German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have been to a few clubs in our area and I have gone to the websites of some of the clubs and read the rules for membership. I am amazed that in some of the clubs that you have to be voted to be a member, and if there is one no vote you cannot be a member. This seems strange to me. I would think that if a club is trying to promote membership they would want to be encouraging to new or interested members. Can someone please explain the rational for this type of rule?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
I have been to a few clubs in our area and I have gone to the websites of some of the clubs and read the rules for membership. I am amazed that in some of the clubs that you have to be voted to be a member, and if there is one no vote you cannot be a member. This seems strange to me. I would think that if a club is trying to promote membership they would want to be encouraging to new or interested members. Can someone please explain the rational for this type of rule?
Not all clubs are trying to promote membership. Having a new member is a demand on club resources and some are already at their max. Let's face it, you spend a LOT of time with these people and if you have a member that just doesn't click I would imagine it could cause a lot of drama.

I was actually glad that my club had to vote on me joining. I came in knowing that everyone was welcoming me.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i'm not in a Schutzhund Club
but i'm in a GSD Club. i had to voted
in. now that i think about it i shoudn't have
joined a club that would have someone like
me be a member. :crazy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,389 Posts
Yes, it's different for Schutzhund clubs because there's a lot of work involved.

I belong to an AKC dog training club with over 300 members. Associate Membership is by majority vote and there are certain participation requirements before you can be voted on. After one year, if you wish, you can apply for full membership which includes voting priviledges and a key to the building so you can train anytime you wish. Our membership fees are $50 per year, plus we get a deep discount on training ($25 for 8 week classes).
 

·
Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
Having to be voted into membership at a SchH club is pretty standard. Most clubs do this.

Look at it this way..

All members, but especially new ones, take up a ton of club resources. We're not just talking space and equipment usage, we're talking time and effort from other club members. They need to be coached through training their dog in 3 completely different disciplines. They require a skilled helper to develop their dog in protection, and that is a person who works his butt off for hours on end and only has so much energy.

Most SchH clubs are not set up like training classes. You don't go for an hour, train your dog, and leave. You are there all day. Some of that time is working your dog, most of it is waiting for others to work their dogs. During this down time there is a lot of socializing going on, but also people helping those who are working their dogs by serving as spotters, groups, fetching equipment, handling a line, etc...

Now add in that in most areas, there are more people interested in doing SchH than there are clubs to accomodate them. There is more demand that supply. And there is a huge wash out rate, especially with newbies.

If a club is going to give a membership slot to a new person, of course they are going to want to make sure they are giving it to someone who will stick with it, be worth their investment and will bring something positive to the club. If they're going to put all that effort into someone, they want to work with someone who shows commitment, who is trainable and will listen and follow instruction, who will put thier own effort into learning rather than expect to be spoon fed or pick it up through osmosis, who is going to use resources wisely, who is going to try to give back to the club by helping out whenever possible, and is also someone they get along with well enough that they can stand spending 8hrs on a Sat or Sun with that person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Schutzhund clubs have limited time and resources. They are non-profits with all the work done by members volunteering. Our club is very selective about allowing new members, we love to get newcomers to the sport, but after almost 20 years in clubs, you get tired of the folks who join, ask zillions of questions and then drop out after a few months, or when the weather gets bad... Helpers have a greater chance of getting injured with an inexperienced handler on the field, so we always have a "mentor" on the field to instruct new folks so the helper can concentrate on the dog, etc. This is another reason for a probationary period, the member can see if the sport is really for them and the club can see if the member is committed.
We have a core group of about 8 people who are ALWAYS here, every week and do all the heavy lifting as it were. It is a nice size group to work every week, we can get everyone worked in a reasonable amount of time with 3 helpers not getting totally worn out and not be standing around for hours waiting to work. Since most clubs prefer everyone stay for the whole practice, more members means more time. When you are working for free then a really long practice twice a week gets tiring. If you get many more members than can reasonably be worked in a session then you have to add additional practices, which is more scheduling...
So, while we love to get new people involved and excited about the sport there is a level of standoffishness for a reason.
Annette
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
Think of it like trying out to be on a team. It doesn't work if you don't fit well with the group, regardless of your commitment or how good you or your dogs are. You show up and get a few tries to prove your commitment to the breed, the sport, and the club. In my experience, people generally don't come back after the first or second visit if they aren't a good fit. Not very often is someone not voted in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,294 Posts
There are many people who club hop and a few may cause trouble within a club, that is one reason the voting in is done. Many clubs have longstanding members that don't want to put up with pettiness or troublemakers.
The club I became a member of didn't have any formal board meetings for about 6 months from the time I first visited as the president was working out of state. When they finally had a meeting they voted in the new members, and a few they decided not to let join.
That was because those few were not commited and only showed up sporadically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
The club I train with - after the evaluation of the dog, a member may be offered a one year probationary membership-by vote. After that year is up the club can really see the level of committment and what that individual and team brings to the club. They are voted on again to be offered full membership privileges. It is a ton of work, but we are welcoming. I am on my first dog and the learning curve has been steep, but I have risen to the occasion. Yep , newbies like me take a lot of resources, but now I feel I can give back a little now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Not all clubs are trying to promote membership. Having a new member is a demand on club resources and some are already at their max. Let's face it, you spend a LOT of time with these people and if you have a member that just doesn't click I would imagine it could cause a lot of drama.

I was actually glad that my club had to vote on me joining. I came in knowing that everyone was welcoming me.
This is exactly true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
Grovebeauty,

All that stuff these good folks have posted is true.....but......here is the real deal.

If you're anything like me, you'll have to knock on a few doors before you're accepted. Thank God I was such a loser in high school! All that rejection from teenage girls totally prepared me for finding a SchH club....maybe you're not as lucky as I in that regard? Anywho....the key is solid nerve and keep pushing ahead, and eventually, like a blind squirrel finding a nut, you'll stumble across a group, who at a weak moment, will allow you to train with them.

I would also suggest you bring baked goods.

Seriously, SchH is a lifestyle...be sure you really want to do it, visit as many clubs as you can.

Wayne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you to all that answered and whared their insite. I appreciate the new mind set that I have gained by hearing from the more experienced. I will keep an open mind. I also have been told that I am an excellent cook, so that will maybe help. I appreciate the help and the attitude with which this knowledge is shared. I have been on other forums where a question like this is met with open contempt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
Like BlackPuppy, I belong to an AKC obedience training club and had to be voted in, in fact they nominate applicants' names one month, then take a vote the next month. Our dues are $25 and the classes very reasonable, $20- 30. The club offers rally, obedience, agility, tracking and every month there are activities in the community- demonstrations, fund raising for canine cancer or dog related issues, shows, etc. so they want members that will participate and be active not just join to get a discount on the next class- although that happens too which is fine. I haven't been at a meeting where someone's rejected yet but I like that the club has the option to do that in case there are people who don't want to train in a positive way and could ruin all the peace love and grooviness we have going.
 

·
The Italian One
Joined
·
8,729 Posts
I would also suggest you bring baked goods.
:rofl: I was told to bring chocolate chip cookies with me when I was visiting clubs. A guy who belonged to the first club I visited in fact told me this before I came for my first visit. I thought he was a joking so I didn’t bring cookies.

Now, I’m at a different club. ;)

But yes, the club I’m at also votes. I personally think it’s a good idea for both me and them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,294 Posts
I personally like members/photographers with nice cameras! Especially when they share the training pics!!
Baked goods are nice too. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,687 Posts
Here too, though the cookies wouldn't be needed as often since several of us like to bake. LOL The camera, on the other hand, would be a definite shoe in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,294 Posts
Vinnie, great pics! I like the Mid-east Regionals(Podunk) shots....does Lisa know you call her town that name?? hehe
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top