The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Re: Schutzhund Club visit, what am I looking for?
Hmmmm, can't think of any specific questions to ask . . . . I guess it has been too long since I was a rank beginner.
What I meant about asking a lot of questions, is to ask questions about what people are doing as you observe them training their dogs. What is this dog doing? Why are they doing this? How can you tell that the dog is doing X and not Y? Why is the helper letting dog A get a bite almost right away, but making dog B bark for ever before he gets to bite? and so on - Asking questions will force you to think about what is going on - it can be quite overwhelming at first - but you will see that there is method to the madness in front of you, and asking questions will show the club members that your are interested in learning and figuring things out.
Specific questions would be about the goals of the club - I checked their website, and they mention that they expect their members to work towards titles - this tells me that they do not want members who just come out to have a fun day with their dogs but have no personal goals to title - and that's okay, if that is okay with you too.
My question for the above would be, what do they consider a title? Will they only take members who will work towards a SchH 1, or will a BH, or just working on Tracking, Obedience titles also be accepted? Or a SchA (Obedience and Protection parts together, no tracking), etc? I might ask about fees and dues - but just to get a general idea of what it will cost you, you wouldn't want to dwell on money too much if you are just getting general info.
I would ask about probation periods. Most clubs will want you to come out X amount of times just to observe, without your dog. Then after commiting to the club, you may be on a probation period for few months before being voted in as a full member. Probationary periods are just to make sure that you are a good fit to the club. Ask about containement requirements - most clubs will expect you to crate your dog when not being worked, and expect the excited barking to be under control as to not be an annoyance to others, and so on.
Hoping that other people can offer specific suggestions as to what questions you could ask. I don't think there is really any question that is "inappropriate". I'm sure people will be happy to help you out.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015