I have been visiting several clubs in my area, and have my eye on two of them.
The first club practices at a local park and fair ground twice a week. It seems pretty easy going, every body was super nice. I talked with the trainer extensively, I really liked what he was saying and the things I saw both him show me and do with the dogs. I asked specifically about training a regular puppy vs. a puppy for schutzhund, what would the differences be etc? He says really a puppy should have manners, etc... he doesn't necessarily focus on OBEDIENCE at a super young age, but more socialization, teaching manners, drive building, etc... I asked them if I did get the pup and was interested, when would I start. They said first thing, start bringing the pup from day one. Even though obviously we wouldn't really be "training", the pup would be around a lot of people that knew how to socialize and interact with that type of dog. The other perk/problem with this club, I've had my heart set on training with a gentleman I did some training with 4 years ago. I especially like his prices, he's a schutzhund judge, has done training for police departments, etc... I would just be concerned going to one club but then training with a completely outside person. What if their methods/thoughts are different?
Second club is actually also a training facility that has their own schutzhund field, along with their own agility field. Agility is something I've also been interested in, so I would have easy access to both. This club seemed a lot more structured, largely because they actually had their own field/area. The couple that owned it were very nice, along with the trainers/helpers. The other member weren't all as talkative, but I still had a few people talking with me and joking around. They were doing protection work whereas the other club had been working on obedience when I was there, so it's hard to completely compare their methods. This club also does ring sport, so I would potentially be able to do both or one over the other if I prefered. Outside of a few members that had been doing the sport for YEARS, they said the majority of their members were first time competitors that had simply started doing puppy classes and been interested in the sport. As far as training, starting, etc... they said I would not start with the club right away but rather start in puppy training with schutzhund as an obvious mindset, and then when the dog gets a little older start training with the club as well (I believe they feel around 4-6 months). Downfall, I wouldn't be able to train with my old trainer whom I adore, but when this couple first started training they told me they did a lot of work with him. Also the club price annually is the same as the other, but the training is a lot more expensive then my old trainer.
Sorry for that little ramble... I think at this point I am leaning more towards the second club, but I was wondering if anyone with more experience would have some advice/a little bit better input.