Showsight Presents the Standard Schnauzer

is that they were developed to work geese, goats, pigs and cattle. So without train- ing they use too much pressure for lighter sheep and ducks. A large part of training a Schnauzer to herd is teaching them to reduce their presence and not panic the sheep. Because Standards start o ff with enough pressure to make even calm, heavy sheep flighty, they are convinced that all sheep are crazy and need more pressure to be brought under control. A trainer familiar with upright, intelligent herding dogs is a must. Th e sports of obedience and rally appeal to a Standard’s desire for order, and the breed has many titlists at the highest levels of obedience competition. If you avoid drilling when training, your dog will happily rise to your level of expectation. Unless your timing is exqui- site, physical correction can backfire by violating your Standard’s sense of fair play. Correction whether verbal or physi- cal is best reserved for proofing when you know your dog knows his or her job. Standards make dynamic and motivated agility partners. To maintain your Standard’s speed on course you must remember that what is important to you is what will be important to your dog. If you insist on accuracy at the expense of speed they will slow down, if you run pell-mell without being attentive to how you com- municate what direction they should go, they are likely to go off course. Your best chance at maintaining your dog’s

“To maintain your Standard’s speed on course you must remember that WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU IS

natural speed and creating clear com- munication is a balanced approach to teaching these skills without excessive “f ixing” of off courses in competition. Standard Schnauzers that take agility seriously are not afraid to provide feed- back and criticism to sharpen their han- dler’s skills. With a Standard, agility is truly a team sport. Th e Standards you see at Schnau- zapalooza are less likely to kill vermin, drive livestock, or guard home, farm and merchant’s carts than their predecessors, but they are still problem solvers with no equal. Th ose of us who own and love the breed are forever grateful to the German farmers who were faced with a problem and decided to let the dog solve it. WHAT WILL BE IMPORTANT TO YOUR DOG.”

BIO Diana received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Dartmouth College and focused on the behavior of mammals for her doctorial research at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. Diana has been in charge of the Education Department at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden since 2000. Diana has taught a variety of audiences over the last 15 years including under- graduate classes at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Southern Indiana, basic dog training, operant conditioning and agility classes. She has written several articles for Clean Run , a training jour- nal for agility trainers and enthusiasts, and taught several sessions at the 2008 Clean Run Instructor Conference. She has served as the Director of Training for the Agility Club of Evansville (ACE) and on the Board of Governors for the Stan- dard Schnauzer Club of America. She is currently the SSCA’s Health Chair and President of ACE. Diana has had the pleasure of living with Standard Schnau- zers for more than 20 years. She enjoys agility with all of her dogs, herds sheep, shows in conformation and dabbles in obedience. She breeds Standard Schnau- zers on a limited basis under the Irondogs kennel prefix.


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