Etiquette for attending trials - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Etiquette for attending trials

I have the opportunity to go watch my first Schutzhund this weekend. Dooney's breeder has told me about it, and that of course dogs must be on leash or kept in a crate in the car.

So I have a few questions, because I don't want to annoy/upset/distract or generally tick off the competitors or others.

Is this something I should bring Dooney with me to see? We have watched demonstrations and she has gotten excited during the decoy chase (I am sure there is a more technical term for it, just don't know what it is) she will probably bark- I will more than likely be able to get her to settle quickly, if not she could go in the car. but if ANY kind of barking will be frowned upon I dont want to consider bringing her.

Any other key points for a beginner- observer to keep in mind? I know not to ask to pet other people's dogs- pretty sure I have seen that on the boards somewhere.

Thanks for any positive input you can give me of the do's and don'ts!

Wendy
Dooney Von Pell- GSD 01/25/2011
Karma's Wycked Revenge- GSD 05/16/2012
Skye- WGSD 1991-2007
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:26 PM
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I think it depends on the situation. I most likely would not bring my dog with me. Unless the dog is participating in the trial then they will most likely just sit in the car the majority of the time and it could be a long day. Frantic and disruptive barking (at the trials I have attended) is generally frowned upon during the competing dogs routines, even by dogs who are participating in the trial. People with reactive dogs in the car are asked to park far enough away so that the dog doesn't pose a huge distraction to competitors. If you do want to bring her (if you were interested in joining the sport and possibly having her evaluated) I have often seen people bring their dogs onto the field after the trial, at the club director's discretion. In that case, I would just do as I said above and park far enough away that you don't have to really worry too much.

Bring money to contribute to lunch if you plan on eating the food provided. A lot of clubs cater and require a fee for food.

Bring a lawn chair/camping chair type thingy. And weather appropriate clothes. If it's raining, you'll still be stuck there.

Other than that, ask questions and have fun! I wish that it wasn't winter here and there were more trials closer to me. JEALOUS!

Feuergarten German Shepherds

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:26 PM
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I wouldn't take my dog to a trial I wasn't participating in, and if I did, Id put her in the car, just because I don't want my dog to distract the dogs/handlers on the field, or take away from my spectating experience by having to control her. I've never seen anybody have a dog out DURING the trial except the dogs on the field and I wouldn't be surprised if somebody asked you to put your dog away prior to the trial starting.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 07:30 PM
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No, don't take your dog.
Bring a chair to sit in(most clubs don't have seating available)/don't take pics unless you've already cleared it. If it is hot, an easy up is ok to bring too, if there is no shade. Clear setting one up though w/ the club first. Many times there isn't enough shade or rain shelter.
Support the club by buying any raffle tickets/food they may be offering.

And enjoy yourself! Listen to the critiques if possible, you can learn alot from that.

Jane~
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Last edited by onyx'girl; 02-07-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the info... if I do go, I won't bring her. Thanks for helping me to NOT look like idiot!!

Wendy
Dooney Von Pell- GSD 01/25/2011
Karma's Wycked Revenge- GSD 05/16/2012
Skye- WGSD 1991-2007
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 09:22 PM
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I've taken non-competing dogs to some events b/c sometimes they offer training afterward (like at Nikon's Schutzhund trial I saw probably 12 dogs that were not in the trial come out and train on the field afterwards, it was fun), but my dogs are always kept kenneled in the van (even those that ARE competing) unless it's their turn on the field for competition or training, not walking around or near the sidelines.

For smaller events I often bring snacks I can pass around like donut holes or a big bag of chips.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 09:31 PM
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If you plan on competing with your dog in the future, I would try bringing your dog to get her used to the environment and routine. But then again, it might be better to start that in a more controlled environment with shorter intervals.

Bring a chair and drinks. You make friends quickly when you share goodies Don't sit too close to the competitors. Support the club by buying lunch. Don't pet any dogs unless allowed. Don't bug anyone practicing. Have fun!

Ash
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 10:06 PM
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For a first trial, I would go alone, so you can focus on what is going on and not worry about your dog.
I agree with having an eval or training your dog after the trial at some events, but for the first one, go by yourself so you can relax and enjoy.
Make some contacts.
Then you'll regret that your dog isn't with you to show him/her off! But there will be plenty of time to do that when you go again, and again, and again!

One other thing, don't be put off by some of the attitudes of competitors...their mind isn't into socializing when trialing, and they may seem self centered or unfriendly due to trial nerves. So if you do converse with them, good idea to remember they are under some "in the moment" stress.

Jane~
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Last edited by onyx'girl; 02-07-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 10:08 AM
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All the above is the good advice that I followed (follow).....

I'd only add, be careful!! This sport can be addictive!

Have fun if you go and please post updates on your experiences and impressions too.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-08-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post

One other thing, don't be put off by some of the attitudes of competitors...their mind isn't into socializing when trialing, and they may seem self centered or unfriendly due to trial nerves. So if you do converse with them, good idea to remember they are under some "in the moment" stress.
I will definitely keep that in mind

Thanks again everyone!! I am a bit worried about addiction- LOL

Wendy
Dooney Von Pell- GSD 01/25/2011
Karma's Wycked Revenge- GSD 05/16/2012
Skye- WGSD 1991-2007
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