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?
-Pakros von Jagenstadt "Duke" (01/06/10) -CGC
-Storm vom EnZ (05/16/12)
Last edited by TrickyShepherd; 01-21-2013 at 03:27 PM.