What are the differences between PSA, Ring and Schutzhund?

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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 2:15 pm

On January 04 2007, 20:52, call2arms wrote:
Since we're discussing this... What's the main difference in between Protection sports, Schutzhund and French ring? I'm guessing different rules, but also different ways to train, styles, exercises?
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 2:28 pm

my observations and opinions. I have NOT competed in any of the sports, but I have researched Sch (have not attended trials) PSA (and attended a few trials)

PSA - slightly patterend sport. You know what will be in each level but don't know the order. This can throw off some dogs. Most of the bitework is "courage tests" which can be very difficult for some dogs and it is mentally taxing. Both the obedience and the bitework has heavy distractions. The surprise senarios can be quite intense. It is a sport, but somewhat applicable to real life.

Schutzhund - HIGHLY patterned. Your obedience routine is memorized, and some advanced dogs can run the patterns without a handler on the field (I haven't seen it, but have first hand accounts.) The bitework is also highly patterned, and though there is a good deal of pressure, there are no surprises. The tracking is not real world at all, the dog's nose has to stay on the ground to get a good score. Yes, they have to find the object and indicate on it, but real world tracking involves air senting and some casting around. It is touted as the ultimate test of a dog, but in my opinion, in it's current state, it is a test of training. You can teach a dog to do everything it needs to, strict patterns help weaker dogs pass just due to getting accostomed to the unchanging patterns. The tracking, of course, tests a dog's nose but you can teach the dog not to pick its head up and that is a big part of your tracking score. All bites are on the sleeve.

Ring - ask Nelson, he is a national level competitor.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 4:35 pm

So all this is not only bite work?? What are the patterns?? does that just refer to the tracking?
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 5:36 pm

In PSA the obedience is somewhat patterned. You know what the commands are going to be but the judge varies them - when the turns are, when you will do slow and fast, about turn, etc.

This is for a BH, the required entry level title before the SchI . It is the heeling pattern no matter where you trial. When you walk a pattern enough times and do the identical thing the same time, the dog learns it. There are two gunshots during the pattern, and there are variances in the environment of course, but those are easily trained. The long down takes work of course. I am NOT saying the titles are easy but, in my opinion the almost absolute strict, unvarying patterns help a weak dog.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 7:30 pm

So its not all just bite work which were my original thoughts. so what is the purpose of the PSA?? Is it to prove an obedient dog? I am kind of lost now based on my original thoughts as to what it is all about...lol... hope you understand my question!!
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 7:37 pm

PSA is a sport. It was created by Joe Morris and Jerry Bradshaw basically as a way to "test and proove" high end dogs that they bred. It is growing quickly.

PSA is aimed towards personal protection work though it's also veiwed as very "sporty", that is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a lot of fun and the distractions are always quite interesting.

PSA is heavy into obedience.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 7:40 pm

Ok so are there levels as to which the dog has to complete before moving on?? Like master obedience and the distractions of that and then move onto the actual bite work?
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Postby Big_Ant » January 5th, 2007, 7:43 pm

On 01/05/2007 3:30 PM, luvmypitties wrote:So its not all just bite work which were my original thoughts. so what is the purpose of the PSA?? Is it to prove an obedient dog? I am kind of lost now based on my original thoughts as to what it is all about...lol... hope you understand my question!!


In regards to "not just bite work" specific to Schutzhund.

Schutzhund has 3 elements; OBEDIENCE, TRACKING, BITEWORK.

IMO, and most Trainers agree, Obedience and Tracking are the first and foremost things. The dog must prove themselves worthy of the bitework. A "fresh" dog doesn't get to take a bite for quite some time, depending on progress and the dog.

Temperament is #1 for the Bitework (specific to APBT, Guardian Breeds are different). An unsound dog should not ever participate in Sch, although it's done.

-- I can add more later, but that's a brief, although abruptly ended, description. If you check wikipedia you'll get a decent description of Schutzhund.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 7:45 pm

So then Sch and PSA are based on the same things, obedience, tracking and then bitework?? What about ring?? anyone know anything about that?
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Postby Big_Ant » January 5th, 2007, 7:47 pm

On 01/05/2007 3:45 PM, luvmypitties wrote:So then Sch and PSA are based on the same things, obedience, tracking and then bitework?? What about ring?? anyone know anything about that?

Nelson will chime in on Ring later I'm sure.

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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 7:47 pm

I look forward to his post!!
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 8:32 pm

On January 05 2007, 18:40, luvmypitties wrote:Ok so are there levels as to which the dog has to complete before moving on?? Like master obedience and the distractions of that and then move onto the actual bite work?


The TC is the first title that a dog MUST earn in PSA. It stands for Temperament and Control. If the dog doesn't earn that it doesn't go on.

At a trial, no matter what the level of the dog, the dog may not go on to bitework if it has not passed the obedience. You can trial for PSA I multiple times and pass every time, but after passing 5 times if your dog fails the obedience the 6th time it can not do bitework that day.

There is a certificate available in PSA called the PDC, that has the same "obedience rules" as the titles.
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Postby pocketpit » January 5th, 2007, 8:47 pm

Ring involved obedience and bite work, no tracking. The decoys for French ring, Mondio ring and PSA typically wear a suit vs. Schutzhund folks who use a sleeve for the bite work portion.

In Ring the work is often less regimented especially in the obedience department. While the rules for how you handle your dog are strict, the judge doesn't care if your dog heels on the right or the left, just that the dog can heel. Ring dogs are not given extra points if they have a nice, flashy attention heel like Schutzhund dogs. It doesn't matter if your dog's recall is not rocket fast. As long as he/she returns within the alloted time limit you will get the same amount of points as the dog who performed equally but flew back to it's handler. If I yell " Kimber out, down guard" and Kimber sits and guards I don't fail. The emphasis is on the guard portion of the exercise not whether she assumes the desired position.

In Ring another difference from other sports is that the dogs walk onto the field without a collar or lead. There is a heel on lead exercise but other than that the dogs are not wearing anything.
A Ring dog performs the obedience (including the jumps) and bitwork back to back in one routine. A Ring III dog can be on the field easily for 40 minutes or more.

In Ring the decoy's job is to spot weakness in your dog or training and exploit them to take points away from your score.
And while the obedience excercises are always the same, they are drawn in random order the day of the trial so the dog's are not "pattern trained.
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 8:52 pm

A Ring dog performs the obedience (including the jumps) and bitwork back to back in one routine. A Ring III dog can be on the field easily for 40 minutes or more.

WOW, talk about a marathon session!

And while the obedience excercises are always the same, they are drawn in random order the day of the trial so the dog's are not "pattern trained.

So it's always the same exercises but in a random order?

In Ring the decoy's job is to spot weakness in your dog or training and exploit them to take points away from your score.

I believe that is what Nelson was talking about at FrostBite, which is why you never want a trial decoy to see you train!
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Postby pocketpit » January 5th, 2007, 9:15 pm

Quote:
And while the obedience excercises are always the same, they are drawn in random order the day of the trial so the dog's are not "pattern trained.

So it's always the same exercises but in a random order?


Correct.
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 9:21 pm

Wow this seems so interesting... I definetly want to see one in person, a trial that is.
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Postby katiek0417 » January 6th, 2007, 8:45 am

On January 05 2007, 7:32 PM, mnp13 wrote:
On January 05 2007, 18:40, luvmypitties wrote:Ok so are there levels as to which the dog has to complete before moving on?? Like master obedience and the distractions of that and then move onto the actual bite work?


The TC is the first title that a dog MUST earn in PSA. It stands for Temperament and Control. If the dog doesn't earn that it doesn't go on.

At a trial, no matter what the level of the dog, the dog may not go on to bitework if it has not passed the obedience. You can trial for PSA I multiple times and pass every time, but after passing 5 times if your dog fails the obedience the 6th time it can not do bitework that day.

There is a certificate available in PSA called the PDC, that has the same "obedience rules" as the titles.


Michelle, this is not always true. In a tournament-style trial (e.g., Regionals and Nationals) you ALWAYS go on to bitework in the Level 1's. Anyone can compete in a regional event, but the rules have changed on qualification for Nationals for the Level 1's.

In the 2's and 3's, you go on to bitework regardless of the type of trial (regular or tournament-style) and regardless of whether you pass the obedience portion (so it is always, basically, tournament style). Also, if you are in the 2's or 3's you automatically qualify for Nationals (they're trying to get more people in those levels at Nationals) as long as you've competed in that level during that year. Finally, in the 2's and 3's, you need to pass the level twice in order to say you've titled in that level (so, you need to have competed on 2 different days, and pass 2 different days in order to have a Level 2 or Level 3 title).

In Schutzhund (we train with a Schutzhund club), you have tracking, obedience, and protection. Michelle put the obedience routine on here for the BH, which is the same used for the Sch I. However, if you are just going for a BH, you have to do the obedience routine, and take a written test. The test is fairly easy. Also, you have to know the OB routine by heart (there is no steward on the field telling you what to do). The tracking is ground-scenting (the dog must follow the scent methodically with it's nose to the ground, and should not deviate from the track. In other words, it should make 90-degree turns, etc). Also, when arriving at each article, the dog should indicate the article either by touching it with it's nose or downing right next to it. Schutzhund tracking differs from what you would see in SAR in that most SAR tracking is air-scenting. The protection has different scenarios (searching the blinds, courage test, transport, bark and hold, etc). However, all work is done with a sleeve and padded stick. The same components are in the upper levels of Schutzhund, but they are harder (longer track, harder obedience with retrieves over jumps, A-frames, etc). In Schutzhund there is also a Sch A title (just OB and protection) and a FH (just tracking).

Schutzhund was originally designed to test a dog's working ability and breedability. It is NOT considered a surprise-scenario sport because you can train for every level and every scenario...everything is written out. Ring and PSA are considered surprise-scenario sports. Ring has been around longer than PSA. The thing with these sports is (1) the decoy is in a full bite suit; (2) there tends to be more pressure on the dog; (3) you can train for components, but you don't know what the scenarios or distractions might be (you can train a call-off, but you don't know how it will be used the day of the trial). However, Ring tends to not put as much emphasis on the fullness of the bite (from what I've been told from Ring decoys), whereas in PSA you get judged on how full the grip is.

In PSA, as Michelle said, there are 4 titles (3 for protection) and 1 certificate. The certificate is a PDC. The obedience for the PDC is on-leash. The protection consists of 3 scenarios: carjacking, attack on handler, and courage test. These are entry level scenarios. Yes, there is pressure onthe dog, but not as much as in the 1 (for carjacking there is a jug of rocks used, the attack on handler is from the back, and the courage test has the decoy WALKING towards the dog and fewer stick hits).

The first title is a TC. This is both on-leash and off-leash obedience WITH distractions on the field. There is currently a list of approved distractions that can be used for the TC, and no water can be used. (Paula Lind, from Evolution K9, has taken a ton of time to draw out some on-leash and off-leash scenarios and put them on her website. If you go to http://www.evolutionk9.com, and click on PSA Info, then choose from the choices at the bottom you can see them). The direction of turns and distractions used can change in each trial, so, therefore, there is a steward on the field telling you what to do. The TC is also used for the Level 1 obedience. As I said before, in a tournament style trial, you DO NOT need to pass the TC to go on to protection. In the Level 1's, the protection consists of a carjacking, attack on handler, and courage test. These bring more pressure than what you see in a PDC (gun for the carjacking, handler attack from the front, and running on the courage test and more stick hits). There is also a surprise scenario. However, PSA has put together 5 surprise scenarios from which a judge can choose. So, yes, you can train for the surprise scenarios, you just don't know which the judge will choose. Again, there is no water in this level.

In the 2's and 3's, anything goes (and you always go on to protection even if you don't pass OB). In the 2's, the dog is off-leash for the obedience. In the 3's, the dog doesn't even have a collar on. For obedience, there are harder components: change of position (typically not facing the dog), food refusal, obstacles (jumps, A-frames, tunnels), recall over/through obstacles, directed jump, down after doing a jump, retrieve. The Level 2 protection scenarios consist of a dual attack with transport and fleeing apprehension (2 decoys coming towards you, you send the dog on 1, the other attacks you, you have to call the dog back to get the one attacking you, out the dog, transport that decoy, the other decoy then takes off, and you have to send your dog on that decoy), fended off attack (decoy tries to fend off your dog using a sleeve (or something like it), your dog should bite the decoy rather than object), call-off (send the dog, call it off before the bite), and surprise scenario (which really is a surprise, but it can have distractions like water or gunfire, transports, send to a guard, directed jumping, obstacles, sending on a passive decoy).

The level 3 OB gets even harder, you have obstacles, change of position now including a stand, retrieve over obstacles, sit/down on recall, send out and down, etc. The protection is completely "up in the air" and you basically findout what it is when you go out for your handler's meeting. The things that must be included are a courage test and call-off. However, you can also see remote transports, remote guard (sending the dog away from you for a guard) with the decoy agitating the dog (at Nationals, the dog was sent into a horse trailer, had to do a guard, while the decoy was agitating it), muzzle attacks, area searches, mutliple call-offs, etc....

I am currently working with a dog who has a 2, and is now training for a 3. I am finding that this level is much more about the dog's obedience. By this time, the judge knows the dog WILL bite. The test is to see the control of the dog, and the ability of it NOT to bite, unless it is directed to do so (and not bite if it is called off). Most of my training with this dog is working on the obedience components. We have done some call-offs, directed sends, etc...but we really only give him 1 or 2 bites a session. We spend much more time working our obedience with decoys trying to get him to bite, and me keeping him from doing so....
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Postby mnp13 » January 6th, 2007, 12:04 pm

That's right, I totally forgot about that! I saw it in person at nationals... DUH!

Thanks for correcting me.
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Postby pocketpit » January 6th, 2007, 4:44 pm

However, Ring tends to not put as much emphasis on the fullness of the bite (from what I've been told from Ring decoys), whereas in PSA you get judged on how full the grip is.


Another important difference :) While ring folks love if their dogs have a full grip and really do want that when trial time rolls around it's really not that important to your score. You don't lose points for a shallow bite like you would in Schutzhund. I didn't realize that PSA also judged depth of bite so I'm glad you mentioned that.
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Postby DemoDick » January 6th, 2007, 7:19 pm

Another important distinction between PSA and Sch. is the level of distraction in obedience. A PSA trial field often looks like someone emptied the toy bins at a pet store all over it. There is gunfire during heeling and the long down (last time I checked). And there's a suited decoy on the field as a distraction. PSA obedience is based on EXTREME distraction, and it is very difficult. (Note-I've not trialed in PSA at the time of this writing)

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