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Choosing a Puppy for Schutzhund
In every breed, the pedigree is the key to knowing the potential of the puppy. Schutzhund revolves around working lines with generations of dogs that have proven themselves and produced similar characteristics in their offspring. These characteristics include not only the physical structure of
the dog, which is very important, but also its temperament. Selecting the bloodlines from which you want your puppy will require research. Information from breed tests (Ztp, BST, Korung) can help. Of course, it makes sense to discuss your objectives with reputable and experienced Schutzhund handlers or enthusiasts.
Once you have determined that the bloodlines of the potential dam and sire are of high quality, you should observe the parents, especially the mother, if that is at all possible. The dam will be the main influence on the young pup for the first six weeks of its life. If the dam is nervous or unsure,
chances are this uncertainty will be transferred to the offspring.
If you are able to see the litter, watch the puppies together and also separately, to try to determine which is the best puppy. Obvious structural defects or health problems should be watched for. It is important that the puppy have intense instinct to chase prey- a ball, a toy, etc. The puppy should not show fear when away from its littermates. It should not need to stay with the mother. The puppy should be adventurous and active, playing with objects shown to it by someone in the enclosure, but it should be independent enough to take that object and go off on its own as well.
It is independence and confidence, combined with the positive contact with the pack leader (the dam, at this time) that will develop into the traits of trainability that you need.
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