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Hello! I've got a couple questions regarding schutzhund training and I'm looking for a good club near Detroit, MI to train with. I'm experienced with obedience and working with large dogs but not in IPO/SCH. However I'd like to enter into to this as his handler.

1) When is a good age to start reaching out to a club to start training with my pup in Schutzhund? (he's in puppy class now, working towards a good citizen)

2) What are the basic supplies I need buy to get started? For instance I built a simple flirt pole and have a soft leather tug and basic toys/leather collar/etc.

3) When looking for a club to train with, what should I be aware of? Sorry if that's general, I just hear so many people say "find a club you like, be careful".

4) As far as certifications and titles, what would be a good base to work towards? For example should I focus on BH and tracking first until he's old enough to do bite work?

5) Who performs the protection tests? What should I be looking for in my pups behavior to see if he's fit? He has a good pedigree (mother and father both titled) and he's a west german show line.

6) Can a dog go from Schutzhund to PPD? Are these drastically different or is one just not considered a sport?

Thanks All!
 

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Go to the DVG-America (the dash is important) website and look for the region and then the list of clubs.

Start talking to clubs now. Get to know the people and the dogs. Let them get to know you.

Basic supplies: a pup, a 15 foot lead, a 6 foot lead, a flat collar, a puppy tug, a couple of balls on string (or string a kong or two).

In DVG: As far as titles go, you have to pass BH before you can try for a title. You can't track competitively until you get your BH. The dog must be 15 months old to try for the BH. You will be working towards the BH (temperment and obedience) and on tracking when you start out.

I like a club that is not heavy into compulsion. So that's what I look for.

Who evaluates your dog for suitability for the sport depends on the club. Do not depend on your evaluation. (You are a bit biased, eh?)

PPD is not a sport as I understand it. I've never trained for that. A former club member did and she said it was quite different.

Welcome to the sport! It takes a lot of time but it's a lot of fun.
 

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There are no DVG clubs local to Detroit. This is the club I would recommend in the area. It is a USCA club with a lot of experience. Metro Detroit SchH club.

Home

Another good option would be the Capital Area SchH club near Lansing. They have very good experience with show line dogs (they often don't work the same way as the working lines).
Capital Area Schutzhund Club
Amy Morris
Leslie, MI
(517) 589-5919



As for your questions:

1) When is a good age to start reaching out to a club to start training with my pup in Schutzhund? (he's in puppy class now, working towards a good citizen) Now would be a good time since you do not want to be doing any type of obedience training or other training that could conflict or inhibit your IPO/SchH training.

2) What are the basic supplies I need buy to get started? For instance I built a simple flirt pole and have a soft leather tug and basic toys/leather collar/etc. Contact the club and ask what they recommend. I have puppy size balls, tugs, leashes, long lines, etc

3) When looking for a club to train with, what should I be aware of? Sorry if that's general, I just hear so many people say "find a club you like, be careful". Level of experience, success of club, how the members get along, how they treat each other and how they treat their dogs, how accepting they are of different ideas, how willing they are to help novice people...... Training techniques can vary even in a club so make sure you understand what you are seeing before deciding a club is not for you.

4) As far as certifications and titles, what would be a good base to work towards? For example should I focus on BH and tracking first until he's old enough to do bite work? BH is required to progress onto the IPO1, but how much obedience is done before bitework is started depends on the dog and the club. Tracking should be started as soon as weather permits. This, again, is something you would want to discuss with the club.

5) Who performs the protection tests? What should I be looking for in my pups behavior to see if he's fit? He has a good pedigree (mother and father both titled) and he's a west german show line. The training director, who is usually the main experienced helper, will be the one testing your dog.

6) Can a dog go from Schutzhund to PPD? Are these drastically different or is one just not considered a sport? Yes, if you have the right dog and with additional training.
 

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I am a member of Metro Detroit SchH Club. I really like it there and have titled a couple of dogs. John is national level and is nice, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. There are also other good helpers there too.

There are several other clubs in the area. Some may or may not be able to take new people at this time. I think the caution part comes from training with people that don't know much of anything. If the helper is certified in USCA, DVG, etc that is atleast a good start to look at. A person that isn't certified, doesn't have any experience trialing or certifying dogs, and that says they only do "real" protection is most likely very inexperienced.

It is always best to visit a couple of clubs and see what one matches your goals and personality best. You will be spending a lot of time at your club :)

I wouldn't go crazy buying lots of stuff yet. I really only use a few things a majority of the time with a puppy or young dog: a flat collar, a ball and tug, food for tracking and obedience, a 4' leash, and a 15' lead.

Best of luck to you.
 
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