Boxer Crazy

The Competitive Boxer => Agility and Canine Sports => Topic started by: BoxerWB on June 05, 2013, 10:55:28 PM

Title: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: BoxerWB on June 05, 2013, 10:55:28 PM
I contacted the local Schutzhund club last week and asked if I could attend their training today. My understanding is that these clubs typically have you come as a visitor for a period of time before you are invited to join. The email responses I got were very curt, so I was a little worried that they might not be interested in having a Boxer in their group.  BUT it turns out the president is just a woman of very few words.  When I arrived, she was working obedience with some teams and literally only said "hi" to me over the course of an hour and a half or so. The members who weren't working were very friendly and chatty, so I watched and talked.

Then the lead trainer (I dunno if that was his title, but it was the position he seemed to take) arrived and they started putting together running orders. Turns out he works with Boxers at his home club in NH and had worked with others in the past so he was totally open to Schutz Boxers. He told me he'd have me bring out Delta a couple times to "take a look at her".

The first time I brought her out, he asked me a couple questions and had me play tug with her. It took a little work to get her engaged because she was wide-eyed about the new location, but she came around and engaged. Then he had her meet all the club members and she went wiggling around to everyone, meeting him last. He roughed her around and she got right into it! "You wanna go, you wanna go??"  :laugh4:  Then he had her go over the picnic table and had the pres bang on it.  Delta hopped right up on the bench and checked things out, only reacting slightly to the bang.

The second time I brought her out, he had the pres. out with one of her pups too. He didn't really describe what he was doing, but I think the other dog was there to see if Delta would focus on her task with a tempting distraction. He had 3-handled tug toy and he teased her with it and got her to bite it.  He told me that she needed to be "calm" while tugging and that she did it well - I could see what he meant but it was hard to describe. She would grab the toy, get a full grip, plant her feet and pull HARD, he could stroke her head and make soothing sounds.  She wasn't "wild" out of her mind even though she was being vigorous.

End results - the trainer said she was a "fine" girl and had good potential. I am invited to come back and try again and if I can "survive" the gruff trainer's style, he thinks we could learn a lot.   :thumbsup:  Now just to decide when I'm going back...
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: Christina on June 06, 2013, 04:36:11 AM
 Sounds like it'll be fun.  Maybe the other trainer will soften up after a little bit.  Who could resist that beautiful face wiggling at you.
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: RocketBoxer on June 06, 2013, 08:38:18 AM
That sounds like fun  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: Eilene on June 06, 2013, 09:46:02 AM
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: 3BOXERS on June 11, 2013, 10:03:23 PM
 :thumbsup: good Luck with the training!
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: Theresa on June 13, 2013, 09:45:42 PM
Sounds like she had fun. Good luck with the training.
Title: Re: Delta's SCHUTZ intro
Post by: BoxerWB on July 24, 2013, 07:19:48 PM
Slightly overdue update on this - I actually did not end up going back to this group. I was emailing some follow up questions to the (quiet) president and it turns out they don't actually train newbies how to do Obedience or Tracking.  Somehow, despite mentioning several times that I just wanted to do Obedience to start, they never really understood. The president actually asked "if you aren't doing protection, what is the point of training with us?"  Disappointing to say the least.

BUT, it turns out there is another local group that my AKC tracking partner knew of and he gave me a contact for that. This group is ALL about training the basics and supporting newbies. I've been twice now, the first time was a tracking and obedience eval - she's got a good nose on her (which I knew from AKC) and has good potential (in agreement w/the first Schutz guy). 

My first homework (yes, someone giving me clear direction, love it!!!) was to do a scent pad for tracking and to do "engagement" work for obedience.  The scent pad is essentially a 3x3 square that you scuffle down with your feet and then spread food into. Engagement is about putting the dog into drive while you work with it - for most dogs, it is done purely with food.  So I take a bunch of food in each hand, get her in front of me and feed from alternating hands. At the last piece of food, I give her some physical, exciting praise.  At this week's meeting, the trainer was really impressed with her engagement (he asked "and she'd never done engagement before last time?") and we go to move up. Her scent pad was good, but we're sticking at the same step for now.

This week's engagement homework is with "motions".  The motions being sit, platz (down), and basic position with a couple steps forward (heeling). So you feed from both hands then give a quick command and move your hand to put the dog in position - pretty easy for a girl who's been doing sit, heel and fold-back downs since she was a wee pup. I still end with physical exciting praise (either thumping her a bit or having her jump up to my hands).

This weekend Frank Phillips, an IPO judge, is coming up to train the group in all three areas (obed, tracking, protection) and I'm going to go. I'm going to participate this time because I'd like to see what he does with Delta, but I'm still not sure about doing protection "full-time" with her yet. My brain can only fit so much, and the obedience and tracking are just variations of what I already do in AKC, so they don't take much extra thought to work in.

It really is neat having a dog who can "do it all" and who continues to impress all the trainers she meets!  :gh: