We did our BH and AD and that was with going to Club 2 or 3 times a month. he did great. IPO 1 is in September hopefully. We work on fun segments whenever we get a chance. I work from home a lot and take him on the road with me when weather permits. Sometimes we get 10 minutes in tops, sometimes nothing. Sometimes I get a full hour plus. I run with him for exercise 3 or 4 times a week. The kids keep him busy too.
I know people that have fantastic dogs that work 8 hour days out of the house. I mean, you commit and make it work. If you are going to work 8 hours, then hit the gym, then come home and have to have dinner, homework with kids etc...then you are looking at strictly pet dog life. But if you set aside time and are dedicated you can make it work in blocks that do fit in with your schedule. If I am out without him on an 8 hour day, I pay the sitter to stay an extra hour, do a nice long run, and incorporate OB and some exercises during it. I live on a dead end so if I haven't gotten anything in with him I will tell my 12 year old to make sure nobody lights anything on fire for 20 minutes and I'll work a routine outside will the kids are inside. Will dinner be at 8 instead of 7:30? Yep, they will live, they aren't made of glass.
I guess motto is commit to grab it when you can, and don't lie to yourself if you want to be committed. Didn't train the dog today? Did you surf facebook for 20 minutes? That could have been brain games and a little OB right in your living room.
I made a checklist for myself. Needing to attack my career needs is a given and provide my kids with their basic needs is an absolute. My checklist for after work and kids are cared for is
1) have I engaged with my kids (not just cared for them)?
2) have I engaged with my dog including even 10 minutes training (not just playing with him)?
3) have I exercised? ( I try to blend 2 and 3 when I run)
The only way I forgive myself for not nailing all 3 of those is if I DIDN'T surf the net or phone.
Reason I am on the forum now is because it was a good day
The only thing I would say is don't expect to be the best team out there if you haven't worked as hard as the others. I get on the field with early healthy retired people that have stuff set up in their garage and can do whatever they want with their dog time wise and dedication wise. I don't expect to be as skilled or as practiced as they are. I just expect to be welcome there and to enjoy and love/enjoy my dog the same.
You don't have to qualify for regionals to enjoy the sport. I so admire that people that do, but I am super happy at a casual club level and it has really made me bond and understand a lot of things about my dog.