- in schutzhund you cannot use the dog's name to preface a command
I frequently see the dog's name being applied like a nagging tap on the shoulder, as if to say "hey! hey! prepare to pay attention to me!" Used too often, it truly is that nagging tap and it will be ignored. When you are working, your dog should already be paying attention and waiting for you to direct the next move with enthusiasm. When you watch someone who always uses the dog's name first, pay particular attention to whether the dog was watching them to begin with ,or whether the name is the "hey, you!"
- in schutzhund there is no "stay" command
- don't get stuck in the parlor trick front sit for attention!
- In AKC obedience classes, the dog is taught to sit first, and then lured into the down. In schutzhund the dog must know how to down from a standing position.
In schutzhund the dog is required to down from a stationary sitting position and also down from a walking position. It cannot sit first and then slide down. It must drop immediately upon command, or lose points. Some schutzhund trainers do teach their dog to make a sliding forward down, and these can be quite dynamic, but the dogs do not sit first, and are not taught that way. We teach the fold-back down, or sphinx position. After watching handler after handler have to re-set their dogs for the escape bite at the Nationals (and other events) and lose points as the dogs threw themselves forward and over the marked start position, my opinion of this has been reinforced. I prefer to teach the dog to bring the rear end underneath to sit, rather than rocking back and to move the hind legs back into the down position. The front legs remain stationary, no matter whether the dog is moving into a sit, down or stand.
- in schutzhund the long down is performed while another dog is performing the obedience routine, including retrieves and recalls.
- In schutzhund obedience the hands must move naturally at your sides. In AKC obedience the left arm is commonly held stiffly across the body, as if in a horizontal sling.
If you have the opportunity, start training a puppy in the proper behaviors to your sport as soon as you can. It is not fair to your dog to train it improperly and then six months down the road, change the rules on it and make corrections. Sometimes it can't be helped because owners were unaware of the training opportunties, but sometimes they make a conscious decision to take a couple pet dog classes and "teach the dog obedience" before joining the schutzhund club. It takes less time and effort to do something right the first time, than to change a behavior later.