Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If a dog can't do sport, than will it really protect?

Q7. If a dog can't do sport, than will it really protect?

Ancient GR: A7. I know many dogs that do well in sport and get a big zero in real protection. Ability to do well in Sport is NOT a measuring unit for real owner protection.

DanUK: Again, agreed. The answer to this question is also the same in the opposite context; with a dog that can do sport will it really protect? The answer is that in both cases, the answer is not known. The natures of the dog and in case of sport dogs, its training are fundamental to answering the question. However, whilst many of the best sport dogs will protect equally well in real situations, a very high percentage of titled/respected sport dogs will not be able to perform in a realistic, operational context.

This is further evidenced by how few sport programs are actively pursued by Police and Military departments in the modern era; KNPV, NVBK and to some degree French Ring dogs will either directly, or indirectly (through their progeny) be sought out for real operational employment. However, very few Schutzhunde dogs are considered in the modern era despite the fact that clearly there are many dogs involved in the sport that would be able to transfer to operational work. Where dogs are sought from this venue, they are often desired to come from the lower levels where it is considered more viable to cross train them over to operational work. Where sport holds real sway in modernity is two-fold: It provides transparency as relates to dogs/lines/breeding programs and in addition, where accountants exert as much influence as any party in modern Police and Military activities the modern sport approaches provide a source of rapid development almost comparable to a production line for getting dogs into service as quickly as possible for as long as possible, as well as some degree of positive PR to make this investment seem worthwhile.

Katrina Hartwell AU: I don't know that the two are as linked as they should be.

E-Dog US: Sport is just that... SPORT. I spend hours a week training sport dogs and handlers that are just there for the social aspect whose dogs will title but that does not make them any more protective that any other dog. There are a lot of titled dogs that are titled because of great training and handling. Behind every titled dog there are countless hours of dedication, training, handling that go on to get the dog that title. I have been in front of great dogs with no title and crappy dogs with titles so the title in it's self means little in regards to the dog but says more about the trainers and handlers. Now don't get me wrong you have to have a trainable dog with some drive to start with and the higher levels in sport require a dog that has higher drives and trainability... but foundation is key in training any dog to do any task and finding someone to work your Bandog to get to a level to be titles is hard to find.

Will the bandog be as flashy as the Mal or GSD? I doubt it. Can a good Bandog compete in sport? Yes. Will they ever be on top...? I doubt it as politics and the amount of training with the right trainer required would be a huge hurdle. I think Donovan’s dogs have the best chance of achieving high end competition titles.

Clinton Cilliers ZA: I started in sport and have great admiration for the people and dogs that partake but for my situation I needed more dog, and I would not want to face Nero one on one as he would literally kill you if given a chance. He has more prey than my pit as far as wanting to chase and kill livestock, which is a bad thing on a farm but he grew up in town so was not raised correctly, yet Mack got used to livestock and is fine with them but not left unsupervised.

MaTi US: If the dog doesn't have the nerves/confidence to take a correction or guidance… I’d say it probably cannot be counted on to protect you in a safe manner. Some dogs that don't have the confidence/commitment to do sport work will never leave your sight and in the case of the Fila, perhaps no one will ever get near you. It depends on your definition of "protect".

Cath US: Sport has no bearing on whether or not a dog can work so who cares? A lot of them won't protect, can't track for $--- and break down very quickly off the sport field.

I see the same bias in many breed groups. Different breeds are suitable for different things.

*** If they will, than why can't they do the sport? Never make the mistake of judging a dog by what it does on a sport field.