their members winning most championships. This can be used in trials as the clicker is not useful there. Some people use Electric Collar on very. However after practicing this technique for a longer time. SchH3/IPO3 Protection-work Rules: 1. so that the dog only gets a unpleasant feeling when showing undesired behavior. the attention (or contact) between dog and handler were gone. After been at the IFR Worldchampionship in Austria. but is a bit slow in progress. The toy was kept visible in the hand to motivate the dog. This was used for letting the steam (stress) flow away. Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium The 'truth' about defense. The dog was attracted to the ball constantly and when the ball was not there (on trials). 4.

4. On signal from the Judge the Helper stops his resistance and stands still. the position of the dog may be reconfirmed with the command "Sitz". For dogs which are in the "down" position after the “out".2.Escape ( 10 pts ): (Command "Aus") The handler goes into the blind. and must guard the Helper. the dog must immediately counter the attack securely and energetically through firm and full gripping. the exercise "hold and bark" is completed. If the dog does not come to the handler after the third command. the handler makes a direct approach to his dog at a normal pace. the Judge signals the Helper to attack the handler and dog out of motion without intimidating noises. Once the dog has gripped the arm. If the dog fails to hinder the escape within 20m by gripping and holding firmly. the Helper gives him two stick hits on the thighs. side-portions.Defense ( 20 pts ): (Command "Aus") After a definite pause the Helper receives a signal to attack the dog. firm and energetic gripping. On the Judge's signal the handler goes directly to his dog and has him sit in the basic position. The handler calls the Helper out and goes with his dog to the departure place and “Platz” his dog. The dog must quickly come to the handler and sit in the basic position. On the Judge's signal the Helper attempt to escape.Defense against attack ( 15 pts ): (Command "Aus") After about a 50-paces Back-transport. On the Judge's signal. On another signal the handler calls his dog out with the command "Fuss”. the dog is picked up by free-heeling and the exercise is rated as faulty. The Judge determines the actual position for the call-out.Back-transport ( 5 pts ): (Command "Fuss") The handler lets the Helper walk ahead and follows him at a maximum distance of 5 paces. The dog must watch the Helper attentively while lying quietly. If the dog is already sitting. After the handler's search of the Helper and the blind. and then must guard the Helper.Hold and Bark ( 10 pts ): (Commands "Fuss". With the command "Sitz" ("Sit") he brings his dog into the basic position. 6. The dog must release on his own or on a single command. or in the area of the withers. and must guard the Helper. "Platz") On the Judge's signal the handler leaves the midline and goes to a point 3-4 paces from his dog. With no influence from the handler. On the Judge's command the Helper stops and stands still. The Judge determines the places where Helper and handler will position themselves for the "escape". 3. The dog must immediately release on his own or on a single "Aus" command. The dog must release on his own or on a single "Aus" command. On the Judge's command the Helper stops and stands still. the protection work is terminated. 5. The dog must effectively hinder the escape by fast. The dog must immediately counter the attack securely and energetically through firm and full gripping. the "down" position may likewise be reconfirmed .

the position of the dog may be reconfirmed with the command "Sitz". "Platz". Before beginning the side-transport. For dogs which are in the "down" position after the "out".Defense against attack ( 20 pts ): (Commands "Aus". Defense Against Attack with on watch position and guarding of Helper. The handler lets the Helper step back 3 paces and orders him to put his arms up." The dog must counter the attack with intensity and must grip energetically with a firm.with the command "Platz" ("Down"). the Helper pressures the dog briefly and on the Judge's signal stops resisting. The dog must release on his own or on a single command. "Sitz". On signal from the Judge the Helper stops his resistance and stands still. and he crosses over the field at a running pace. side-portions. The dog may not be stimulated by the handler and must sit calmly next to his handler. The handler then searches and disarms the Helper. The Helper leaves the blind into which the Judge sent him. The dog must hold this position until he is released with the command "Voran" to counter the attack. The Helper leaves the field. After the reporting-out. "Aus". at about 70-80 paces away from the handler. on the Judge's command. He lets his dog sit free at heel in the basic position or he holds him firmly by the collar. the dog must immediately counter the attack securely and energetically through firm and full gripping. Once the dog has his grip. ( 10 pts ) (Commands "Voran". The dog is put on lead. or in the area of the withers. the Helper gives him two soft-stick hits on the thighs. If the dog is already sitting. the scoring is concluded. the "down" position may likewise be reconfirmed with the command "Platz" ("Down"). secure and calm grip. the handler takes the basic position next to the Helper in such a way that the dog is sitting between handler and Helper. in order to place the dog in a "down" position. into the designated blind with his free-heeling dog. The Judge immediately gives the handler a signal to counter the attack. full.The handler goes. Most important aspects in the Schutzhund defense: . 8. With no influence from the handler. 7. Once the dog has gripped the arm. and must guard the Helper. On the Judge's signal the handler goes directly to his dog and has him sit in the basic position. End. The dog must release by himself or upon a single command "Aus" and must guard the Helper. The Helper starts a frontal attack upon handler and dog. Upon the Judge's signal the handler immediately sends his dog with the command "Voran. After the disarming the handler returns to his dog and lets him sit. There is a side-transport to the Judge. "Fuss") The handler with his free heeling dog comes out of the blind and takes up the designated position. "Fuss") After a definite pause the Helper receives a signal to attack the dog.

light lack of challenge) -Slow bark (missing of drive and-or motivation) -Howling (unsureness) Grips: (is born in a dog. this theory is meant to give a rough idea on why a dog shows a certain behavior) Search: (The search is no real ‘search’ as 95% of the dogs know exactly where the Helper is standing.) -Fast taking all blinds (optimal) -Fast & not all blinds (training fault or refuse of obedience) -Slow & fast after last blind (lack of drive or refuse of obedience) -Slow all blinds (missing of drive and-or motivation) -Slow & direct to last blind (lack of drive and training fault or refuse of obedience) Bark and hold: (an experienced eye can predict the rest of the trial by seeing this part !) -Intense bark with challenge towards Helper (optimal) -Intense bark wit no challenge (sportdog.(Note: there is no real definition or no real line between mental aspects of a dog. the dog needs to run around 5 blinds because his handler says so. very good) -Intense bark with slowing down near the end (light lack of drive. we are very limited in changing the grip by training) -Full & hard & calm in middle of sleeve (ideal) -Full & not hard & calm in middle of sleeve (sportdog. It’s all about obedience. very good) -Not full & hard & nervous in middle of sleeve (light sign of unsureness) -Not full & hard & nervous on elbow (serious unsureness. avoiding of stick) -Not full & hard & nervous on top of sleeve (light unsureness and too much sharpness) -Not full & not hard & nervous (lack of drive and sureness) Courage test: (most spectacular part of defense) -Fast till impact (ideal) .

some weigh 48 kg . I know this is also part of the construction of the dog. Some Helpers are so talented that they can make the dog bite how they want by adjusting the position of the sleeve. some of them do it 10 times faster. or out of re-gripping or leaving the sleeve. Dogs who aim for the elbow can be worked with blinded elbows (plastic cover on elbow) to make the dog feel un comfortable when he bites there. However. Judges give too easy ‘Kampftrieb A’ (Excellent fight drive) as this is the only tool to unmasque the strong from the weak dog. Dogs with a nervous grip need to be worked calm and sportly. Anyway. I’ve done the test to predict each dog’s speed and grip quality at the barking. Then we come at a very important aspect of a working dog: the grip. but the moment there is no plastic protection on the sleeve anymore. The bark and hold is a very important exercise. let’s come to the important point where an experienced eye can predict the further trial: the bark and hold. We can use tools to make the dog bite better. a certain dog can receive 70 points protection out of training faults and slow outs. we cannot improve a grip by training. the dog who does it out of sport will run on his tempo to get finally at the last blind where he knows the Helper stands. the dog will go to the elbow again. The motivation has to be there. no matter what the weight is. we can ruïne a solid and good grip by wrong training. too much aiming) -Slow (lack of drive or unsureness) -Fast but missing of the sleeve (not enough technique or unsureness) Out: (dogs can fail the trial in ‘beauty’) -Direct good out (ideal) -Slow out (too high fight drive or light sign of unsureness) -Out with re-bite (training fault) -No out (can be out of too high fight drive or from unsureness: the best defense is the attack…) -Out during work (grip not hard enough or lack of hardness) When seeing a scorebook. I believe a grip is born. no matter only 10 points are maximum rewarded. The dog with the high fighting drive will run like possessed to get at the helper to challenge him for a fight. a solid full grip is born in a dog. some dogs run like a racehorse who are bitten by a wasp and some take the short cut. some dogs walk around the 6 blinds.-Fast with slowing down (very good drive. but on the actual trial the dog will show his real quality. Here the fast dog should be more rewarded. but again the real dog will be seen on the trial. some dogs need 5 minutes to get at the end. 90% of the cases was correct ! So we must pay more attention to this part of the defense routine. Here the motivation is shown already. . some of them weigh 38 kg . The defense part starts with the revier of the blinds. we can change the way the Helper works to cheat ourselves. but the most important is what’s between the eyes. not only for points but to see the actual nerve construction and guts of each dog.

Every working dog get’s jammed sooner or later in his career. The dog has the will to enter fast. This is also a born aspect. dogs enter fast or not. who never seen a Helper. every dog get’s sooner or later a stick-hit on a fragile place or a stick-hit who’s too hard. or don’t bite at all. What are we going to end up with after few generations of these ‘made’ dogs ? The moment that e-collars are used to make dogs bite fuller and-or harder. dogs who never been on a dogclub. the dog who brakes afterwards just don’t have enough guts.We have tested dogs from 3-4 years old. The strong dog will enter again like before ! This can also be said of the stick hits. The dog who get’s afraid afterwards of the stick just ain’t got enough hardness or defense drive. it is poor with our genepool… The courage test or long distance attack is certainly the most spectacular part of the defense. When these actual dogs had talent. solid and hard. I don’t see the out as important for the breeding or I don’t see it as a shame when the dog refuses to out on a trial. when a dog is learned that after he outs he get’s the sleeve immediately back. Too many excuses are used. or has not the will. Stories of dogs who were jammed once and brake since are excuses. he will out easy. The tricks that are used give limited result. sure some extreme accidents or wrong training can cause trauma in a dog but a good dog is a good dog and a poor dog is a poor dog… The out is mostly a training thing. On the other hand we see dogs who are worked since puppy and bite like a goldfish. they were biting the trial sleeve within the first session ! Full. This article is based on my own experience and opinion. I may be wrong off course… Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium About drives and character .

fear of fire. fear of man. when we lose this in our domestic dogs there is something wrong! Let us please do some things in a natural way. or they become extinct. a selection based on our society. As a working Rottweiler breeder I pay a lot of importance on these instincts. fear of larger animals. Fear of the unknown. has three parts: 1. It is partly by this fear that the wolf has survived extinction. We keep operating on ligaments and breed further.Character specifications and drives are part genetic. Our selection is not so much based on health and survival because it is an artificial selection. thunder and lightning etc. Dogs in the wild have to be able to do this. riding cars. ask yourself what could be wrong? Perhaps she knows something. We keep giving our dogs antibiotics from puppy on. These aspects of character are of very high importance. How much each part will give in percent is impossible to say and is depending on nature and is also individual for each dog. Both are the result of selection: one by nature and his law of the strongest and fittest. Drives to hunt and eat C. When we compare the wolf (or the wild dog) with our domestic dog (in our purpose: the working dog) we see the same character aspects but in a whole different quantity. These 3 things are the essences of life in the existence of a living creature. Obey rules To survive a natural dog has to have enough fear. perhaps nature wants to stop some animals to breed for a certain reason. We can separate instincts into 3 large parts: A. breaking of ligaments etc. Aggression drive 3. cataract. but it is necessary in surviving for every animal breed in the . So we have created negative breeding results such as entropium. We can try to do everything optimal and only breed with the best specimen and give the later puppies as rich as possible society in there growing period. and other by manipulation of man. So the quantity of fear is completely different between domestic and wild dogs. In the character we lose prey drive. endurance and basic instincts (such as care for the puppies).. even in a well socialized "Saarloos-wolfhound" we can see the mistrust and fear in the first impression. hip-dysplasia.. Our working dogs are selected to have as little as possible fear or mistrust. Fear drive 2. and pray for some good luck. this self-assuredness is much too high to survive in the wild. a female who is not willing to be mated. keep them alive with medication or surgery and so on. Domesticated dogs are not afraid of gunshots. We line breed or inbreed our dogs. Survival instinct. To come back to the character: The pure essence of every living creature is to stay alive and reproduce himself or better ones as himself. Our dogs are bred over-courageous. Reproduction instinct. Survival instinct B. Fear is in very high quantity in a wolf. The health of our dogs is going backwards because of too much artificial help. part by experience and part by coincidence. In the wild fear is not negative and is of life importance. We keep doing artificial insemination when a dog is not able to mate or a female doesn't want to be mated. A. Aggression has a bad sound.

. Aggression keeps a dog motivated to hunt and kill his prey. witch is not desirable. B.. bred out or degenerated. Dominant males are mostly good stud dogs. but into the real world the difference of aspects are not so well defined. but people with a lot of qualities and experience can reach the obedience over food rewards and praise. However the bite work is impossible to do without a very high prey drive. The dog must always be the lowest in the range order to prevent conflicts. The . The drive to hunt and eat has only one important aspect: "prey drive". but too much of this gives only problems of range order. It is needed to become the leader and to reproduce himself. but with the people of his family who are members of his "pack". A sport dog needs a lot of dominance. to carry the youngsters by their mother. Some bloodlines are known to have more as enough possesdrive. When he is getting older or weaker a younger and stronger male will fight him and become the new leader. the dog comes into aggression-mode for giving his prey. A dog who is biting too much from sharpness has never a full and calm grip! A bad side of the preydrive is the so called "possess-drive". to carry the killed prey. A companion dog such as a Dalmatian is and must be a friendly dog to everybody. to defend us against a bad guy or a Schutzhund helper. he decides the rules and he mates all the females who come in heat. to become the leader and to mate the available females within the group. Endurance is closely related and definitely stimulated by prey drive. That this is dangerous and wrong is clear. All this theory is nice. overall. Our domestic dogs are bred to have enough aggression for their purpose. Prey drive is of direct life importance to a wild dog. This dog must keep enough "sharpness" to do his work "Obey Rules" is also of life importance in a group. We have 2 kinds of aggression: out of fear (as a real answer on the fear impulse) out of dominance. Dogs who are not listening to the rules will get a conflict with the range higher and can get hurt. it is also the tool to climb higher on the ladder of range order within the group. to create range order. Reproduction instinct This is almost completely existing out of dominance.concurrence of living. A wild dog has to know the rules of a pack. and this is not right! Too many people forget to use a dog breed for his purpose. in some breeds of our domestic dogs it is lost. With a leader type dog you will have for the rest of his life conflicts: in the obedience. killed or set out of the group. So. Dominance is necessary to hunt big animals. We can train the tracking with a dog with no prey drive. as a pet or trial dog they are not so good because of the independence they automatically have. The most dominant and strongest males will be the leader of the pack. The working dog cannot have too much aggression because he must stay a social thinking creature and obey his trainer. He is responsible for all the dogs. Rules means also presence of an adult to a puppy. A good working bloodline is selected on a calm and full grip. A wolf chases for even days to hunt his prey. An Alaskan Malamute must be able to pull weight because he is bred for that purpose. Prey drive includes the will to hunt. Prey drive is in every wild dog. in the bite work. Too many breeders do not see the difference between aggression out of fear or out of dominance. I don't have to mention the delicacy of this subject. So please let us keep our guard and working dog as a real guard and working dog. It is the keyword for every working dog. So they select on high sharpness to fulfill the needs of the dog sporters. but the society and governments are willing to disappear all symptoms of "aggression" out of our sport dogs.. It means to kill or be killed. Our domestic dogs are rarely living in a group of other dogs. this can only be reached and maintained through prey drive. Such a dog does what he likes to do and doesn't give attention on the commands of his owner. C. but the obedience part will be almost impossible to do. it means the possibility to live within a group and to obey his superior. We cannot train a dog the Schutzhund program if he has not enough prey drive. Aggression is a completely normal reaction of self defense or range order.. As a working dog our dogs must have enough aggression to guard our property.

Reproduction 5. Survival instinct 2. What is temperament and what is nervousness? What is aggression out of fear and out of dominance? What is dominance and what is self-defense? For us dog sporters and sport dog breeders it is very important to know the real character of a true working dog. Dominance instinct Copyright by Guy Verschatse Belgium . this specimen because we also want a V1 Show dog in the same dog.border of where this is starting or where this is ending is not so clear to see. Aggression drive 3. full temperament but calm dog. My experience of a good working dog is a self assured 60% prey drive and 40% defense drive. Fear drive A. Obey rules B. Prey-& posses eat drive C. Drives to hunt and 4. I hope this article can give you some help to find the exit in the labyrinth. The only difficulty is to find. The Character of a dog: 1.

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