Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

I am seeking a situation where Grimm and I might be welcomed to train in a supportive environment. My goal is to better our bond, improve teamwork around distractions, and to keep an open mind to learning whatever might help us with functioning better as a team. My secret fantasy would be to someday work towards a BH with Grimm. That looks complicated, and difficult, and like it would take a long time and lots of guidance. I think what I would enjoy most of all is the invaluable time training with my Grimm up to that point, enriching our bond, even more than earning the title itself.

I am receptive and open to learning. I am, however, non-competetive. Would a club prefer to not have a member who isn't trial-focused? I understand that when a trial comes up, much more time must be given to those who trial. But, in watching, I may learn, too... anything at all-- that may help our bond is gold to me.

My other concern is: What can someone who is non-competetive GIVE to a club? What can I give, provide, help with? I would be taking too, in benefiting from guidance. I crave learning anything to make Grimm and I do better together-- but what can someone who doesn't compete and is not experienced give back?

I want to find a situation where there is a way for me to give back to a club who might provide guidance for Grimm and I. Set-up of field equipment? Clean-up or financial or food contribution if there are shared meals on club days? Make fliers on the computer at home? Help find sponsors for events? I cannot drive, so as it is, I will be coming in trying to find a ride to training. So, a club may not ever happen at all. But if it does-- what can someone who is inexperienced bring to the club to give, help out, support the club and give back?

Would we even be considered as members in most clubs at all?

PS-- My donatable talents are rather limited. I can illustrate fliers, and can translate German-- even lots of really fast swear words.

Patti
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 05:35 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Patti, I would think it really depends on the club. Some clubs are VERY motivated by titles and national/internations trials and others have people that are much like you. They want to work their dogs and create a great bond/working partnership some will trial, some will not. It would not hurt to ask a club.

You have a LOT to give in the way of moral support!


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 05:42 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

From the stories I've heard about how many more clubs there are there than here, and thus how much more activity in this popular venue there is, if I were there, I'd be looking for clubs everywhere, and then pose these questions to them, see what happens. Chances are you will find something you can walk to!

Just go for it! If you see folks working dogs, watch awhile. If you like what you see, speak up. Ask around to help find them, when they meet where, and see if you aren't quickly pleasantly surprised.

And do keep us posted on your adventures!


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Dog, actually, I will be looking in Massachusetts for a club. One of the best SchH clubs EVER is in MA, but may not be near where I will settle (not sure what area in MA yet), so I may end up closer to a different club in MA than the excellent club I know of.

Ruq, thanks for the encouragement! I think most of the draw is the process itself in increasing our bond through the training. Getting the actual BH would be nice, but seeing Grimm learn and grow and having our bond improve... priceless.

I also think tracking would interest both Grimm and I! Anyway, I don't know how best to serve a club being inexperienced, no car, not wealthy.. but there must be some way to give back and support the club anyway. But again, not being competetive, and needing a lift, I may never be able to join a club anyway. We'll have to see what's available in MA I guess.

Patti
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:20 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Different clubs have different focuses. I can't speak for others but ours requires members to be committed to working their dog in Schutzhund and doing all three phases. We want to be focused, but at this point are not super competitive. We have people with 8 week old puppies that are their first dog, up to people training for the SchH3 and someone competing nationally. It is really spread out but everyone is there to train in SchH and earn SchH titles, even if the dog would just be a "club level" dog. The reason is because it is a "club", not like a regular dog training class where there is an instructor in charge and you can take or leave what they say. With a club, everyone is expected to be involved and helping everyone else. The TD should not be doing all the work and always have to tell everyone what to do. When we get people that aren't really committed to the sport, or show up just for extra practice or whatever, it kinda takes away from that "club" mentality.

As far as what you can give, well you can show up on time each time. To me that is important. Again, with the whole "club" mentality, I am always uncomfortable skipping sessions even for a good reason (unless my dog is sick or injured) and I never leave early b/c think of how it would be if everyone just left when their dog's turn was over. I am a newbie too but my role is the "secretary", so I keep track of sign-ins, make sure everyone signs waivers, basically do all the paperwork, and I also update our web site. I can't really help work dogs but I can do pretty much anything else. I try to just be a good example by being there on time and staying the whole time, getting my dog out and working if everyone is standing around, and doing what the TD says (I never understand people who come and argue with everything the TD says....why pay to join a club if you disagree with the training methods?!!).

You may only want to dabble now but maybe you'll get hooked! When Nikon was a puppy he went once every other week and now it's 1-3 times a week (almost 2 hours each way).
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:44 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Patti,
I'm curious to know if you find a club in MA that suits your needs. I would be interested, for I may have the same needs as you and can only offer an extra pair of hands to a club. I can shovel dog poo.

Jedi is only 11 weeks old, but he seems to have a real motor on him when his "on" switch is flipped. I ask my breeder if SchH would be an option for him if we find he needs a constructive outlet for his energy when he grows up. Her answer wasn't all that positive, saying that most New England clubs have closed their membership because of limited resources. Others have told me that some clubs are very "political" ,although I'm not sure what that means.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 07:46 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

It does depend a lot on the club, but many clubs are open to non competitive people. Some clubs are small and don't have the resources to deal with a lot of members, period. Others don't have the type of people that are good at working with novice handlers. Some just want competition goaled members. Most clubs are not set up for teaching like an obedience class and do expect people to at least be training towards something like a BH, TR, OB, FH or the SchH titles.

What can you offer? Help. Putting out blinds, putting out dumbbells, spotting, being part of the group, playing judge, cooking or bringing food, and way too many others things to mention that are needed during a trial. People that give back to the club are usually welcome in all, but maybe the most competition only clubs.

Lisa Clark

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 08:28 AM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Brightelf Set-up of field equipment? Clean-up or financial or food contribution if there are shared meals on club days? Make fliers on the computer at home? Help find sponsors for events?
Yep yep yep!!! These are all things that have to be done, not exciting things but someone has to do them. I've never done a SchH trial, but have done plenty of other sorts of dog trials and if SchH is similar, trials are a LOT of work. A club that is already hosting trials would probably love more hands on deck to help, especially if your dog is not competing yet so you are not distracted by competing.

My friend and I often carpool and our club is nearly two hours away, so you may be able to find a ride, especially if it is a long drive. People like to have company.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Thank you all for the responses! You haven't scared me away yet, either. I'll continue reading if more decide to post, I'm keeping my opinions and mind pretty open.

Patti
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 02:38 PM
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Re: Non-competetive Schutzhund newbies?

Where in MA are you looking to settle? I work at a kennel part time and the owner is involved in Schutzhund, he trains, breeds, and imports GSDs. Hes been involved with GSDs for 30 years, Im sure you could talk with him about what clubs would be good for you, that is if you moved near me or him.

Also, if you moved near me, we could be training buddies lol, I train my dogs all by my lonesome LOL

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