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Old 07-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do I Have to Join a Club?

So I'm in the DFW area and there are just aren't that many clubs around. The couple I have checked out are either full or very small and not very welcoming to newcomers. Not to mention every club is at least 30 minutes to an hour or 2 away, and having Kody in the car that long is a nightmare. I don't think my legs and arms could take that many scratches from his nails aha. And lastly, every club I've talked to wants us to crate our dog in the car while the other dogs are working, but our crate doesn't fit in ourcar?? It's not like we can just go buy a mini van lol.

So basically if I want to get involved in Schutzhund, do I HAVE to join a club? I'm a good trainer and I know how to train dogs. The only thing is I'm not sure how I would find trials when I'm ready to compete, like get his BH and stuff? Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear that the two clubs you visited weren't inviting.

Unless your very lucky most of the time you are going to end up driving quite a ways for a club. The club I train with is 45 minutes away, and another one of the club members drives 2 hours one way.

Most clubs if not all require you to have your dog crated while they are not working. Maybe bringing a cage along and setting it up in a shaded spot and keeping it out of sight could work?

As far as your training capabilites, Schutzhund is a completely different monster than your standard OB. Its very nice to have lots of experienced club memebers and a Training Director give you pointers on what they see needs work and how to work your specific dog and what works for him.

So not necessarily do you have to join a club, but its very beneficial in the long run. Hope some of this helps
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nothing the clubs request is out of the ordinary. There are very good reasons as to why they request those things to be done. If you have your dog out and about…its sometimes not safe when there are dogs working off leash. Also…when your dog does start playing “the game” with the helper…there is a ton of excitement. They realize when other dogs start playing the game and they get excited. If they’re out and about, barking, lunging, watching the other dogs do the work…they get tired out really quickly and then don’t have the energy to do the work when it’s their turn.

There’s no way you’ll be able to train protection without a helper. To put it simply…the helper trains your dog in protection, you’re just a glorified post. The helper will react and change his/her action based on what he sees from your dog that day, that week, that month, ect. There is no way, someone who has never done the work, would be able to do this by watching videos and reading books. On top of that…it can be very confusing to the dog to be attacking/biting its handler/owner. That is unnecessary conflict…especially for a young dog.

To tell you the truth…the time commitment, and driving commitment, is the biggest hurdle in Schutzhund. If you’re not willing to make that commitment, it’s probably not going to happen. The majority of us drive at least an hour to get to a training facility…mostly because the type of work has to be done away from the public’s prying eyes.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can't just go buy a mini van but you can go buy a collapsible crate that fits in your car. If you don't want to do that then you're not committed enough and I'm sure that's why some of the clubs seemed unwelcoming.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I definitely understand that the dogs need to be crated while the others are working, but I can't really can't help that it doesn't fit in our car. I guess I'd have to see if there was somewhere else we could crate him.

Wow I totally forgot about the protection phase. Lol. No idea how that slipped my mind when I was considering this.

I guess I'll have to find a club for at least when we get to starting to train protection. I guess I'll just have to keep looking then... do clubs actually help you train? The ones I went to just had members take turns getting their dogs on the field and practicing obedience for a bit and maybe getting tips from one or two others there, but didn't offer us anything on getting started. At the end they had one of their dogs come out for protecton training and told me to hold Kody's leash and just let him bark at the helper and watch the dog bark and occasionally bite the helper, but then told us to put him away because he was too focused on the dog instead of the helper and they didn't want him to tire himself out. But they said they don't do protection training until the dog has its BH? I really just want to start learning more obedience for him right now. So idk if that was a good club or if most clubs are like this or what.

Last edited by Tulip; 07-08-2014 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simba405 View Post
You can't just go buy a mini van but you can go buy a collapsible crate that fits in your car. If you don't want to do that then you're not committed enough and I'm sure that's why some of the clubs seemed unwelcoming.
We have a collapsible crate but it doesn't fit in the car when it's opened up.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What kind of car do you have? Can't the dog just ride in the back seat and you can setup a crate behind your car when you arrive? I used to have a mid-sized sedan and used a wire crate that I would slide in flat and then pop open on the back seat. At that time, I drove 2 hours one way 2 times a week to do Schutzhund, sometimes got home at 2am.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What kind of car do you have? Can't the dog just ride in the back seat and you can setup a crate behind your car when you arrive? I used to have a mid-sized sedan and used a wire crate that I would slide in flat and then pop open on the back seat. At that time, I drove 2 hours one way 2 times a week to do Schutzhund, sometimes got home at 2am.
A... normal kind? I know dogs, I don't know cars. We tried doing that in ours and it didn't work :/

Just realized I missed the first thing you said. When we went to visit a club we did that. I just wasn't sure if a bigger club would be okay with us doing that?

Last edited by Tulip; 07-08-2014 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Your first experience is kind of weird. That's definitely not the way to start a puppy.

They should be willing to help you with obedience. Look for a club with an actual TD...the TD will help you train. If they have one, you might not have seen them out there if the people in the club are just far enough along that the TD's opinion isn't asked for.

It's rare these days that protection only starts after a BH...but probably not unheard of. For me, obedience and protection need to be in balance, and too much obedience at a young age will greatly deteriorate the power you see in the protection, too much protection and not enough obedience...will cause an out of control dog. The places I've been, start both phases together.

Basically, you'll need to join a club to start networking. Start figuring out where people live, where helpers live, and seeing if there are opportunities to work outside the club that are closer to you (very possible). But until you get in with a group, you don't even get a chance to figure those things out.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulip View Post
A... normal kind? I know dogs, I don't know cars. We tried doing that in ours and it didn't work :/

Just realized I missed the first thing you said. When we went to visit a club we did that. I just wasn't sure if a bigger club would be okay with us doing that?
I can't speak for the club, but if you genuinely cannot fit a crate in the car, yes it's going to be the only option. Especially where you live, leaving the dog in the car uncrated is not safe, way too hot considering the windows would need to be more than half up to keep the dog from jumping out, plus the dog will destroy the car. I used to carpool to schutzhund club, 3 adults, 5 dogs (4 of them intact male GSDs). We could only crate 4 of the dogs in the van, 2 people up front, 1 person and 1 dog literally sitting on the floor in the back. That dog would get crated outside the van once we arrived, behind the van so out of view from the protection work and covered with a shade.
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