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It's been awhile since I looked at the exact specs, but I believe you have to have a training director who has titled a dog for at least a BH and is required to pass a written exam (for DVG), not sure about UScA or WDA but probably pretty similar.
 

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Someone committed to developing the CLUB. I see a lot of people come and go that are really only interested in their dog and their training (show up late, leave as soon as they are done....) and then they wonder why it's so hard to start a good club and keep it going... Everyone has to be willing to get their hands dirty and be involved, it's not like going to the all-breed training classes where you pay your class fee and listen/watch the instructor for an hour.

I don't know if there are certain qualifications or accomplishments I'd required but eventually the club's going to need a decent training helper, that's probably the hardest thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So Lies,
In your opinion it does not matter so much if a person knows how to train a dog so long as they are on time and stay until training is finished?

On your tangent; what constitutes a "decent training helper"? Is it just someone who owns a few sleeves and can catch a dog?
 

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I agree with Lies. Starting a club has more to do with leadership and social skills than with training dogs. The person starting the club may have no idea of dogs, but if this person is able to convince people who do know to be training directors and helpers on his/her club, and all the people working towards the same goal it is all that matter at the end.
 

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I don't think a club can survive or even begin without a GOOD helper/TD.
I club hopped a bit as a newbie and saw experienced helpers(which I had no hesitation my dog working with on a regular basis) a helper in training, though certified~learning from a very experienced trial helper~ but didn't want either one of them to work my dog on a regular basis.

A good helper needs to know when not to push, or when to put pressure on and I'm sure it is challenging when they are working 10 different dogs with 10 different
personalities. It can change from session to session as well.
I would hope if a training group got together, there would be enough collective knowledge within to know whether the helper was doing right by each dog. IMO, there should be an experienced TD and a helper so this is done.
Of course hard to do when a young group gets going especially when the politics of affiliation with the USA,DVG, WDA,SDA etc gets mixed in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote from Onyx : "IMO, there should be an experienced TD and a helper"

So what is "experienced"? A person who has won WUSV? Competed at WUSV? A regular contender at the Nationals? Someone who has put a SchH3 on a dog? Someone who has been in the sport for 30 yrs and has titled a few dogs but never shown at a regionals? What is "experience"?
 

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Someone who had titled to a 3 would be best if possible.

I think if you've actively trained for a number of years your passion for the sport shows. Of course by then your reputation is out there as well.
Those that know lines.
Many who train do not strive to go to the nationals, others it is all about that, so that may or may not be as important to an individual.
It is also expensive, resources may not be available to travel to the bigger events.
In some areas you can't even find a club without driving several hours~ so hard to be choosy.
 

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I think commitment and leadership is more important than qualifications and accomplishments. I know individuals that have accomplished a lot and have eminent credentials but would be a disaster in starting a club.JMO
 

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No, not anyone whose gone to a 3, but better than someone who is not actively training or never has done so, but that is individual.
I was with a club whose helper was a national level trial helper(he is also the TD), but I didn't feel comfortable working my dog with him. Very experienced~ but the methods used weren't what I wanted for the foundation of my pup. I may have made the wrong choice to quit that club, but so far I have no regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Cliff,
I know exactly what you are saying. However, on the other hand, I also know of people who, while committed and a good 'leader', simply do not know how to train a dog. How can club members learn how to train if the person that they look to for guidance does not know?
 

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So Lies,
In your opinion it does not matter so much if a person knows how to train a dog so long as they are on time and stay until training is finished?

On your tangent; what constitutes a "decent training helper"? Is it just someone who owns a few sleeves and can catch a dog?
I can't really answer either question because for me, who I will train with and who I will allow to work my dog (in protection) depends on what I see and how I feel about it. No one touches or works my dog unless I see them work other dogs or their own dogs. I don't care how many times the person is in the "SchH3 club" or whether the helper did the front half at the WUSV. Those accomplishments don't really say anything about who they are as a person and how or even if they train the foundation for dogs.

I belonged to a club where I was a founding member and never had trained a dog even to BH and had no interest in helperwork (now, I HAD trained dogs to many other titles/certifications in nearly a dozen other types of dog performance events, but not SchH). I had no real experience with SchH but I worked my ass off, some days I spent more time working on club business than my 9 hours at my "real" job. Someone has to answer all the e-mails, maintain the paperwork and the website, deal with the club money so the insurance and utilities are paid, juggle club drama, make sure the parent organization has all the necessary paperwork..... So yes, it can be done by someone that is new to training dogs but eventually you need people with various levels of experience and at least one good helper if you are going to have people joining your club and serious about training dogs.

Again, what makes the helper "good" I can't really put into words. And my definition of "good" is probably different than anyone else's.
 

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Lies, this has nothing to do with YOU but I wanted to comment on your post above.

One person should not have to juggle everything...it is detrimental to a club to have one person so powerful in a "club" that others are not able to be involved. It is called a club for a reason and all members should be able to contribute with what talents they have. When one person takes control of most everything it gives no opportunities to other members that may be just (if not more) as gifted in carrying out the tasks to keep the club running smoothly. I know too many fingers in the pot makes a mess but having only one or two in control is not healthy for any "club". One of the reasons I left my former club...
 

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I am just curious as to what qualifications or accomplishments you all think one should have before starting a schutzhund club.
In the begining here I think desire was all that was needed prolly still the same in many places here in the US how long have you been around Schutzhund.
 

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I found this on the USA's website:

http://www.germanshepherddog.com/documents/USA_ClubPackage.pdf

It goes into the rules and regulations, but doesn't answer the question directly.

The following is based on my experience: A new club would need a helper that is able to both read the dog and give the appropriate training, and also train the new handler. No two ways around it, this is essential, as a poorly trained helper can not only not develop a dog to its potential, but can injure or even kill a dog if he's not careful. One wrong catch that jams the dog's neck would do it, so the helper must be properly trained.

The training director should have a good working knowledge of operant and classical conditioning techniques, again to help both the dog and the new handler. As to the level of experience, it would be better to have somebody who has titled multiple dogs. But if it's a new club, that may not be possible. There are plenty of DVD's that could fill in the blanks, but ideally a new club should have at least one member who's titled at least one dog from zero to Schutzhund III.

Find a good trial secretary, and do whatever it takes to keep that person happy. I'll say it again, find a good trial secretary, and do whatever it takes to keep that person happy. Our trial secretary is the hardest working, most organized person in the club on trial day. Judy, if you're reading this, thanks for all that you do. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Quote from Onyx: "No, not anyone whose gone to a 3, but better than someone who is not actively training or never has done so"
What business would one have starting a club if they do not train and have never done so? So how do you decide which person who has made SchH3 is qualified? People make SchH3 everyday the lage majority of whom know nothing of training.

@Lies

Please correct me if I am wrong, but in your opinion it is more important for one starting a club to be good at paper work and paying bills than training dogs?
 

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What business would one have starting a club if they do not train and have never done so? So how do you decide which person who has made SchH3 is qualified? People make SchH3 everyday the lage majority of whom know nothing of training.
To clarify my post: When I posted "the never has dones so" was ~NOT getting a Sch3 title, not someone who has never trained a dog.

Many who train to a 3 are devoted and passionate about it or they wouldn't be doing it! They are good at handling and have that gift of helping others learn how to do the same.
I guess how you decide is by watching them work with their dog(the dogs attitude as well) and how their reputation is in the SchH world.
It is pretty cutthroat and negative usually speaks louder than positive, unfortunately.
 

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I can't really answer either question because for me, who I will train with and who I will allow to work my dog (in protection) depends on what I see and how I feel about it. No one touches or works my dog unless I see them work other dogs or their own dogs. I don't care how many times the person is in the "SchH3 club" or whether the helper did the front half at the WUSV. Those accomplishments don't really say anything about who they are as a person and how or even if they train the foundation for dogs...

Again, what makes the helper "good" I can't really put into words. And my definition of "good" is probably different than anyone else's.
This is SOOO true. I have seen a couple of "big name" helpers that are not getting anywhere near my dogs. One of them almost ruined my first dog, but fortunately she was strong enough to overcome the excessive force (for her level of training) that was used. Somebody new to the sport would be well advised to observe a couple of clubs (if possible) before deciding which club to join or who to train with.
 
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