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  #1  
Old 11-24-2002, 11:36 AM
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German Shepherd vs Rottweiler

Mattweiser mentioned he wanted to see some 'new' topics out here... so I figured I'd throw this one up for discussion even though I'm sure it's been here before.

Out of the 150 dogs entered at the USA Nationals in Alabama only 1 of them was a Rottweiler. The others were mostly Shepherds and a handful of Mals.

For the purpose of discussion, why is it that we see so few Rottweilers at this high level of competition as it pertains to their working capabilities.

I will add the following comments/opinions to the conversation.

1. The sport was originally made for the GSD.
2. The Rottweiler (on average) does not have the speed of a GSD.
3. I think there is nothing limiting a Rottweiler to score as high in tracking.
4. I also believe there is not much limiting a Rottweiler/handler to a high scoring OB score...
5. 3&4 above assume the genetics are there in the first place.

Is the difference in protection? If my above assumptions of tracking and obedience being fairly equal between the two breeds, why couldn't a Rottweiler who can score from 85-95 be a perfectly good contender at a National event not just for Rotties?
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2002, 12:57 PM
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Good question. My feeling is when you get to the high levels of schutzhund competition, the top trainers/handlers only train mals or GSD's. They want to win, and the only way they can compete is with these two breeds. The rottweiler is not as good a working dog as a GSD or a malinois. There are some great working rotts out there, but they few and far between. That's why the top competitors only handle mals or GSD's. Whether it's for sport or police work, the top breeds are the GSD and malinois (you can include the KNPV unregistered Dutch Shepherd also if you'd like).

Nerd
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2002, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Nerd
The rottweiler is not as good a working dog as a GSD or a malinois. There are some great working rotts out there, but they few and far between.
I won't necessarily argue with that... but what qualities/features makes the GSD/Mal so much better than the Rott that you only see 1 out of 150 in a National event. Not all competitors at the USA Nationals are top level handlers... I know many people who competed in that event who were at a National event for the first time or with their first higher level dog... I wonder why more top level Rott handlers don't make a goal of competing at this event? There were only 10 Sch 3 Rotts at the Rottie Nationals one week later???? HMMMMMMM.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2002, 03:15 PM
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the resons are several---- shepards and mals mature quicker---- their overall drives are better by meaning a good mal or shepard you dont have to build drive and build and build like most rotts---they work through hotter weather than rotts----they are faster and are way more eager to please the handler than rotts----and a lot oh helpers just plain dont like to work rotts---rotts tire and lose interest quickly-- i work mine in schutzhund but a big diff is most people you see at the nationals are just not in the sport for fun they are in it to get titles and stud fee's ect. so for them to take the extra effort and time to train a rott and end up with a 5 or six yr old ready to retire , when they can accomplish this withen 2 yrs with the other breeds.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2002, 03:17 PM
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lol at the club last week one og the members was saying they seen a rott at the nationals .............. and some one spoke up and said what was it a stray that wondered out on the field lmao
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2002, 05:57 PM
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The typical rottie's temperament is not as well suited for sport protection as a Malinois or working line GSD. Rotties tend to be more defense oriented while the other breeds are more prey. Dogs with higher prey drive will generally do better in the protection phase. Their bites will be fuller and more confident.
Experienced handlers I've talked to believe that working line GSD's are easier to train for obedience. You can apply a lot of force on GSD's and they will bounce back. Rotties will tend to break down if you apply a lot of force, so you have to be a bit more creative in your training. While compulsion is not always the best way to get there, it's usually the quickest. I've also seen lots of force successfully applied on Malinois. The Malinois' problem is that their energy level and drive to bite are so high it could be tough to get them under control.
You mentioned speed being a problem for the rottie. While it's true that they are not as fast as GSD's or Mals, it's usually not a big problem in a Schutzhund trial. They will still catch the decoy. While the slower speed might lessen the impact on the long bites, the added size and strength could make up for it. If a rottie doesn't hit as hard as a GSD or Mal, I think the most likely reason is lower prey drive.
Rotties do tend to tire out quicker and don't do as well in the summer heat. That makes it tougher to earn an AD.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2002, 09:40 PM
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High quality prey makes a helluva difference. The better rotties I see out here have very nice prey drive. I'm not saying that's all there is to it but it does make a huge difference IMO.

Rotties have good muscle mass which prevents them from good oxygen flow while working. GSD and Malinois have that marathon runners body where they can keep going because of the good oxygen flow.

Pit bulls, although leaner than rotties, have a great amount of muscle mass and you will see the toll it takes on them but the difference with them is the peak prey drive they usually posses drives them to continue.

Ramon is right in where the GSD is generally a much more resilient dog to the force than the rottie but I cannot agree it is the same with mals.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2002, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by valdes43

Rotties have good muscle mass which prevents them from good oxygen flow while working. GSD and Malinois have that marathon runners body where they can keep going because of the good oxygen flow.

Pit bulls, although leaner than rotties, have a great amount of muscle mass and you will see the toll it takes on them but the difference with them is the peak prey drive they usually posses drives them to continue.
I do notice that large, muscular dogs tend to tire quickly. Can you explain how muscle mass prevents good oxygen flow?
I always thought pit bulls had great endurance. Isn't that why they are unbeatable in long fights? It can't all be due to drive could it?
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2002, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
I do notice that large, muscular dogs tend to tire quickly.
At least some of the difference you're seeing directly relates to conformation: GSD's and all the Belgian Sheepdogs have deep chests, allowing for greater lung expansion. In other words, they're built more like Greyhounds than Rottweilers. They also tend to have a greater power to weight ratio than Rotties, Rotties have a lot more bulk, in a lot less streamlined a package, to lug around with them. This gives them great power, but not much endurance (think of the difference between a sprinter and a marathon runner: sprinters are all bulky power, marathon runners are all lightweight endurance). It's also likely related to what are called "slow twitch" and "fast twitch" muscle fibres: slow twitch muscle fibres are more oxygen efficient, they fire slowly but also fatigue slowly - these are what really successful marathon runners tend to have more of, percentage-wise, than normal people, and this is probably (I'm guessing here, but it seems logical) what Greyhounds and GSD-type dogs have more of, genetically, than Rotties. Fast twitch muscles give out the same amount of force, but fire faster, so they're less oxygen efficient and fatigue faster, these are what really successful sprinters have more of than normal people, and I'd guess that Rotties and the "power dogs" have more of these, (normal people have about a 50-50 split). Here's more reading on muscle fibres: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/libr.../aa080901a.htm
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2002, 03:40 AM
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My dog has a very high prey drive - something I've been working to control. So far, I've seen zero defense drive however. I'm working on building her confidence right now with simple but fun tug games. I let her win a few times, make fake growls to get her going and she's catching on, slowly. I think she's really just working on the play and prey as a combined drive. She's not defensive at all - had her tested and she took mild physical assaults without so much as a growl and stalwartly sat there panting, looking to me to protect her. I growled at the helper and made him run away. She later ate some hotdog treats for being such a good sport. :) Oh well, maybe she's not into defense at her age of just 2 yrs. but I'm going to find a good ScH club to join eventually to see how she'd stack up in ScH. As for tracking - she can track anything, over any sort of terrain.

Spidey makes a good point about muscles and endurance. My dog is tall for a a bitch @ 25-3/4", and while not rangy, is definitely not the usual 23" tank you see as a typical bitch. My girl's added height and muscle mass allow her to be both fast and have endurance. I'm a bit confused by teh comment above about Rotties lacking chest depth - my dog [and the first one too] has a very deep chest and pronounced tuck up. Her muscle mass is pronounced but more lean than a lot of female Rottie's I've seen. Others who've seen my dog run, leap, jump and chase prey have been very honestly impressed w/her agile ability to run at top speed and jump and turn on a dime. My first Rottie back in 1980 was a bloated Hummer compared to her agile Audi A6. :D

Which is precisely why I want to go to a ScH III if I can, with this dog.

PT

PS: My in-laws have a GS that I'd say is a typical BYB effort in this breed - he's smallish, has pronounced slope to his hips and a very narrow front. I'm not a GS fan, but when I see a front that narrow, like the two legs are coming from one hole, I have to wonder if the dog has any working ability at all. And then there's the squirrelly temperament on a lot of the Ger. Shep.s I see locally.

Last edited by ptremaine; 11-26-2002 at 03:48 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2002, 08:14 AM
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By direct comparison, generally, it is hard work training a rottie, full stop and many guys don't see the point. They tend to have a mind of there own, don't seem over enthusiastic to please master and when go through a correcting phase, respond negatively. So they need a lot of feeling to maintain high spirits. But you just have to love them, being so close to my heart I put in double the effort to get them out there working. There is just something about them that sets them apart and what no other breed has! Some days you ask yourself, why? Why go through all this when I could have a GSD driving me at seven months, doing excellent heel work e.g. Like I said rotties just have that something special..... .................it's just personal preferance and IMO there is nothing more awesome then a rottie performing. Oh yeah and my boy managed to ditch two helpers all in the same week LMAO! The one guy couldn't slip the sleeve and went head first into the ground............well what better way then to lift the dogs confidence.;) Don't ya just love it when your dog trashes the helper?:p :D
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2002, 09:04 AM
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Does anyone know how the one lone Rottie performed at the Nationals in AL against the 150 GSDs and Mals?
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2002, 10:22 AM
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OK OK...

the difference between the Rottie and the GSD in regards to heat, and endurance has nothing to do with fast and slow twitch muscle... it has to do with length of muzzle, and amount of meat on their body..

ever defrost a 18 lbs turkey/ham/roast? takes a while huh? and even when the outside is thawed the center is still frozen.. why??? because it is insulating itself.... this is what the Rottweiler is up against when it is trying to cool itself... it takes 2-3 times as much energy dissipation to cool it as it does for a less-dense Mal or GSD...

also the muzzle length.... we all know how a radiator on a automobile engine works right? the dog's muzzle works much in the same way.. the blood is circulated through veins in the muzzle and then cool to air tempurature before being recirculated.... also when the dog is breathing, the air that is breathed in has a longer period to cool the muzzle before being sucked into the lungs.....

simple physiology ladies and gents ;)


now, as to why you see more GSD and Mali than Rotties... I go with the above reasons, and one more..

the Rottweiler will never get a fair shake from a USA judge in the protection phase. A Rottweiler takes the protection a little more seriously than its long-haired cousins do, and tends to counter alot more while engaged... this is seen by GSD judges as being a nerve issue, and points are all to often taken away for this....

that plus the fact the the web site for the USA is germansheparddoog.com

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  #14  
Old 11-26-2002, 10:35 AM
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I'm a newbie at the sport of Schutzhund and I only know what I have been told and have read. I have been told by several people that if you want to win at the nationals, don't bring anything but a GS or maybe Mal. People are telling me that no matter how good a Rottie is, the dog will not win at a national event due to breed bias. The sport was originally created for GS and like Mattweiser stated, the web address says it all. I'm still debating the bitework issue so I obviously have no eyes on winning at a national event:D
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  #15  
Old 11-26-2002, 10:50 AM
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Muzzle length may control heat and cooling in the dog [never heard that before, but hey, I'm willing to give that a shot], but muzzle length does determine how a dog can bite and style of biting. I've never been to a ScH trial, so I'm not familiar with points awarded or not. I have been to ScH clubs and seen various dogs work on a sleeve and with a helper. The GSs all seem to rush in, grab and yank like terriers on the sleeve with a full mouth bite lower on the arm. The Rottie's I've observed hit higher up the arm, hang on and do a much slower pull down, which is more difficult for the helper to deal with [dog can pull guy over easier the higher up the arm the dog is].

My dog hangs onto her tug rope long enough for me to partly swing her off the ground, and she doesn't do a lot of terrier tugging. My Giant Schnauzer by comparison, built more like a GS or Mal, was a terrier, just 121 lbs. of terrier. He'd grab onto a tug and act like a shark - putting his entire energy and muscle mass into head and neck and full body jerking on the tug. The few times he actually bit someone [not a training exercise, in real life] he hit one guy's crotch, hung on and yanked like a maniac. Another time he full on chomped someone's butt. :D

My Rottie wouldn't do any of that stuff - she'd bite high, hang on and pull down slowly. That doesn't sound to me like optimal ScHIII style. Not that I'm obsessing about it. :)

PT
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