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Categories: Schutzhund

Q. I’m new to dog training and thought I would buy a trained dog to compete in Schutzhund and obedience and learn while competing. What would you suggest?
I am talented but new to dog training, would like to get into Schutzhund and any Obedience competition I can find. I am wondering if buying a Schutzhund trained K9 is the way to start? I figure I could learn while competing and just improve as my skills improve. I am single, early retired so lots of time, and no other dogs, cats, etc in the house.

Given this choice, what would you suggest and why?

A. I think there are so many variables that there is not really a right or wrong choice. It will depend on your situation, your skill and understanding of dog training, the temperament and level of training of the dog and the help and coaching you have available. My dog is very well trained but if I sent him to you, I doubt he would work for you (or anyone else) unless they were really savvy to the techniques used to train him and the philosophy behind it.

If you had a really good coach, that could help you and a really well trained and balanced dog without any big holes in the temperament or training it could be a great experience. It could also end up being a nightmare. I get emails frequently from people who buy titled and trained dogs and they can’t do anything with them. Buyer beware! Most people don’t sell really good titled schutzhund dogs, they unload their problems on someone else. It’s unfortunate but true. There are a lot of rip off artists involved in dogs and they love to sell to people who don’t have any experience.

Simply going out and buying a trained, titled dog without a lot of knowledge and someone as a mentor could end up with you being disappointed and out a lot of money. There is a lot of really bad training going on out there and a title doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is well trained. Again, Buyer beware.

I think you learn more by training your own dog from scratch. You’ll learn the how’s and why’s of how to break down exercises and will likely end up as a better trainer with a better relationship with the dog as well.

Personally, I like to raise puppies and teach them everything from 8 weeks of age. I know that’s not for everyone but that way if there is a mistake made along the way, it’s my mistake and I’m aware of it. It’s also a great feeling of accomplishment to take a little pup and develop it into a working dog, it’s really fun. Many people like to buy an older puppy or young adult and start there, before the dog has any serious training but is past the baby stage.

Just my opinion and experience. Good luck no matter what you decide.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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