What is a Schutzhund club supposed to do? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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What is a Schutzhund club supposed to do?

We went to one a few years ago when Kody was younger (he was probably around 1 yr old at the time?). They were the only one nearby within an hour or two, and we met at someone's house out in are rural area with a ton of land, and they had me keep Kody in his crate while we watched the other club members work bite work with a decoy (and one person far in the back working on long distance and duration down stays). At the end, they had one of their people hold back their dog and bark at the decoy, and had me take kody out and attach his leash to his flat collar instead of his prong, and told me to just stand there and hold his leash while he watched the other dog bark at the decoy. After a couple minutes they told me to put him up because he was just barking at the other dog, not the decoy. They didn't say anything about doing anything else next time or what to do or anything, so we didn't go back after that. The club consisted of probably like 10 people and maybe 6 other dogs. There were 1 or 2 other german shepherds, and the rest were Black Russian Terriers or Giant Schnauzers. They all already had perfect focused heels and were working on bite work with no problems.

Is this what a club is supposed to do? I thought they were supposed to help you train your dog. I've been thinking about trying to find another one now that I'm older and can go by myself (and therefore distance isn't as much a factor), but I have to eliminate Kody's car anxiety and leash reactivity first, so it'll be a while anyways. Is 5 yrs old too old to start? He knows all his basic commands except the focused heel, it's just a matter of proofing them and teaching him nose work and bitework.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Feel free to move this thread, didn't see the Schutzhund/IPO section at first

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 02:51 PM
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Even though Kody is 5 you can still work him in the tracking and obedience phase, if he has the protective gene in him, he can be worked in that phase as well, though he may be inhibited and need someone very experienced to work him in the bitework.

Clubs sometimes don't have the time resources to help the new people learn the sport. They are too busy doing their own thing and helping a newbie isn't a priority for them.
It is always up to the person going, to learn as much as possible on their own, with other club members supporting and guiding during club time....but they can't be responsible for 'training the trainer'. That would come with private lessons if you are willing to pay someone who is experienced guide you. Especially when it comes to the retrieves.
My own club has always tracked together, we spot each other and will lay tracks for the teams that need that. Not all clubs track however. One group I trained with was a pay to train, and they never ever tracked together, and often they would fail tracking in trials.

When I started out, I club hopped with my young dog. I didn't stay on the same program and it was detrimental to our progress. Luckily my dog was not messed up by my lack of knowledge and I was with decent people for the most part. But I learned that it is my responsibility to keep my dog safe, and try to be fair to him.

Go to a club again, get Kody evaluated. I would do privates and go to club if possible.

Crating in the ride at club is a given. What do you mean by "car anxiety"?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-04-2018, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response. I just didn't know if this was normal or not.

He barks at and lunges at other cars when he's in the car. I don't mind crating him when the car isn't moving, but I'm not driving long distances with a crate in the back of the car because I can't see out my rear window. Plus he still barks and whines and pants in the crate in the car, even with towels over the crate. I use a wire crate at home, and an airline crate for the car. The wire crate doesn't fit in my car.

I'm currently working on teaching him a long down stay in the back seat so that I can actually take him places. Once we can go on a 40-50 min car ride, I can take him to work with me and work on his leash reactivity.

Then I could probably try out another club. I was looking at Red River Working Dogs club in Northeast texas, if anyone's heard of them and has anything good or bad to say about them.


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 11:31 AM
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In my old club we used to send people to an obedience trainer for foundation work and then we helped extend on that foundation. We didn't have enough people or time to train all new comers at the club in obedience. Obedience is a huge time sucker and it is also the foundation for everything else so best that members got one on one training elsewhere. We did tend to track together and helped the members in both tracking and protection.

My current club is huge and we have a lot of very experienced people so we are able to do some teaching at the club. For example, yesterday we had a couple of groups of puppies and young dogs with their handlers being taught while other teams are on the field with spotters doing obedience. During protection we had dogs working on the field, dogs working on the sidelines and even helper training in another spot. We do, though, also have members that take private lessons. In tracking we either meet in small groups or as a club (or those that show up) fairly often.

Dogs really need to be confined in a crate during training. It is for their safety and usually keeps them quieter. In my old club we had a dog climb through a sun roof and another tear up the seats when not crated.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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I said I would crate him there, I just can't crate him during the drive there.

I can do all the obedience on my own, so I guess I should work on his obedience more myself before going to a club?


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 12:05 PM
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I know the club I visited a time or two wants them crated in your car when you arrive. I guess they have had people who thought their dog would not bolt out of the car, bolt out of the car. If they do not know all the dogs and people showing up, I guess the rules have to cover the lowest common denominator.

I have similar questions as you do. I am looking to be training around other solid dogs but will not be doing sport. We do not do a focused heel either. We use a "watch me" for that.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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He would be on leash in the car and we would have solidified our car training (which includes a command for him to get out of the car and sit). I just can't drive with the crate in the back because I can't see out my rear window. It's a big safety hazard.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 12:35 PM
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I would think some would be more competitive & serious than others, a bunch of individuals. Just make inquiries, ask to observe and see how they treat you and if you feel welcome.

Could you fit a folding crate? This would allow you to crate your dog while at the club, or come with a partner to mind & watch your dog. You need to be able walk away from your dog (leave them behind) so you can talk to people & observe.

I think all clubs are different. I haven't gone to one, but I checked in (once in person to observe) with two local clubs when I got my current dog (a bc-looking rescue) and both where very welcoming even if I never got into protection, saying I could work towards the bh & tracking, and help with drive building/ engagement/tug toy play. It was a specific question, and they sounded perfectly okay with that.

That said, I didn't go back, just feel too weird going when I don't really want to do the whole nine yards. I'd love a place to practice & train around other dog people though.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-05-2018, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, my plan would be to bring the crate taken apart in the trunk, and keep my dog on leash in the back until I got there, and then I would set up the crate in the car so that I could put him in there when needed.

Would it inappropriate to work on his leash reactivity (dogs only) there? As in, work on his obedience from a distance just below his threshold, and slowly work our way closer to everyone else, or do you think it would be up to the club?


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