I talked to a schutzhund trainer the other day, and he recommends his club members to NOT socialize their dogs and only take them out the crate when they're training the dogs. Is that right? I always thought socializing is part of any dog's life.
Probably not a good idea. Part of Schutzhund, now IPO, is a temperment test. It is always step one of any trial. I have seen quite a few dogs fail and not allowed to compete because of temperment issues. An IPO dog is full of confidence and steady in nerves. I don't think that happens if a dog is isolated to a kennel. What I do agree to is that only one handler train the dog. There is a working dog forum you might want to look into and ask these types of questions. I am sure it would spur a nice debate. In the end, whatever sport you might decide to train, this is your dog. You will find all kinds of opinions in your sport and every trainer will tell you their way is the only way. You have the right to dismiss or follow recommendations.
I would most certainly socialize any dog I had! Being kept in a kennel and only let out for training sounds horrible to me!
I really looked into Schutzhund myself, met and followed the club for a couple of days to see what it was like and all of the dogs there, Rotties, Doberman, GSD's, were all very friendly and playful when they weren't out in the field. They were very focused when actually on the field but all played and sniffed together after and before.
Lots of well supervised interaction with other people and dogs. Watch your dog closely for signs of stress, anxiety and/or nervousness.
Here's a link to a good website that I enjoy. Patricia McConnell is a phD. animal behaviorist who works extensively with dogs. I really like her book "The Other End of the Leash" which discusses the differences between our behavior as primates versus dog behavior.
Someone told you not to socialize your pup? That is very funny. When I think of schutzhund and protection work in dogs I think of police trained dogs. A good police dog can go into any environment and feel comfy. I can assure you that if your dog stays locked up in his crate he will be fearful of new places and new things. I suggest you google the name Michael Ellis. I want my dog to view strange people and other animals as non entities. Like furniture in a room. I don't want him over curious or scared. So the more he's around these things but taught to ignore them the better he will be. I'd rather have a dog I trained in protection to be a little friendly doing the work then a fear biter doing the work. Of course you only get 1 shot at raising a pup right otherwise you spending all your time fixing his fear issues