The contrast between practical and sports training service dogs.
The book was published back in 1985, not by underground samizdat, but by the state agricultural publishing house, with a huge (by the standards of Czechoslovakia) circulation of 65,000 copies. Contained the basics of the ethology and psychology of the dog, fundamentally new things that were not found in any of our textbooks on cynology. I am not tired to be amazed why this book was not then translated into Russian, continuing to reprint from Pavilovsky’s book passages from book to book. And, apparently, they haven’t translated until now, because so far not only ordinary dog breeders, but also instructors do not see the difference between aggressiveness and spitefulness, do not understand that the behavior of protest has nothing to do with dominance and that in relations between dogs prevails cooperation, not competition. Until now, the word “socialization” says nothing to many and it is considered indisputable that a service dog must be suspicious of strangers.
Our methods were at one time unusual and caused ridicule in old cynological frames. We, for example, did not wait until one year, as earlier, starting to work with a group of puppies from four months. By this age, the vaccination cycle was ending and the puppies were out of quarantine, many with signs of isolation syndrome. Joint classes in a group of their own kind helped these kids to socialize faster. In addition, it is known that the younger the animal, the faster and easier to learn. We can teach him right away right away, without having to correct the mistakes of upbringing accumulated up to a year.
We adapted the training method to the characteristics of the Rottweiler breed. By virtue of not very high excitability, the dogs had no problems with discipline, endurance, and were not distracted by extraneous stimuli. Small puppies could not keep the working pace for a long time, but they switched from work to rest and back well, so short intervals of work alternated with “breaks” for games and communication. In general, the Rottweiler does not like activity for the sake of activity, a long repetition of the skill is not for him. The main emphasis was placed on the interest of the dog, we reduced the coercion to a minimum. Otherwise the already slow work of the Rottweiler at first glance looked like a stick work. Rottweiler has a strongly developed owner’s instinct. Already small puppies, without exception, jealously guarded their toys, so from the very beginning we introduced elements of PCL into the program. Being engaged in defensive disciplines, they understood: distrust is the first step of fear. A dog that is not afraid of people at all, trusts them because it is not afraid of a possible threat from them. And most importantly, the training and the diploma for us were not an end in themselves. That was the main reason for criticism: no diplomas – no tangible result.
Many years have passed since then, but the situation in cynology has not radically changed for the better. Errors based on old dogmas are repeated again and again, and again thoughtful trainers look for solutions at random, breaking doors that have long been opened by others. Just as we once did. Abroad, new views on the behavior and training of dogs are gradually expanding, there is a change from the methods of repression and submission to the method of cooperation. But in Russia, the new is still finding its way with difficulty. Only hope remains that there will be more and more thoughtful people who carefully take the advice of the old “authorities” and reflect on their head. Down and Out trouble started!
Nowadays, the contrast between practical and sports training of service dogs is becoming increasingly apparent. Dogs belonging to the sports elite, by and large unsuitable for the performance of honest service and certainly not for practical use by amateur dog breeders. It’s no secret that some breeds have long been divided into the working, sports and exhibition areas (the same German Shepherd), and the striking differences between dogs from different directions at a glance are not even seen by an expert. Rottweiler so far, by and large, this fate has passed. But for how long?
Standards IPO were developed without taking into account the specific characteristics of a particular dog, in particular the Rottweiler. More or less “sit” on the psyche of the German Shepherd and its related Malinois. The owners of the remaining breeds have to adapt to them, and, for the sake of high results, literally rape the psyche of the breed. To get high points in this training, a hyperactive dog with a very high switching speed is needed — and this, we admit frankly, is unusual for most rottweilers. There is a demand, there will be supply, and very temperamental dogs are beginning to spread among the Rottweilers, capable of being active for the sake of the activity itself. For training in the IPO system, this is not typical of the Rottweiler behavior is positive. But for real everyday life?
I do not know about you, but I am not going to actively engage in sports. I love long quiet walks accompanied by a calm dog that does not require constant attention from me, which adapts to the measured rhythm of my life, does not create problems due to its hyperactivity.