Meeting with Schutzhund Club - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Meeting with Schutzhund Club

So I'm meeting with one of the Schutzhund clubs in about an hour and a half to watch their training session and ask questions. Does anybody have suggestions for what questions I should ask? What should I be looking for in the training session? I'm new at this, sorry. I just want to be sure that if I go with a Schutzhund club I have put a significant amount of thought into it beforehand so I am prepared for anything.

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 06:59 PM
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Sorry you didn't get an answer. Many of us train on Sundays. How did it go?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 07:18 PM
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This probably doesn't help, but I'm more of a "go with my gut" than using a script of questions. First, I have to get along with the people. I don't care if they are God's gift to mankind, if I don't get along with them what's the point (don't have to be my best friends, but have to be people I'm glad to spend 8 hours with). So, I'd be getting a feel for the overall culture of the club. If there's anything that makes me really uncomfortable as far as the training methods, tools, treatment of the dogs or people, I don't really care what kind of explanation they can offer or how many years they've been doing it that way.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 08:11 PM
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I agree with Lies on making sure you feel comfortable around the people you might be training with. It's really important to be able to get along with the club members, otherwise you'll just hate going there and your dog's training will show it.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 08:21 PM
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So how did it go? I started to reply to your question earlier, then got side tracked

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
This probably doesn't help, but I'm more of a "go with my gut" than using a script of questions. First, I have to get along with the people. I don't care if they are God's gift to mankind, if I don't get along with them what's the point (don't have to be my best friends, but have to be people I'm glad to spend 8 hours with). So, I'd be getting a feel for the overall culture of the club. If there's anything that makes me really uncomfortable as far as the training methods, tools, treatment of the dogs or people, I don't really care what kind of explanation they can offer or how many years they've been doing it that way.
That's how I usually do things, and it's a good way of doing things too. Sometimes I fight with myself over it, for example, when a person looks great on paper and everyone raves about them but I get a really bad feeling about them when I meet with them. That's roughly what happened with the club I met up with. I'll talk more about it down below.

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I agree with Lies on making sure you feel comfortable around the people you might be training with. It's really important to be able to get along with the club members, otherwise you'll just hate going there and your dog's training will show it.
Yes, exactly!

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So how did it go? I started to reply to your question earlier, then got side tracked
It was... underwhelming. We got there and Pat started doing most of the talking, and they definitely knew their stuff, but it felt more like a bunch of people were hanging out than it felt like people were actually working towards a goal. I didn't like that. I'm the kind of person who needs to have a clear goal in mind or I lose direction. The person who ran it was never on the same page with me. I'd ask a question and she'd ramble on about something that was slightly related to my question but totally off tangent. Another thing that bothered me was all the club members that showed up were out in the snow working their dogs and the leader was just sitting in her car with the heat on watching. That was just NOT okay with me. The leader has to be out there with everybody else, IMO.

I'm not saying that they didn't know their stuff. They were just not the right fit for me at all. I remember after talking to them for five minutes I didn't want to be there anymore (despite the hour long drive). I just wanted to leave. If I had gone alone, I probably would have just left.

It's a tough call. They're 48 miles away from us. Another one is 42 miles away (in a completely different direction), and the one that everyone I've spoken to raves about is 68 miles away. Now I'm trying to meet up with both of the other ones to see how they do things. I need a club that pushes me to reach my goals. I don't necessarily want to be babied, and I know that you get from Schutzhund what you put into it, but I at least need to have some goal oriented atmosphere.

I'm hoping my meeting with the other clubs turn out better.

Viking vom Zeder-Kamme (11/19/2011)

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 08:42 AM
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Well if its not the right club, its not the right club... I train with two different groups/clubs and each has its quirks.

Just make sure you don't burn any bridges. You might find later that you want or need to train with them in the future...

Rob


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BR870 View Post
Well if its not the right club, its not the right club... I train with two different groups/clubs and each has its quirks.

Just make sure you don't burn any bridges. You might find later that you want or need to train with them in the future...
I didn't. I told them we'd keep in touch.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 11:00 AM
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I'm the same when when it comes to needing a goal to keep focused. It's tough because I'm probably about the same age as you,and not many people take me seriously when I train. Most people write off my suggestions and don't offfer me too much advice because I'm younger than them, and they just assume that I'm not serious so it doesn't matter what I do. But I have already been training for almost 3 years with different clubs, and I'm extremely dedicated, so it hurts my feelings sometimes. I've done tons of research and reading and traveled all over the place just to observe different training methods at different clubs. My last club treated me like a child. If I do something wrong, I want someone who has more experience than me (ie the helper or club president/leaders) to tell me how to do it the right way and fix what I have been doing. I want to be a better handler. When I would screw up at my last club, they would just let it go because I'm "young" and "young people can't be serious about the sport." Well IMO, that's no excuse for me, and since I wasn't making enough progress that I was pleased with (among other problems), I left that club. The new club that I train with now treats me exactly the same as everyone else there, and I am already seeing improvements in my dog, and in myself as a handler.

Its so important that you get along with the people there, but I also think its very important to need to be seeing progess in my dog and myself (if I'm spending my time and money on it.) I have seen quite a few clubs that are more of a social gathering and if that's not what you want to pay for, then I'd say stay away for sure.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 11:12 AM
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it takes all sorts. Some people like to be shown everything every step of the way. They need a plan, they want to be shown and do it. Others are the complete opposite and you get everthing in between Myself, I like watching and doing things on my own. If i'm really having a problem, I'll ask for opinions, but I still do it on my own. The only thing I hate more than those that sit on the sidelines and talk about how they'd do everything differently, is those that then feel the need to come out and tell you everything they'd do differently. Trust me, if you're doing something i want to do, I'll copy it or ask, otherwise STFU

Others in our club want to have someone there every step of the way and be told what to do next after every exercise they're working on. There are lots of places for people of all sorts of wants and needs to fit in a club dynamic. I hate my way or highway types though, I guess I wouldn't fit there
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