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Old 01-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What would you do? Need some thoughts on this.

I'm trying to get opinions as I am still undecided with what I'm going to do.

So, here in Central FL... most Schutzhund/Personal Protection places here are extremely expensive and too far away. Honestly, I also really dislike the club atmosphere around here... way too "clicky" for me. Some enjoy that, I really don't. It's more of just a hobby for me, so I don't see a point in spending a ton of money and dealing with people who wont respect me or my dogs. Where I'm at, I'm not the only one with a showline, I'm not the only one who does this for a hobby, and we also get to pay week by week, instead of huge fees for the year and also for each month.... no helper fees, no property fees, etc. Price wise, it's not bad. I can afford it. For it just being a hobby, it's worth the price I pay.

ALSO, my youngest female is from my trainer's breeding program. So he knows her lines and how to work with her lines very very well. Her father is there, I see him work often. He knows the bad with the good in their lines. The other puppies in the litter and litters before stay close... most are at training weekly with us, so I can see everyone grow up and mature. It's great to understand what to expect and see different ways of doing things with these lines.

Sounds great right?

Yeah, it was....

Now here's the problem and where I am stuck.

Lately, I've had a few problems that have made things a bit...... shaky. Pricing change randomly and not for everyone equally, attitudes and trying to pull the "I never said that, you're wrong", and the "I'm the best/cheapest/only one around..." so basically you're stuck type feeling. Every time I ask a question about ANYTHING (mind you, there's no "contracts" to go by, just words from them.... So sometimes questions need to be asked to understand the issue).... I get attitude and made out to be cheap, or in the wrong... or like I'm harassing or questioning much more personal things... When I'm not. I'm feeling a bit.... depressed and worn out now and what sucks is... this has NOTHING to do with the actual sport. I still love it! However, the training isn't positive anymore, and my dogs are now reacting from that. I've asked for help with the puppy since she's far from easy... and we are running into a few problems. I received the same input as last time, once I said "I tried that, it didn't work.... This is what happened ________"... it turned into "Well, then leave it be... you'll just have to wait"..... Wait to train a dog in OB?! No.. how about we find a DIFFERENT way to get her to want to work?! Especially since I've been asked to up her training in bite work. I don't want to be off balance. The dog should be strong in OB, before I push forward with bite work. I've lost my support with her, I've lost my support for my male. I was told "Oh, spend your time focused with the puppy... Duke's already fully trained"..... No... He's most definitely not! How can you tell me that when I can't send him out for a bite.... he doesn't out well on command yet (unless I'm next to him... then he's fine), he wont recall after a bite yet... unless I have him leashed. His recall is shaky. He comes, he's never disobeyed me... but, Duke has the habit of just... taking his time. The list goes on... always something to fix... How can you say that's fully trained?!

Worst part is...... training is a joke now. Bite work is probably the ONLY thing that goes fairly well and I learn from... and that's because the HELPER (decoy) trains me. Not our trainer. Everything I do during OB, is the same I can do at home. I've learned nothing new in the last few months... except to quickly process commands of: Left, Right, About turn. And my dogs are going way backwards in OB. Our BH is now thrown to the side line.. No way are we going to be ready for that any time soon... I feel like I've just been dropped.... like all hope as been thrown out the window. I'm almost ready to just say forget it. With a dog like Duke... there NEEDS to be someone keeping hope up and although, letting us clearly know what we need to work on... ALSO keep things positive. Duke's knows how I feel before I do. If the training isn't positive for either of us.... He'll get the vibe right away and just lock up.


This is why I don't know where to go... the options are:

Suck it up, and stay for the sake of the dogs... they enjoy it and everyone there understand both my dogs well. I also really enjoy the other members, their dogs, and our helper. I'd have to deal with the inconsistent prices, lack of business education and responsibility of files and paperwork, and being put down often. Also, feeling like I can never question anything... which goes against my whole being. I'm not a butt kisser, and I'm not a sheep. I ask questions, and when needed, I (respectfully of course) question authority. That's how I was raised.

Leave and go somewhere else... pay way more, drive much farther in my gas guzzler, spend less time doing it (with the added price, and time traveling... I wouldn't be able to do it as much or stay out there so long), and have no support because I'm a newbie, have a showline with less then spectacular nerves, dedicated but still only a hobby, and also I have a dog from another trainer in the area. So of course they will drag her down as "mediocre" and crucify her for every misstep. BUT, we would have SOLID pricing, stable rules and regulations (paperwork, files, etc.), training wouldn't be based on favoritism or "who's got the better dog", etc. It wouldn't be as flaky.

And last option is..... walk away from my hopes of ever doing any sort of protection work and put my dogs into something else. There's not much in this area, so I'm not 100% sure of what we'd do. Storm may be good in agility, and all 3 of them would probably enjoy herding.... But, I would definitely be upset giving up Schutzhund and personal protection.... Which is specifically why I got a working line. Although my dogs enjoy what they do now... I'm sure they would get over it as long as their attention was focused on something else they enjoy. This would obviously be more harmful to me... not really the dogs.


Either way... no matter what I choose... my dogs are first and foremost, our companions and our family... no one is going anywhere. I just want to make sure I'm making the right decision for us all and trying not to burn any bridges. My trainer really knows what he's talking about and is a fantastic trainer.... my dogs HAVE gotten far... further then I thought they would. So, it's not that easy of a decision. He's just.... scatter brained lately, and losing part of his touch... at least with my dogs he is. I'm trying not to make any rash reactions... just sitting low for a few weeks and gathering ideas and opinions.

What would YOU do in this situation?!

Anyone been in this type of situation?

Is this just how it is in this sport?
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My advice is to go to where you think it's best for your dogs. I drive 2.5 hours each way to SchH training, and actually haven't gone in almost two months because of weather and holidays, but I feel it's the best place for my dog. I like the training, I like the people and how they train. It's not GroupThink either; there is variety in the helperwork, philosophies on foundation (some wait with dogs, some don't), differences in how dogs are raised and managed (some kenneled, some house dogs), sometimes even some disagreements, but I feel that this is better for me and my dogs as a whole. We get a more "big picture" training experience, not just paying for a private lesson with my dogs. This is why I personally prefer a club. Also, the club I'm now training with hosts two trials a year. I am not just about getting titles and competing but at the same time it's important to put the training to the test and be rewarded for your accomplishments in training. I previously trained with an awesome group of people (ironically it was all girls/women except the helper) but sometimes felt stuck in a rut because we only had one helper and we were not a sanctioned club so we could never have our own events. For me the "beef" is the training but I also like to see results. My new club is pushing me to expect more of myself and think better of my dogs.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say check out some places. You really don't know what they are like until you experience them for yourself. My schH may seem "clicky" to outsiders because we are like a family. But we are welcoming and base our votes on people joining based on the PERSON not the dog. Dog's always change but people stay the same. We have dogs of all breeds.

My SDA group is the same way. At first I wasn't a huge fan of the group but I loved the trainer and they have some great info that I want. So I decided to stick in there. A couple months later and I am now part of the family and feel just as comfy with them as I do with my schH group.

So all I'm saying is if you're not liking whats going on you can always check out some different places. Go with an open mind as they are not your old group and see what happens. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
My advice is to go to where you think it's best for your dogs. I drive 2.5 hours each way to SchH training, and actually haven't gone in almost two months because of weather and holidays, but I feel it's the best place for my dog. I like the training, I like the people and how they train. It's not GroupThink either; there is variety in the helperwork, philosophies on foundation (some wait with dogs, some don't), differences in how dogs are raised and managed (some kenneled, some house dogs), sometimes even some disagreements, but I feel that this is better for me and my dogs as a whole. We get a more "big picture" training experience, not just paying for a private lesson with my dogs. This is why I personally prefer a club. Also, the club I'm now training with hosts two trials a year. I am not just about getting titles and competing but at the same time it's important to put the training to the test and be rewarded for your accomplishments in training. I previously trained with an awesome group of people (ironically it was all girls/women except the helper) but sometimes felt stuck in a rut because we only had one helper and we were not a sanctioned club so we could never have our own events. For me the "beef" is the training but I also like to see results. My new club is pushing me to expect more of myself and think better of my dogs.
My response would have been pretty much the same and Lies'.


I left my first club (where the breeder of my dog is TD) a year ago for reasons very similar to the ones you are describing (minus the new puppy thing). I went somewhere else and drive further and pay more, but it has totally been worth it and I wouldn't change my mind if ever given the option to do it over again. My new club offers so many different perspectives and approaches to training a difficult dog (like Aiden) and we have grown and learned so much in the last year with them alone.

It was scary leaving my first club because I had made friends there and the breeder of my dog was there and I felt that I would be hated, plus I knew nobody at the new club. But I still see old club members and the breeder from time to time at trials and its all fine between us. Bottom line is that it was in my best interest, as well as Aiden's, to switch clubs.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you work well with the decoy ask him for help. He may have loads of insight and might be a good trainer too.

Get some dvds from leerburg or some one decent and get your own sleeve and do your own thing.

Maybe some others at the clubs feel like you so you should try to hook up with some of them. I'm kinda the same as you. I done some obedience course at the local GSD club but they seem to not want non gsd dogs there. I've just got mutts but we'll show them lol.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do not have much to speak about actual training but when I visit or get in touch with clubs, and they seem to elitist or uninviting, I say thanks and do not return. Since I'm so neurotic, I have yet to find a club that I can stand.
It is supposed to be fun, for both you and the dogs. What's the fun in mulling over this like you are?
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Alyssa,

Don't give up if you truly want to pursue training. I have run the gamut from training with a group that was 20 mins away to a club that was 1 hr away to training with a club that is 7+ hrs away.

I am currently training with a pick up group of "misfits" our name for our little band of rogue people. We train together because we enjoy each other and our style of training compliments each other and pushes those of us wanting to compete but is also supportive of those whose aspirations are not about competing. I have recently joined a USA affiliated club that is 7+ hrs away. It was not my first choice to join a club....been there done that and have the scars to prove it.....but the level of experience and expertise outweighs my misgivings of belonging to another club.

There are people out there who are about training the dogs and not about abusing the members, padding their wallets or worse their egos. We just have to be dedicated to finding them.

Wishing you good training,
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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tricky there is more than one way to own a dog and don't let anyone think you are less valid cos yr not in a club. yr story has been repeated over and over on various forums all around the world, happened to me as well. evrything was fine untill i arrived with a puppy that i did not buy from the TD then it was all over. seems like a scam to me and it happens way to often to be a coincidence. you need a certain personality to be in a club and i lack that - wallowed in the twilight zone for awhile but then fell into my niche with a private decoy, there is always some overlap between clients departure and arrival so conversation has started and we kind of act like a club, gee i even helped a guy i only met at training for a few short conversations move into a new house, more than i bargained for lol.

so believe in yrself an defend yr dog but always be realistic about yr and yr dogs abilities and goals.

some people get a dog to do their sport with and some people do a sport for something to do with their dog, end of the day it's personal choice which is best for you.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I
Leave and go somewhere else... pay way more, drive much farther in my gas guzzler, spend less time doing it (with the added price, and time traveling... I wouldn't be able to do it as much or stay out there so long), and have no support because I'm a newbie, have a showline with less then spectacular nerves, dedicated but still only a hobby, and also I have a dog from another trainer in the area. So of course they will drag her down as "mediocre" and crucify her for every misstep. BUT, we would have SOLID pricing, stable rules and regulations (paperwork, files, etc.), training wouldn't be based on favoritism or "who's got the better dog", etc. It wouldn't be as flaky.

Just came back and read your post more carefully. Have you visited the other club yet? I'm just asking because as someone who has (and always will have) a show line dog, I can honestly say I've never had a club put me down (to my face or behind my back) because of my dog. I'm talking about 7 different clubs where I have trained regularly or visited (or trialed) at least twice. In fact, I've learned that *I* happen to be my dog's worst critic! My current club and some select members on this forum have been very supportive of my dog and not just in telling me that color doesn't matter, but helping me address real issues with real solutions and actually make progress. I also had a working line dog I didn't buy from any of the breeders at the club and have never felt that he was overlooked or felt I was being pressured to buy a club member's dog. I know it happens but until it does, I would not assume that it's going to....if that makes sense?

Besides, standards or not, everyone has a slightly different idea of what makes and ideal GSD. I haven't found being a club has been too competitive between club dogs. Some of the dogs I like, some drive me nuts. I'm sure others would say the same about my dogs. It's interesting to watch different people training and handling their dogs, and not just constantly comparing them to myself.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone... I'm putting a lot of thought into all the options out there. A few weeks off should clear my head to make the appropriate decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Just came back and read your post more carefully. Have you visited the other club yet? I'm just asking because as someone who has (and always will have) a show line dog, I can honestly say I've never had a club put me down (to my face or behind my back) because of my dog. I'm talking about 7 different clubs where I have trained regularly or visited (or trialed) at least twice. In fact, I've learned that *I* happen to be my dog's worst critic! My current club and some select members on this forum have been very supportive of my dog and not just in telling me that color doesn't matter, but helping me address real issues with real solutions and actually make progress. I also had a working line dog I didn't buy from any of the breeders at the club and have never felt that he was overlooked or felt I was being pressured to buy a club member's dog. I know it happens but until it does, I would not assume that it's going to....if that makes sense?

Besides, standards or not, everyone has a slightly different idea of what makes and ideal GSD. I haven't found being a club has been too competitive between club dogs. Some of the dogs I like, some drive me nuts. I'm sure others would say the same about my dogs. It's interesting to watch different people training and handling their dogs, and not just constantly comparing them to myself.
Here in Central FL, I've had a lot of people make comments. In the "working world" here, they are looked down on... ESPECIALLY with the protection people. Duke is also not the best representative of a GSD.... so, we get lots of comments and criticism. I've heard of some trainers declining them.

Regardless, I'm going to do what's best for us.... Just not 100% sure of what that is. I don't want to cut ties with my young one's breeder, cause I need him. I need to understand her still. She's a lot of dog, and I'm playing with fire.... I really don't want to get burned. He knows his lines well. So I'm nervous with going elsewhere and having bad feelings towards each other. But, I'll do what I have to do... and if that's what I feel is best... then so be it.

It's so complicated and everything is intertwined... Not sure any of the outcomes will be easy or go smooth. I have to make this one wisely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadLab View Post
If you work well with the decoy ask him for help. He may have loads of insight and might be a good trainer too.

Get some dvds from leerburg or some one decent and get your own sleeve and do your own thing.

Maybe some others at the clubs feel like you so you should try to hook up with some of them. I'm kinda the same as you. I done some obedience course at the local GSD club but they seem to not want non gsd dogs there. I've just got mutts but we'll show them lol.
I'm going to have our decoy work with me in bite work... but in OB, only the puppy can be around him. Duke doesn't like him. He would never be able to show me anything with him. lol

The reason I can't train on my own (for bitework) is Duke runs mostly on Defense. He has okay prey drive... but at the end of the day, he's Mr. Serious. He would never bite me. Sleeve or not.

But OB we will do here at the house.
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-Zira (01/09/11)
-Pakros von Jagenstadt "Duke" (01/06/10) -CGC
-Storm vom EnZ (05/16/12)
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