German Shepherd Dog > "Club" help - just looking for some advice (2 replies)
"Club" help - just looking for some advice
by elisabeth00117 on 19 December 2011 - 07:14
I was hoping for some ideas from some of the members here.
A little back story:
I have been training my oldest dog in schutzhund while attending University. I belonged to a club but had to move a few hours away for school so stopped training with a steady group (but continued training with a few different people here and there as well as an obedience instructor). Over about a years time, I stopped training in schutzhund with my dog because of school, the lack of a car to get to training and because of my work schedule. During this time I did some obedience and agility classes with him instead but missed schutzhund a lot!
I graduated in April with my Masters and am now working full time (although not in my field of choice). About 5-6 months ago I brought home a Czech/DDR/WG cross pup to work specificially in the sport. She is an ideal candiate for the sport and am very excited about her!
I have been to two clubs in the area but did not join either. One was about 2 hours without traffic away which was great but with traffic was close to 5 hours one way (this would happen on both training days). It got to be too much of a drive for me. I car pooled with my friend and her pup who was purchased for the sport as well. We found another club about an hour away but decided it wasn't a good fit for us at this present time and the drive to the club and the hours we both work (we car pool to training) just didn't mesh with their training days.
Now.... lol.. there is a group of us in the area who have been training together for a few months now. We are just a group of dog lovers who enjoy the sport, like training our dogs and who want to succeed in the sport with our pups. Two members are experienced in obedience and one is expereinced in schutzhud but does not work the dogs. We have some helping hands from other clubs when we need it and when they have time which we appreciate more than anything. We work on our own schedule and even have 2 places to train; one being secured with equipment we can use. It is a great set up and we are very happy!
The only thing is.... we lack a decoy on a regular basis. We would ideally like to welcome a decoy (certified club or trial or higher helper) to our "club". We have had a few inquiries with ads we placed and a few people like I mentioned come out and work our dogs and give us things to work on until we see them again but we would like to have someone full time.
I was just wondering if anyone could recommened where to look for an experienced/newly expereinced decoy? I have placed ads on here, Kijiji (I know some schH ppl post on there in my area) as well as a few online places. Word of mouth is big in the sport I know, and through this we have gotten a few good hits but they won't be able to come out until the new year which of course is understandable! We just were curious if anyone had any other recommendations?
I very much appreciate any and all infromation!
by BMartin on 19 December 2011 - 15:49
|Most helpers/decoys already have a club they work with on a "full-time" basis. In order for you to steal them away, you are going to have to offer some serious incentives. I don't know about everyone else, but my club is like family. I am fortunate that I have TWO very experienced handlers/trainers/helpers that I have been able to learn from full-time and 3 others that have helped me come along as well. I have gone from a green newbie to a regional level helper with their help and plan on getting my national level cert next year. There is nothing you could offer me to get me to leave. |
What I am basically getting at is this... you are going to have to get a newbie that is willing to learn or pay someone to work your dogs. Unless someone is on the outs with their club, it wouldn't benefit an experienced helper to leave his club and work with yours. He would have a whole new group of handlers and dogs to train and also wouldn't have anyone to work his dogs. So in my opinion your only opinions would be helper-for-hire or newbie. Best of luck!
by elisabeth00117 on 19 December 2011 - 17:26
|We are totally fine with paying someone!|
I am not looking to "steal" anyone away - I understand the dynamics of a club as I did belong to one who I considered an extended family. Wish I was able to make it to their training days but distance is the issue.
Someone had suggested reaching out to those who do seminars or certifications and seeing if anyone was interested in working with us (even as a paid member-ish). Just not sure where to look for those types of people besides at the actual events. Another person thought about sponsering a certified helper from Europe for the summer or something, send him to seminars and such and give him free room and board while here. He can work while here and for his "rent/food" he can train with us. Seems like a good idea and I do have some contacts that may be able to make this happen - my only worry is having this person really experienced or someone just saying they are.
Like I mentioned, we have a few people who are actually from other clubs at this time who are going to come out and work with us (hopefully on a regular basis) but this isn't until the new year. One is a national level helper and the other a trial level - which is great and more than we were expecting.
I think our "club" if you want to even call it that (it is basically a group of friends/people just getting together and training our dogs!) has some good benefits too, one being it is pretty central and we have an amazing area to train, thirdly being we even have a trainer of PD dogs able to help once in awhile who can bring in another viewpoint (good or bad.. LMAO).
I would like in time to register with the GSSCC but at this point in time we are just looking for someone to help us out - either by us paying them or them coming over and working with us as a member.
To be honest, all we really want is a good group of people/friends/extended family who have the same goals and work together to train and title dogs. Seems so simple but in the "dog world" this seems to be quite a feat! ;)
Thanks for you post!