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We recently adopted a puppy from someone that bought her from a very reputable breeder. She comes from a strong lineage of Schutzhund/IPO dogs. Unfortunately, her energy level and drive made it very difficult for the previous owner to incorporate her into his family, and after having her for 3 months now we feel that she's going to need to be involved in either a sport or service to be truly happy. In other words, we just don't feel that she's the type of dog that will ever be satisfied with "chilling" most of the day like our other 2 GSD. She's now 7 months old and still needs a lot of work on obedience/manners. We're in the process of finding a new trainer for that since the current situation doesn't seem to be a good fit. But we've also never been involved in Schutzhund/IPO or any other sport/service for that matter so we are complete newbies and need some advice on where to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Alabama is a big state. You'll need to give a little more direct location for specifics clubs.

Find a club. Get her evaluated for drives. How is her ball drive? How is her food drive? If you throw food on the floor, will she continue to hunt for it? If she loses her ball in the grass, does she continue to hunt for it? When she bites a ball, does she chomp? Grab with her front teeth? Or have a full grip?

IPO is expensive and a lot of work. Basically 3 sports in one.

germanshepherddog.com has clubs listed per region. You might look on the IPO facebook page for anyone near you as well.

I see Ivan was recommended in your other thread. He's a world champion and top level trainer. If you are going to FL to his place, he can tell you if she's suited for IGP.

If she's not suitable for IGP, or if there are no openings in the clubs (space is limited in clubs. A helper can only work so many dogs) look into agility. It's so fun.
 

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Find a club. Get her evaluated for drives. How is her ball drive? How is her food drive? If you throw food on the floor, will she continue to hunt for it? If she loses her ball in the grass, does she continue to hunt for it? When she bites a ball, does she chomp? Grab with her front teeth? Or have a full grip?

IPO is expensive and a lot of work. Basically 3 sports in one.

germanshepherddog.com has clubs listed per region. You might look on the IPO facebook page for anyone near you as well.

I see Ivan was recommended in your other thread. He's a world champion and top level trainer. If you are going to FL to his place, he can tell you if she's suited for IGP.

If she's not suitable for IGP, or if there are no openings in the clubs (space is limited in clubs. A helper can only work so many dogs) look into agility. It's so fun.
Thanks so much for the tips! We haven't mastered fetch because we're so focused on obedience at this point, and because our oldest GSD doesn't let any other dog retrieve a toy when he's around. :nono: However, she LOVES meal time and treats. My husband says she becomes Einstein when she knows it's about food. :laugh: In fact, just this week I watched her sneak over to the drawer where we keep treats and pull it open. She's also constantly sneaking away to the bathroom to try to steal the cat's food. If the older dog leaves any treat or toy lying around when he gets up, she immediately grabs it regardless of whether she has one too or not. And the bite... OMG... That's one thing we're working on. I don't want to discourage the bite in case we decide to pursue IGP (I guess that's what they call it now), but if she grabs your clothes or hands it's really difficult to get her off. That's one thing we're really trying to work hard on addressing because she's quite mouthy.

I'll check out the other things you've mentioned too. I'm open to other possibilities. We simply want her to feel fulfilled and happy. Plus, we're both pretty competitive and feel that we'd enjoy a sport that involves our dog. I've been in communication with the Balabanov trainers so maybe that will work out so he can give us suggestions!
 

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You'll have to put one dog up to to work the other. I have to crate one dog to work one. At 7 months old, you should start 2 ball with her.
 

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You'll have to put one dog up to to work the other. I have to crate one dog to work one. At 7 months old, you should start 2 ball with her.
Great to know, and in reality we know that if we're going to get serious about this then that has to be the case. But it's so hard. Both the older dogs are already EXTREMELY jealous of her because she's requiring so much of our time and energy.
 

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Advise so far is great. Find a club. Put the other dogs up to work with this one. Check out DVG-America to find a club near you. A good club will be a real help with your training.



And, I'd add, work with the older dogs first, then put them up and work with the puppy. The older dog in my household ALWAYS comes first. She gets fed first, she gets worked first, she gets treats first. This has gone on for 5 years and it will go on for as many more as these two dogs live together. Really checks the jealousy. Old dogs, first dogs in the household need to feel respected/special.



And yes, three dogs, eh! Two are plenty of work for me. On top of that, just so you know, IPO is going to take the better part of at least one day a week. at club. Then there's the stuff you have to do at home. It's not a casual commitment.
 

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If you love the outdoors, AKC tracking is a light version of SAR work and is exhausting for the dog=happy owner.....I have spoken with several people who have become involved in the new nose work competitions and they love it. Apparently trials are easy to access, dogs with good drive advance quickly and it is not so time consuming as IPG. This type of mental exercise usually slows down even the most energetic dog for awhile and the bond and engagement that develops is wonderful.
 

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Advise so far is great. Find a club. Put the other dogs up to work with this one. Check out DVG-America to find a club near you. A good club will be a real help with your training.



And, I'd add, work with the older dogs first, then put them up and work with the puppy. The older dog in my household ALWAYS comes first. She gets fed first, she gets worked first, she gets treats first. This has gone on for 5 years and it will go on for as many more as these two dogs live together. Really checks the jealousy. Old dogs, first dogs in the household need to feel respected/special.



And yes, three dogs, eh! Two are plenty of work for me. On top of that, just so you know, IPO is going to take the better part of at least one day a week. at club. Then there's the stuff you have to do at home. It's not a casual commitment.
Thanks for the advice! And yes, 3 dogs is A LOT but our older 2 are quite different from the baby which is why this has been such a big adjustment for our family. Our oldest comes from a very similar bloodline as the baby, but unfortunately hasn't been blessed with the best health. He's now almost 6 years old, and has had 1 TPLO and is awaiting the other. He also has genetic hip dysplasia which really limits his activity. Our middle "child" was adopted from a rescue and has pretty severe anxiety problems. She would just lounge around and cuddle all day if we didn't force her to get outside and play. So basically we have the 2 couch potatoes and our little firecracker that we need to entertain. We also didn't intend on getting another dog, but when a client told our veterinarian he wanted to re-home his puppy we were suggested as "the perfect fit." So here we are!
 

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If you love the outdoors, AKC tracking is a light version of SAR work and is exhausting for the dog=happy owner.....I have spoken with several people who have become involved in the new nose work competitions and they love it. Apparently trials are easy to access, dogs with good drive advance quickly and it is not so time consuming as IPG. This type of mental exercise usually slows down even the most energetic dog for awhile and the bond and engagement that develops is wonderful.
I really think that's something we could enjoy! I appreciate the suggestion. We aren't set on any particular activity/sport at this point, but I know she needs to be involved in something. For her sanity and ours... LOL!
 

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I agree with the evaluation process. Add this. Have a note book handy and record every word said. Then get at least two more evaluations. Take carefull observations of the processes used, how the helper and trainer moved and methods or actions used. Each of these experiences will be new for your dog so watch what he is doing and how he acts. This is part of what was drilled into me early on years ago. I still use it today when checking out new training facilities. I’ve already singled out a “never return to” one. I’ve reverted to my own training then go to classes to proof them and provide dog to dog experiences. Most of these have a “show off time” each class period so we use this to do just that.I'm a poor dancer but it would be fun to see a lady who is, prance around the ring with my dog. My Aussie loves ladies and will do about anything. For them. The helper can make or break your dog so you need to get to know them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. “ why did you do this or that” .? Keep track of answers. When you don’t get the same answer for the same question you will know something is amiss. I was trained military style. “Give the correct answer or get raked over the coals. Too bad my calculus professor didn’t use this, I might have learned something Useful.
 
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