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Hi all, new here. I have a young adult shepherd and have always thought Schutzhund sport looked like something I'd like to do, and my new dog seems to have all the drives and would benefit mentally from the structure of this kind of training. I contacted a club near me to find out more and was told that this sport is not for "fun" and is very demanding and time consuming and that I should try regular obedience instead. That's all she said. I know that any real training is demanding and time consuming. But does anyone on here just do it for fun with their dogs because their dogs might be good at it or is there always a larger goal?
 

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I did. Our club didn't mind casual trainers so long as we were working toward some sort of title. My boy only got as far as his BH but we learned so much in the process! We were upfront that we never expected to get to regionals, never mind nationals. Club level was fine with us. So look around a different nearby clubs. Which ever club you set your eyes on remember you'll be spending a lot of time with them. Not only will you be checking them out to see if their training and attitude is a good match for you but they will be watching you to see what you bring to the club. Are you willing to lug gear to the field, help with trials, not just gab at the sidelines. That sort of stuff.

Although we changed to a different sport I do not regret at all the time we spent on the IPO field (now called IPG).
 

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Its a huge commitment in time and effort and what clubs tend to see are most people aren't willing to put that time in. A club isn't the same as paying someone to teach you, its people getting together to reach those goals. Its everyone's time spent. That said, yeah, its gotta be for fun for 90% of us. I didn't have any larger goal than that.
 

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Of course it is fun. If it wasn't, the majority of us wouldn't do it. Not sure what the person you talked to meant, but could be they can't afford to dedicate resources (time, helpers) to someone who just wants to play around and not work towards a title. Some clubs are very willing to work with people who don't have goals of competition and others aren't. I have been lucky to train with clubs that work with anyone who is willing to put in time and effort to train their dog even if the dog's ability is only to get a BH.
 

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Although we changed to a different sport I do not regret at all the time we spent on the IPO field (now called IPG).

BTW, it is now called IGP. Think of "I gotta play" to remember the order of letters. :laugh:
 

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Currently, you can get less than a "full" title --- as in you can title in any of the three segments individually. To me, the main thing is that the dog and I both enjoy it. In my case I think the clubs I've worked with are usually more frustrated with the handler than the dog. Some clubs are kind enough to, for instance, give an old dog a bite. The ones I know have been happy to give help and pointers to beginners.



It does take a lot of time. Shoots at least one day a week almost completely. If you don't get tracking in there, maybe it takes 30 to 50 % of another day --- and the short training sessions on the other days... And figuring out how the handler's messing up the dog.... Then if you are at club, you should plan on staying for everyone's work -- because you learn a lot by watching other people and asking questions about what they are doing and why or seeing how it is working for them.



Every member participating = at least 1/2 hour of everyone else's time. So - best to have some goal in mind.
 

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I think you have to have a certain amount of passion about competing in the protections sports, and you will have more fun the better your dog is. You said your dog seems to have all the drives to compete, but most clubs/training groups that are wanting to title their dogs strive to find dogs that definitely have the traits and drives to allow you to compete at a reasonable level or more. You never stop learning as a trainer. Being that you are thinking about starting out, you are at a disadvantage because you don't know how much you don't know. But you have to start somewhere. Do you want to share anything about your dog's breeding? That would help you get feedback as to the likelihood that you have a dog with the genetics that would make for an enjoyable experience in training in the protection sports. So it can be very fun with the right dog and if you are highly motivated. The right dog fuels motivation and the wrong dog dampens it. Having the right dog is only part of the equation because you have to know how to get the best out of the dog. That is were a club with people willing to help new people is important. But most clubs are not interested in helping new people who don't have dogs with the level of drive and nerve required.
 

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Thank you all for the enlightening responses! It makes sense that the club doesn't want to invest in an unknown, I hadn't thought of that. Anyway it's the only club within a reasonable drive for me and so I have set aside that idea anyway. I will be looking into some other sport for my guy in which the organization isn't so selective. Thanks very much!
 

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On a side note, I find it unfair to the dog to ask them to succeed in an activity that they don't have the drive or nerve for.

IGP is a huge commitment. For club level titling, figure at least 3 days a week training in obedience and tracking, plus however many weekends for protection/club training. For regionals, I was training every night. We're looking at a nationals this year and again, it will be every night of running home, grabbing food, laying tracks and eating my cold dinner from the car while the tracks age. Weekends on the road. A lot of money spent.

So, yes, it can just be for fun and learning. you'll get out what you put in. Some clubs are more serious about training than others. Find the one that suits you.
 

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If that is the only club within striking distance, and they are a serious club, might not be a good fit for someone doing it "just" for fun. I would not assume though.

I go to club about 3 times a month (2 different clubs at this point because I would like to level up as the kids say). To supplement I work on stuff at home most days. At home anywhere from 10 minutes here and there to a solid 2 hours. Just depends. But yeah, club most weekends and a block of training everyday.

My one club is beginner friendly and a great place for people to learn. I'll be happy to get all 80s when I do IPO end of year, but that is the level I'm able to put training/putting in the time for. Maybe I'll be surprised by 90s in protection. Hopefully we don't do something wonky and get DQd. If we do, there is always next trial. With the next puppy I'd like to be a bit more serious. We will see.

To really answer your question of does anyone do it JUST for fun..yes, for sure. I know some that I train with at one place. No intentions of using their dogs titles for breeding, no intentions or time to travel to Nationals and such. Sounds like the place near you is more serious. If you go someplace where people have the intentions of going to serious competitions and winning things, I can see them not wanting to sit through people who are just there for fun and don't want to put time sweat and money into it. And that is fine too. It can be a long day, the more people, the longer between your turns working your dog. So I can understand why people with hard defined club goals will be upfront about the level of commitment they expect and want a community of people with similar goals. I would expect you to be welcome if you were serious about working your dog and having fun even if you were not going for trophies...but I would be annoyed if someone took up helper and field time and was obviously just showing up week to week without doing a blessed thing on their own in between. But who does that and pays to go to a club? I'm asking as I've yet to see someone like that in my short time involved :)

Good luck, hope you find something that works for you and your dog. There is a lot out there! Maybe give this club a chance, and find out what they mean by their description of what they expect. I imagine the majority of people who are into IPO also have careers, family obligations. Call them and go check it out one day without your dog I say. What are they going to do, beat you up? You may be pleasantly surprised and they may be able to expand of this non fun thing they are describing :) Maybe they eliminate the unworthy at the front line of the phone call lol Only the truly dedicated will call back and ask to watch a club day...
 

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. I will be looking into some other sport for my guy in which the organization isn't so selective. Thanks very much!
It's not so much selective as it is having limited resources. I think above you made a comment of waiting around all day for your turn? This is really a team sport. A person should be watching, learning, spotting other members, working your dog in obedience in groups for distraction, being in a group for someone else.

Your team is there is support you.
 

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It was actually me that said that, but I didn't mean waiting around all day was a problem. I watch everyone, make sure I am available for group unless my dog is on deck or being put up, etc. If I go 2nd and I'm done, I still stay to the end and watch and help. I've seen people do their thing and split..people who go off and B.S instead of making a group. There is nothing better than walking off the field after you and your dog did well and seeing your friends happy for you. When someone has a bad day we are there too, and usually follow it up with phone calls and encouragement later. Love the team aspect, but I can see why a club would want to describe themselves as time intensive and serious on the phone to people who call. Get it out there out front. If you are there all day sharing resources, someone who is dead weight and not dedicated can be a drag. So OP I would still give this club a chance if you are truly interested.

It is the same with a lot of sports and hobbies. Good people will have all the time in the world for a new enthusiastic person especially if they are struggling..but you have to be trying hard to be struggling. I shoot IDPA pistol matches and they are an 8 to 12 hour day, including setting up and breaking down targets, equipment, scenarios. All volunteer, no money prizes. Very similar in structure to IPO clubs. The match itself is maybe 8 to 10 scenarios long, for a total of 6 to 8hrs duration. You ACTUALLY shoot for less than a minute when you tally up your scores. A winning score for a big match is shooting it in under 70 seconds total ...for an 8 hour day. The rest of the time is spent watching your squad also take their turn, encouraging them..taping targets in between each turn. When you have someone show up, complain they have not had a chance to practice for 30 days because they have jobs and kids (as if they are the only one), bring down the whole mood and energy of the squad because they are bitter and frustrated, and usually must be some phenomenon these people are usually never around to help with set up, break down, and target maintenance in between shooters..it gets down right annoying. That is the type of thing I was referring to.
 

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It was actually me that said that, but I didn't mean waiting around all day was a problem. I watch everyone, make sure I am available for group unless my dog is on deck or being put up, etc. If I go 2nd and I'm done, I still stay to the end and watch and help. I've seen people do their thing and split..people who go off and B.S instead of making a group. There is nothing better than walking off the field after you and your dog did well and seeing your friends happy for you. When someone has a bad day we are there too, and usually follow it up with phone calls and encouragement later. Love the team aspect, but I can see why a club would want to describe themselves as time intensive and serious on the phone to people who call. Get it out there out front. If you are there all day sharing resources, someone who is dead weight and not dedicated can be a drag. So OP I would still give this club a chance if you are truly interested.

It is the same with a lot of sports and hobbies. Good people will have all the time in the world for a new enthusiastic person especially if they are struggling..but you have to be trying hard to be struggling. I shoot IDPA pistol matches and they are an 8 to 12 hour day, including setting up and breaking down targets, equipment, scenarios. All volunteer, no money prizes. Very similar in structure to IPO clubs. The match itself is maybe 8 to 10 scenarios long, for a total of 6 to 8hrs duration. You ACTUALLY shoot for less than a minute when you tally up your scores. A winning score for a big match is shooting it in under 70 seconds total ...for an 8 hour day. The rest of the time is spent watching your squad also take their turn, encouraging them..taping targets in between each turn. When you have someone show up, complain they have not had a chance to practice for 30 days because they have jobs and kids (as if they are the only one), bring down the whole mood and energy of the squad because they are bitter and frustrated, and usually must be some phenomenon these people are usually never around to help with set up, break down, and target maintenance in between shooters..it gets down right annoying. That is the type of thing I was referring to.



Pretty much describes a saying my father used in similar situations..... basically there are the work horses and the show horses.....


Clubs which rely on member participation can be plagued with the "show horses".......clubs where everyone is pulling on the same end of the rope together are wonderful.....wish there were more of them.




SuperG
 

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I used your phrase this weekend to remember it. Lol I hope I don't say it out loud on trial day!

:rofl:



Part of my tracking routine is checking in with the "invisible" judge and I am still stumbling over IGP. Lisa and Firien reporting in for the IPO, I mean the IG "what ever the heck it is called" 3...... Hopefully I don't say the latter since a different word tends to replace the "heck". :grin2:
 

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Me too! I was reporting in to my invisible obedience judge. IGP is hard to say!

YES, bring me back my SchH. :gsdbeggin:
 

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Lordie, now I'm going to giggle when I hear someone starts their track. Maybe we ought not get newbies in trouble like that? :)
 
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