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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2014 10:02 PM
Originally Posted by middleofnowhere View Post
Some people train forced retrieves and now I've heard forced tracking. Not my cup o tea.
Be careful because "forced" does not necessarily mean harsh training. I don't know your training philosophy so I can't comment but I would go to see the training first hand and make a decision from there.

Good luck finding a club!
09-08-2014 09:51 PM
wolfmanusf I, personally, don't have a problem with pay to play in theory. I am lucky enough to be close to some good helpers in clubs, so I have not been forced to do it. I do make a few trips throughout the year to work with other helpers that I do have to pay for. I do this just to get a fresh set of eyes on something and to pick their brains.

The problem with pay to play for me would be getting ready for a trial. Many times the weeks leading up to trial I like training 3-5x per week. This can be pretty cost prohibitive with pay to play, and also may be hard to schedule sessions.
09-08-2014 03:57 PM
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
Paying helpers is not always the norm. There are some out there that actually do this for the love of the sport and because they enjoy working dogs.

I have been a part of a couple groups. One had low due's around $450 a year, and helpers were not paid. As a matter of fact I paid for all my own equipment. A group I'm with now, is more of a pay to play. As a helper I get a break on training cost and recently have also been getting equipment paid for. I'm also with a non sport group and the helpers are paid per dog worked. I don't do it to make money. I do it because I love it! More than handling actually.
09-08-2014 03:45 PM
lhczth I have been a member of 5 clubs. Only 1 was/is technically pay to play. The rest have helpers that do this because they love to work dogs and that is how they contribute. My last club did give the helpers a discount on dues which was pretty low anyhow.

Paying helpers is not always the norm. There are some out there that actually do this for the love of the sport and because they enjoy working dogs.
09-08-2014 11:28 AM
middleofnowhere So far I've been a member of two clubs.
Initially neither had helper fees.
First one was around 375 a year and 90 DVG dues. When we lost our helper, we had the option of working with a paid helper at $25 a session (which could be very short). The helper came through town a couple of times a month. Had access to the field 24/7 unless there was a seminar (they brought in trainers a few times a year).

Second club (I moved 2k miles) is $340 a year and includes DVG dues, no helper fee charged. Both training director and president are first rate trainers so no seminars needed.

$50 a month = $600 a year. I'd want to know what it includes. If you do pay monthly, you would have a chance to try it out for a few months, you could judge if it were paying off for you, decide to take a month's vacation when you are out of town, etc. (If that's allowed.)

On a good club -- I like the club where it is run by a person or a small group of people. Clubs with membership governance can be contentious. (Talk to people active in any dog club to hear about that.) How people train is important to me. techniques and methods - how much compulsion, etc.

Some people train forced retrieves and now I've heard forced tracking. Not my cup o tea.
09-08-2014 11:03 AM
martemchik If its just club might not include helper fees. You should check if that's included for sure. Most clubs have "membership fees" that then decrease the helper costs. Like instead of paying $10 a session if you're not a member, it's $5. You do get tracking/obedience included in the membership...but protection is separate a lot of times.

Most clubs like to compensate the helpers for coming out on a weekly basis. It's a lot of their own time, and they don't really get to work their own dogs. I'd question the fact that the helper is almost working for free for some reason in this situation.
09-08-2014 10:51 AM
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
Is that Nick and Tammy Blackford's place?
Yes, and they are very close to me. Like 15 minutes away.
09-05-2014 05:56 PM
wolfstraum If it is close, you like the people and have confidence in them, and are interested, it is VERY cheap!

I would give my eyeteeth to have someone good close, and be able to train regularly for 50 bucks a month!

09-05-2014 03:37 PM
lhczth Is that Nick and Tammy Blackford's place?
09-05-2014 12:59 PM
Liz&Anna 50 a month!!! That's so cheap!!! I pay around 150.00 a month, and before when I was training at Arrowwood shepherds I was paying almost 100 a week
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