A Day in the Life of Schutzhund - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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A Day in the Life of Schutzhund

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to figure out if Schutzhund is something I can realistically and comfortably fit into my life. I'd love to get a day-to-day perspective on Schutzhund training. Would anyone be willing share how their most ordinary, typical day goes with Schutzhund as a part of it? I really am looking for the more mundane stuff since books seem to cover the 'hard core' theory and training very well, what I'm curious about is how Schutzund fits amidst kids, the other dog(s), work and everything else!

Thanks so much!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 11:51 AM
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SchH is three parts...Tracking, Obedience, and Protection.

I am a freak, in that every complains about tracking, and I love it. Independent of club, my dog and I track about three to four times a week, and we run through obedience as well. Our Sunday morning session is about two hours, a weekday session can be as short as an hour. (About 5 hours each week)

We train at club every Saturday, from about 8:30am to about 3:00 to 4:00pm. (With commute about 9 hours each week)

During the summer, we train at club every Wednesday from 6:00pm to about 8:00 to 9:00pm. (With commute about 4 hours each week)

With respect to obedience, nothing is free for my GSD, so we work little things all the time.....but you should be doing that regardless.

So I would say, 14 hours a week on the low end and 20 hours a week if it is a good week for us.

It really isn't training....it is a lifestyle.

Edit: I have five children, a high maintenance wife, and a demanding career too!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 11:58 AM
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Schutzhund in my day

I think you pose a very intriguing question and I am very interested to read the other responses as well.

Living in snowy Michigan, my winter routine has turned out to be a bit different than my fair weather routine. In fair weather, I also include tracking and obedience outside. 2 -3 days per week and follow the same routine as cold weather the other days. Friday evenings and training day routine is considerably different for me, so I included that too.

Fair Weather
  • Go to work
  • Come home and get gear and load up Bison
  • Drive to the park (or our church)
  • Lay out track
  • Read a book or crochet while track ages
  • Run the track
  • Rest Bison and put away tracking “stuff”
  • 15 – 20 minutes of obedience
  • Eat dinner and do other evening stuff (grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry...)
  • 10 – 15 minutes of obedience in the kitchen
  • Cut tracking treats
  • Bed time
  • Play catch or tug before turning off the light. Usually working on “out”.

Winter Weather (Off days in fair weather)
  • Come home from work
  • Let the dogs outside
  • Play fetch outside or tug inside
  • Practice obedience for 10 – 15 minutes
  • Eat dinner and do other evening stuff (grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry...)
  • Practice obedience for 10 – 15 minutes
  • Bedtime
  • Play catch or tug before turning off the light. Usually working on “out”.
Friday Night- Same as winter weather routine plus washing and setting out all the winter clothing for training, chopping tracking treats, packing a lunch, checking that all leashes, collars, and tugs are in the truck, fill water bottle for Bison, and pack everything up for morning.

Saturday- Gone to training typically from 7:45 – 4:00 including travel time. Come home and put away all the training gear, change clothes...collapse.

I also do "nothing in life is free" so we practice obedience throughout the day such as sitting and focusing before released to eat or sitting before going outside.

Bison (Indo vom Triton) CGC
Grizzly vom Buchonia
RIP- Bear*Gator*Moose

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 01:44 PM
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Typical non club day:

Get up let Dazzle out and in, feed breakfast. After my shower usually do 5-10 minutes of indoor ob including fast sits/downs. Play tug and practice out/self control with toy. I head off to work. Come home at lunch time and repeat morning routine. After work and 2nd job, get home do the dinner feeding and play. Include a 15 min ob session along with romping and playing on the bed.

Club/training days on Tues and Sat. Tuesday do all the usual stuff after work, DH meets me at work with my truck and Dazzle we head off to 2nd job and then on the training. At training field we do ob and protection training. Saturday depending on start time we do usual am routine and then off to training with ob and protection. Once a month we do an all day training session with 2 rounds of protection. Usual training session last from 6 p.m. to 12:00 including travel time. All day sessions last from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. with travel. We try to track 2 to 3 times per week also.


Cain von Hena-C, VPG A, TT 10/19/2003 - 12/17/2009
Gone but not forgotten.

Dazzle von Linienbach, 02/07/2009
Learning the ropes.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 01:56 PM
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We have club training Sat + Sun mornings and Tuesday evenings. On Sat and Sun we train all 3 (tracking, OB and protection) whereas Tuesday nights is a different field and OB + protection only.

For both days of the w-end we leave home at 6:45AM to arrive at the tracking fields at 7:30. After tracking we load up and go to the OB and protection field around 8:30-9AM. By 11AM we are typically done and get home noonish. Tuesday nights we leave around 6:30 PM and are back by 10PM.

The 4 remaining non club training days we work on OB about twice a day and include tracking one morning or evening. Overall it takes 15-20 hours per week at the minimum for several years to make a dog ready to trial (if lucky), assuming you are raising a pup.

Pretty serious commitment so very important to get 2 key ingredients right,
1: The right dog
2: The right club

Gnash von den Sportwaffen IPO3x2, AD, HOT
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 02:47 PM
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Keep in mind I am currently working 2 11 month old dogs and my 5.5 year old female who is AWD1 SchH2. Most work with Vala is maintenance and fine tuning stuff. The two young dogs are not doing protection yet.

Sunday in winter:
Club day. Drive to barn so I am there by 10 AM. Work Vala and Donovan in obedience. Vala 2 rounds of protection. Get home around 3:30 - 4:30 PM.

Leave at 5 PM. Do some jumping work with Vala, help with agility classes, take agility class with Deja. Get home at 10:30.

Leave at 6 PM. Teach a lesson at 6:30. Obedience class with Donovan at 7:30. Get home around 9:20.

I also usually take the dogs hiking for 40 minutes.

Leave at 3-3:30 PM. Work Vala in obedience. Watch friend's agility lesson. Work Donovan and Deja in obedience. Assist two KPT classes. Get home about 8:30.

Club at 7 PM. Work Vala and Deja in obedience. One round of protection for Vala. Get home 9:30-10.

Friday: Usually do some quick obedience with Vala while throwing the ball. Also a short round with Donovan and/or Deja.

Saturday, repeat above.

In the summer the club meets at 5 PM for tracking on Thursdays and I will work all three dogs. Sundays we meet at 8 AM (or earlier if it is hot) and I again track all three dogs. I also track 1-2 more times during the week (usually Tuesday and Wed or Friday). I can track right here so I don't have driving time.

If you have to drive you may have an hours worth of driving time and then another 45-70 minutes for the tracks (depending on how long you age them). With a puppy obedience may take 5 minutes a few times per day. An adult dog 3-4 10 minute sessions per week or even a few short ones every day. I do not do obedience very day and never have. Protection is only done at the club and the rounds don't last long, but the club days are time consuming.

Lisa Clark

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SG1 Deja IPO3 AWD1 KKL1 B/HOT, SG Elena IPO1 KKL CGC B/HOT, LB (the ugly little sable) IPO2 TR3 KKL B/HOT, Jarka (up and coming) BHOT, and gone but not forgotten,
Vala SchH3 AWD1 FH2 CGC B/HOT, Donovan IPO1 TR2 AD, Nike SchH1 OB1 TR3 AD CGC HOT, Treue SchH3 CD CGC HOT

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 11:22 PM
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Our club meets on Sundays throughout the year. The only difference is we don't do tracking once the snow hits & we move training to an indoor location.
Winter training goes from about 9am to 2pm. I drive about 2:30hrs each way.
We do two round of OB for each dog. If only a few people come, we usually can squeeze a third round of OB in.
We also do two rounds of protection for each dog.
After training we usually have a brief discussion on that days training.

The rest of the year we meet at a different location. Yay I only have to drive 2hrs each way.
Training starts at 8am for tracking. Every person lays their own tracks for their dogs. We track one dog at a time. After tracking we meet at a local ballpark for OB & protection work.
All dogs get two rounds of OB work and unless it's extremely HOT we do two rounds of protection also.
We finish by about 3pm.

My home routine doesn't change too much during the year, except the lack of tracking once it snows. I still practice OB stuff both in & outside on a daily basis. Not long, about 5-10 min a couple times a day. I still take my dog with to stores, library, barn, etc. & work on OB/focus whenever the chance arrives. I don't do any protection work at home.
My training schedule at home will more than likely change as my pup gets older. He's only 9 months old, so most of it is still "play" & focus type stuff.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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WOW! I had guessed this sport was a major commitment now I know for sure. Thank you for sharing!
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