New in Michigan
I thought I should introduce myself. Long time fan of GSDs, my first competition dog was a GSD in SchH. Got him when I was 18 and I've always had a soft spot for them.
Was a helper at that age too, before I got my first competition dog. Eventually I wanted to do try other things I moved into French Ring (dang Leerburg videos) and PSA it was a combined club which was a lot of fun.
I had 2 other dogs after my GSD that I trained (a young Mal female) who was an absolute thrill to work with and I thought I really had something special. She was a blast to work with. Well her esophageal valve stopped developing as the rest of her grew so she was constantly dealing with in acid reflux. The vet at Michigan State University showed me the footage and you could see the contrast just sloshing up from her stomach when she put her head down and back to her stomach when she lifted it so putting her down was the only option we had.
I got another Mal from what I thought was a no brainer breeding. I'd worked his father, and he was a top level contender in French Ring and earning an invitation to the Selectif's in France (which is their Championships) but he lacked the nerve to carry through in protection work in Ring or PSA so I washed him. And before anybody says anything I MIGHT have been able to get him through IPO but it would be a struggle every time we got onto the field to get pass in the protection phase.
Plus at that point my wife was pregnant and I knew I didn't have the time to commit to training like I did. So he found a great forever home. The frustration and heartache of those 2 dogs (the male was 18 months old and I got both of them at 9 weeks) and starting a family I realized honestly needed a break. Upset a number of my dog friends when I did but honestly I just needed to take a breather.
The love of protection sports and being a helper/decoy has never left and I'm seriously starting to think in the not so distant future here I'll be back catching dogs and training seriously again. I still jump in the suit or pick up a sleeve to help a close friend but its occasional but I'm always there to help.
I'm currently training a 6 year old Golden Retriever for AKC hunt tests (something else I'd always wanted to try and got him at 10 weeks) and while its fun and something I can do by myself I miss working a protection sports dog.
With the kids in school and with my schedule I've got quite a bit of downtime and I'm really thinking about getting back to my roots, what first drew me to protection sports and train in IPO again with a GSD which is what brought me here.
I realized that the kind of Malinois I was looking for I don't want to have again. I've always loved the big sables and the DDR & Czech line dogs. When I get my next dog I'm after a balanced dog with good drives but not over the top like a Malinois. I've never had kennel dogs, they've always been in the house and part of the family. A dog that is social and tolerable in the house like that but on the weekends giving full grips on a sleeve. My GSD was like that and that's really want I want again.
Malinois are impressive when they come at you at Mach 4 and an absolute thrill when your catching them but the day to day with them? No thank you. I've got the ripped clothes, scars, and trashed house to prove it.
So I'll be lurking here and hanging out easing myself back in. Until I find that pup so we can work on IPO III FH2 (or now they even have IPO FH) then its on again!
Thank you for letting me join this forum I really do appreciate it.
Welcome from SW,MI.
A friend I train with does the field hunt tests too(with retrievers). She's traveling often to the east side of the state to train, but travels everywhere for the tests.
The state needs more helper/decoys, so get the whip crackin!
But, alas, you aren't on the west side....seems like traveling into the sun(each way) is a given for me!
Check out Wildhaus, they don't breed often, but when they do it is worth the wait.
welcome on this board, simply enjoy the stay here and make it memorable one for us
Welcome, new here meself :)
Hi there :) I'm from Michigan as well :)
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