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I have a new puppy coming soon and have been looking into Clubs, was wondering if there were any recommendations? I have contacted several and this is what I am running into.

1. No one returns phone calls.
2. The USCA Club list is outdated and some of the clubs are no longer functioning.
3. 2 Clubs I have contacted will not accept members that do not have a dog that is already titled.

If anyone could provide some info, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Sharon
 

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I don't have any suggestions other than to keep searching. A club I called just a little while ago did call back, but it took them almost a week to get to it. Maybe others can be more helpful?
 

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Try DVG-America. You may be able to find a club website that will indicate training times, contact info. etc. I found my first club when they were offering a seminar by someone that had been recommended by a friend. Went to the seminar, felt good about it and contacted them with interest in joining when I got my new puppy. But - persistence will serve you well. Keep in mind that with summer, LA area clubs may be "on vacation." Arkansas generally shut down for the summer. The fires down your way have added to the "summer time blues"so remember that people may be awfully busy.
 

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I think you will find that most clubs will expect you to do your own training. They will,help with putting the event together that you need to train. Things like how to present your dog in heeling exercises. How to work retrieves. They won’t be much interested in standard obediencevtraining. They aren’t going to say here is how to train sit, down, stand, long down and other obedience requirements as though you were in a beginner obedience class.

They will help you by saying your dog isn’t sitting square and they may guide you to what the rules require. They may give tips or suggestions on how to do a send out. It will be up to you to do the physical training. At club meetings you will get to take the field and do run throughs to show your progress. Here they will help,out some. You need to be well versed on the rules. It will be to your advantage to attend as many trials as you can. There may be seminars so go to them too.

Tracking will be up to you. They may give you some pointers but getting out and doing the work will be up to you. This is where going to trials will show you what is required for the event. Keep in mind that the dog will know what his nose is for. It will be up to you to show him how to use it for the trial work. I found tracking to be the most fun. It allowed me to get out in the fields and really get down on the ground with my dog. It’s incredibly time consuming training. You will get sun burned, wet and really chilled. The dog will,love ever moment of it.

Be aware there are lots of people who think they know tracking that have a hard time with google maps. Read up on dog tracking. I won some really good dinner bets on challenges that some thought they could hide from my dog.

Decide what commands you will use. I always liked the German commands as they are one word and mostly guttural. Have some fun looking up the translations. As English we use Add meaning to words that aren’t in the dictionary. German is the same. It’s not required to use German but I felt it was easier for me.

All of the sport only allows single word commands. You can not use the dog’s name, that is a double command and a point or score deduction. Don’t give points away, you will lose enough just working your dog.

Protection work with pups is where you will get help as it will be nearly impossible for you to do,protection work yourself. It’s critical not to make mistakes here. Most good clubs will not let beginner helpers work pups. Expect your working time to be very short. 5 minutes. Maybe 3-4 times during the day. This part of the training is most important as it will shape the dog’s behavior for his life. A well trained dog here is so confident in himself that few things are a threat or will disturb him. He will be a pleasure to just take for a walk.

You will need perfect crate training. The crate is never to be used as punishment. It’s reward time and cool down time. Have plenty of water for your dog and shade. A cooling fan on the crate is a good idea.

A reward based training program is what you need. The dog shoul like tugs and balls. Use these for rewards. Lots of pets and gentle conversation with your dog. Keep in mind that the dog must want to be out with you above all else. Being on the field and working happily is what you want the dog to present.

Don’t expect over night progress or for things to,happen quickly. It takes time to do all these things. I’m not sure on the age rules but I think the dog needs to be 18 months for BH and maybe 20 months to 2 years for IPO 1.

Do join the national organization. You will get access to more info on the sport.

That’s about it in a brief nut shell.
 

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I'm also in Orange County and can't find a club or even a training group at the moment.

I have a friend that trains by herself in north LA and she goes to a club in San Diego, so it's a 3 hour drive one way. Driving for hours just to get 15 minutes of proper training is basically a requirement unless you're really lucky.
 

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There is a Protection Sport Association (PSA) club in Gardena, CA which is in southern LA. IMO, PSA is more challenging than IPO and requires a dog with very good nerves and a higher threshold for defense. The sport is dominated by Mals/DS's, but the right GSD with a good club can at least obtain the PDC and titles in the lower levels. There have only been about 18 dogs to obtain the PSA 3 level in the almost two decades the sport has been around. The contact info for that club is on the PSA website.
 

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You checked these?Cali Clubs I know some of them are still operating. I would also ask to visit the clubs that turn you down. Many clubs say they are full or will not accept new members to see if there is any commitment. Visit the club if they'll allow it. Then visit again. And again, and again. Don't just be a lump on a log. Ask questions, volunteer to help set up/tear down.

As previously said I know there is a PSA club in Gardenia. There is also one in Riverside. There is a SDA/WDA club in Palmdale area as well. There are some ring clubs around as well.
 
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