by dogsportman357 on 12 November 2021 - 11:11
I have a puppy from this sire
and this dam
I am wondering what the more experienced and knowledgable members on here think these lines will produce work wise. The dam's side is all health tested and titled to at least ZVV1. So far, she is still young at around 6 months but excels in obedience training and seems to have very very strong nerves. We are hoping to get in to either IGP or PSA in the future. Thanks
by GK1 on 12 November 2021 - 14:11
by GSCat on 13 November 2021 - 06:11
With regard to your dog and your question, I'd expect more sport than working prospects. That sad, just based on the pedigree, I'd say your dog has a good chance at being able to perform well in PSA, IGP, etc. Training, effort, time, and handler dependent.
What have you taught your dog so far? How does he/she like training? Any particular weaknesses or strengths? Likes and dislikes? Socialization?
Have you investigated the club(s) in your area?
Some important things to consider:
How do the members treat/react to you as a newbie and your dog as unproven/new/young?
What kind of advice, training, and help do they provide members?
Costs and liability. Some places require members purchase liability insurance or show proof of an existing policy that will cover you/your dog. Some places simply have everyone sign a waiver document. Some places both/neither/something else.
Dues, fees to use facilities, fees for the Helper(s), etc.
When and where does the club meet? Year-round or only during nice weather months? When and where are training and events? Do members do everything, or are there some paid people/volunteers that do all/some of the work/support?
How secure is the training area? This is especially important if you have a female.
What amenities are at the training area (example, water, available rest room/porta potty, parking, shade, shelter from rain/hail/etc. )?
Cleanliness? Free of obvious hazards/pollutants? Equipment? Is it in good repair?
Kenneling facilities or bring-your-own?
What is the club's reputation? Record in competitions/trials? How many events/training per year? Sanctions or accolades from the national organization? Who does the national/regionallocal German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) recommend in your area?
Who's involved in/members of the club? Police? SAR? Strictly sport competitors? Breeders? Etc.
Which breed is predominant (GSD, Mal, or?) Any excluded breeds?
Any special requirements or exclusions?
Other activities/facilities at the club's location (boarding kennels, pet food/toy/equipment store, cattery, etc.). Owned by the club, or does the club rent? Veterinarian/clinic, animal rescue, or?
Is there a veterinarian or vet tech at/on-call for all events or training? How far away? Does he/she come to the event or training in case of an issue, or does the owner take the dog to the vet? Usually just events, but if a club is affiliated with or has an arrangement with a clinic, colocated, etc., maybe also available for training.
Where is your veterinarian located in relation to the club?
Does your breeder have a recommendation?
All things being equal (rarely does this happen), which club works best with your schedule/location?
Which sport are you more interested in? Have you gone to any events? Watched any videos?
FWIW, go with your gut. If a club feels wrong or something doesn't seem right, keep looking. Do your background on the club just like you (hopefully) did when looking for a breeder.
by dogsportman357 on 14 November 2021 - 21:11
As for strengths/weaknesses, she is really quick to learn new things and has monstrous food drive. She will also work for toys, though with a bit less eagerness than food. Her nerves seem great - she is pretty much neutral towards other dogs and people (including larger reactive dogs walking by, around whom she holds her ground), is unfazed by loud noises or unfamiliar surroundings, is eager and unafraid to explore new spaces, does not seem to show or hold on to any stress symptoms during or after being corrected, etc. She does like training, though her eagerness declines and she tires out after a session of roughly 30 mins or so (this may or may not be a normal amount of time that a 6 month old working line GSD can maintain focus, but I don't have too much 1st hand experience with other dogs to compare it to). She enjoys chasing a flirt pole, rags, squirrels, birds, and the like, so there is prey drive in her to work with. At 6 months old she will chase a ball and shows some desire for it, but i am not seeing the kind of intense ball drive and possession that I have seen some IGP pups display (eg. being lifted off the ground by the string on the ball, fighting / biting the handler to keep it, or generally treating the idea of losing the ball as a life and death matter). I am hoping that her ball intensifies and "wakes up" as she matures over the next few months. When walking in almost any empty grassy area, she automatically goes into tracking-esque behaviour (sniffing and following a random trail where another dog has probably walked for a considerable distance and period of time) as opposed to just sniffing at random spots as most dogs do. Please let me know what other things I should be looking for in a pup around this age if you think of any!
We are currently in the process of looking at clubs in the area, and the list you've provided of things to consider when deciding on one will be a big help. There are none very close to us as we are right in a big city, but there are many IGP clubs if we drive about 30-60 mins.