How do we get started? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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How do we get started?

We have a Beast. We call him Beast (very lovingly). When he came to us (as a foster) we had him evaluated for entry to police training...they LOVED him. He had a birth defect that was purely cosmetic (we had him evaluated by FIVE separate specialist just for this issue- told it was cosmetic and could not justify the pain/recovery/something goes wrong potential to correct for cosmetic issue) for which he was rejected entry. Concerns were expressed over departemental ability to cover him with insurance with such a defect present. They offered to help us with training him. The next day he tore a ligament and the road to recovery was long. Since then people have changed and the training offer is no longer there.

This dog NEEDS more than his life now. He grows more and more anxious on a daily basis and based on how he is when he is really engaged vs not I think a key to helping the anxiety is the only thing we have not yet been able to add- an activity. We practice basic commands daily. We jog with him and walk him. We play in the yard. Someone here suggested a treadmill (and we use it).... We play games (like a shell game- hiding treats under a cup, mixing it up and finding; hiding treats and telling him to find, etc). He has HIGH prey drive (poor kitty likes to play- stressful combination for the humans) We medicate him to help wth stress. We changed his diet. We keep trying to find ways to give him the optimal life- the one that fits his needs.

I started looking for other "activites" and found ONE schutzhund trainer in our area. I have contacted this facility numerous times over the past year and can never get any contact beyond a general reply email (they NEVER return phone calls). I am thinking we need to try on our own.....

What would you suggest (perhaps that I am CRAZY and need to drive states away for a professional?)? Is there a good video? A book? Some basics I just need to know that I will never find out anywhere unless someone tells me? Is there something better than schutzhund (ie better for an idiot like me- I am pretty sure the dog would excell)? Are there some basics beyond basic obedience I need to have set solid before we begin?
HELP PLEASE

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 02:57 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

Your in Jersey! There should be plenty of schutzhund opportunities in your area, maybe not in your area but maybe within 1 hour away or so!

Have you given thought to agility? an agility course is something you can build in your back yard!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 07:56 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

How much general obedience class training have you taken advantage of? Have you considered agility? Herding?

BOTH of those involve our dogs minds and help wear them out, though I'm a bit more prejudiced towards agility.

You live in an area with TONS of places you can take your dog and both learn the new sport. Doing the research to find the best places is the challenge. Since NJ is a big state and you didn't narrow it down a bit............. I can give you suggestions for places to train in northern NJ.

Obedience/Agility http://morrisk9campus.com/index.asp

Herding http://www.raspberryridgesheepfarm.com/index.aspx

Videos of GSD's in agility http://www.youtube.com/user/Maggieroselee




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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 09:07 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

There really isn't any dog sport that you can successfully train using books or videos. You need to find a training facility or club to work with.

Also important to keep in mind that dog's aren't very picky about what sort of training they do. They value the exercise, mental stimulation and time working with their owners, but whether those things come from training in agility, herding, obedience or SchH doesn't much matter to them. So in looking for ways to give "Beast" a job, the options are wide open for you to find something that you are interested in and will enjoy, and that is logistically feasible given your location and schedule. A great way to start is to visit training facilities and clubs for all sorts of different sports, and see what strikes your fancy.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do we get started?

Our two other dogs herd- this one is not really suited for herding (at least the place we herd does not seem to enjoy his intensity and have made it clear they do not think he is a herding dog). We have some agility stuff left from another dog (she died a few years ago- it has been hard to think of the activity without her ). We have worked with a training facility with him for about two years now (mostly just to keep him around other dogs). They are the ones who suggested the schutzhund place we have been trying to contact. We have tried flyball and agility there as well as the obedience courses he just keeps repeating. They are the ones (along with the original facility) who suggested that schutzhund was going to be the activity for him.

We live pretty "deep" in southern New Jersey- we are not near the parkway or turnpike (I would need to drive about 45 minutes to an hour to get on)- in the middle of nothing (our town is about 4 streets big). I drive about 140 miles a day to take my son to school so I am happy enough to drive anywhere- I just need some place that will actually respond to calls/emails! Any suggestions would be most welcome....

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 07:13 PM
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Re: How do we get started?

Can you post what town you're in or near, and I will try to help you find someone!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 08:33 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

Where in jersey are you located. I'm in Northern Jersey.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How do we get started?

Let's see...Vineland is pretty big and it is about 30 minutes or so from me... the link to the Bangor, PA site according to mapquest is 119 miles (2.5 hours) from me and the one to the Randolph facility is 112 miles (also 2.5 hours) just to give an idea....

I emailed a few people from a google search but have not heard back. It has been two days, so I will now call (I don't want to be rude but I want to follow up and just see what is available).

ETA:
My google search shows T.Floyd and Carlos Rojas as somewhat close (well, actually the only ones that show up when I search southern new jersey schutzhund)

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 12:04 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

Here are the 2 schutzhund organization's club lists for the area.

http://germanshepherddog.com/clubs/north_eastern.htm

http://www.gsdca-wda.org/clubs.htm

I will send a PM with a phone number to try for someone I think would be good!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-02-2009, 09:16 AM
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Re: How do we get started?

You also might want to PM Clifton Anderson here on the board. He's in NJ and has a group he trains with but I don't think they're an official club so they wouldn't be on the national organization websites.


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