Looking for advice on Schutzhund in Michigan - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice on Schutzhund in Michigan

Hello everyone! I used to be a member here but I forgot my password and username long ago, so I created a new account.

I writing this because I am very interested in schutzhund. I have a 10 month old German shepherd who is not from any kind of special bloodlines. His parents were both working dogs, as in they actually lived on a farm and herded cattle and sheep, but they have no titles under their belt, nor have they ever been entered into competitions. Is it realistic to try to do schutzhund with this dog I have if he has no schutzhund in his background?
I have looked into other sports with him, but I just honestly don't have the same interest for those sports that I have for schutzhund. I have zero experience in it, so this will be my first time exploring the sport. I currently do tracking with my male, but not competitively. Its basically just a hobby I do with him, and he seems to be very good at it. However, I am so inexperienced, what do I really know? He could be terrible at it, and it could just be my perspective that he's great at it.

What I do know for a fact is that he has an extremely high drive. He has endless energy, is highly food and toy motivated, and thrives on literally any kind of activity. But I am nervous that if I try to take him to a schutzhund club, I will be laughed out of it due to my dogs lack of history in the sport. I am afraid that I will not bae taken seriously.
Should I pursue joining a club? Or do you guys think it would be too much for myself and my dog to take on? Its something I have really developed a passion to want to do, I'm just not sure how I will be received. I have had the opportunity to visit a club once, and I thought it was a lot of fun! It was obvious everyone liked and respected each other.

How accepting are schutzhund clubs of new members? And will they laugh at my dog and I?
I am 27 years old and I am currently working at a pet store while earning my associates in veterinary technology, so I am very familiar with the world of dogs, just not this particular aspect. I just want some opinions on whether I should go for this or if I should forget it for now, until I get a dog with schutzhund titles in his family tree. I appreciate any advice!

I've included some pics, perhaps you guys could tell me if he has what it takes physically? Lol I'm not sure if that's something you could tell by looking at his pics or not, but I have heard that some gsds are not physically suitable for work, so I guess its worth asking! The first two were taken today. He's over the breed standard height wise, at 27 inches, and weighs about 75 lbs.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 12:33 PM
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You have to start somewhere. Find a club near you and have him evaluated. Even if he's not suitable for protection phase, you can still do obedience and tracking while learning the sport.

You have lots of Michigan people on here. Jane, Chris Wild, Lisa Clark - any of these three can point you in the right direction.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice! Do you know how I would go about getting him evaluated? Can I just contact any of those members and ask then? And do you know which one would be the closest to Oakland county? Thanks again!
He's not a skittish dog, but he does love people and animals a lot, so I'm unsure if he would perform bite work or not. He has contradicting traits. He's overly protective when someone is acting threatening, and is very intense, and yet he gets downright goofy when someone friendly wants to pet him. I'm just not sure what to think of him when it comes to bite work.
Is he still young enough to be introduced to schutzhund?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 03:12 PM
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My boy loves people and other animals too and he's great. They are not contradicting traits because you are trying to compare temperament to drives.

Mine has been introduced to Schutzhund since he was 8 weeks old. It starts with obedience, imprinting tracking, flirt pole, rag work.

Yes, you can contact any of them thru here.
Here's another thread about IPO in Michigan and both Jane and Lisa have commented.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2014, 05:09 PM
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Your dog is not too old. I would contact a club and have him tested.

Jane, Chris and I all train with the same club. We are west of Ann Arbor just south of 94. You would talk to Chris about our group.

For Oakland county I might contact Metro Detroit first.

The other clubs can be found:
United Schutzhund Clubs of America

Capitol Area SchH club is also a good club. They are a longer drive on the weekend, but close one day during the week. Jane goes there too.

Lisa Clark

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