What do you need to be eligible join?
1. A basic knowledge of the sport
We don’t expect you to know all about the sport before you join but you should have a basic knowledge of IPO and its format. The sport is in three phases. Tracking, Obedience and Protection. You can read more about the sport at http://www.gsdleague-workingbranch.com/
At White Rose Schutzhund Club our members train all three phases and obtaining working titles is our collective goal. We are happy to arrange for you to come and watch our training (without your dog) and encourage you to ask questions. You can then develop an understanding of whether the sport itself, competition for titles and the training style we have is suitable for you.
2. A reasonable time commitment
A high proportion of people who are interested in the sport drop out within the first year as they become discouraged by the amount of time they need to invest or their perceived lack of progress. This isn’t a sport that measures progress in 6 week chunks like other dog training courses or clubs you may have been involved with.
As a guideline, an average member in regular training seeking progress will be attending club sessions twice per week and working at home on obedience, tracking and protection technique (which the club will define for you). On a weekly basis this time commitment is:
- Obedience – around 6.5hrs (2 club sessions of 2 hrs each plus 10 mins twice per day at home)
- Tracking – around 4-6hrs (3-4 tracks per week)
- Protection – 10 hrs (2 club sessions of 5hrs each)
Training with our club is not a solitary endeavour and members are expected to help one another by attending training regularly, staying for the duration of the session, helping support the smooth running of the club and supporting club organised events.
Naturally, many hands make light work so if you join as a member or prospective member, feel free to roll your sleeves up and pitch in with something you feel comfortable with!
3. A dog
The sport was originally conceived as a ‘fit for breeding’ test for the German Shepherd Dog. It goes without saying therefore that the sport is best suited to German Shepherds. However, many other breeds are active in the sport and have competed with great success at club level and can be seen at all levels up to and including the FCI All Breed World Championships.
White Rose Schutzhund Club are proud to welcome handler and dog teams with the necessary drive and commitment to succeed in the sport, irrespective of breed. We are a member of the German Shepherd Dog League of Great Britain (Working Branch) and those breeds worked by our members currently include Germany Shepherd, Malinois, American Bulldog, Dobermann, Rottweiler, and Crossbreed. In the past we have also trained Giant Schnauzer, Miniature Schnauzer and Australian Sheepdogs. You can see therefore that our training philosophy is to accommodate the individuality of each dog.
Is your dog suitable?
As a prospective member you will be invited to attend 4 consecutive training sessions during which your dog will be evaluated by the Head or Assistant Trainer. The most important factor is that your dog has a stable temperament. You will be asked to bring high value food and a favourite toy and then you will be asked to play with your dog.
The Trainer will advise you of their opinion concerning the abilities of the dog. Please understand that this honest appraisal of the dog’s capability to participate in this sport is no slight on either yourself or the dog by its very nature. Sometimes a dog doesn’t have the motivation or heart to succeed in a sport that requires a high level of drive and a high level of self control. We don’t believe in forcing participation on a dog who doesn’t want to play; we want to make sure that participating in our sport is fun for both the dog and the handler. We may agree that you have a fantastic dog, but also tell you that this just isn’t the sport for him/her.
If you don’t have a dog at the moment but you are interested in the sport the best advice we can offer is to take your time, learn as much as you can about the sport and watch the dogs at this and other clubs. If there’s a dog you like, you can ask where they came from. Do your research and ask questions before making your decision on whether to get a puppy or a young dog that has been started in work or a titled dog.
After confirming you have the time, the understanding, the commitment and your dog has the drive for our sport, what next?
At this stage you have paid £40 to attend 4 introductory sessions over a period of not more than one month.
If the Members are in agreement, you will be advised that you can continue to train with us as a Prospective Member at a cost of £30 per month for a period of 3 months.
At the end of this 3 month period you can decide whether you wish to continue training with the club. The members will consider whether you will be a contributory addition to the club and if they are in agreement you will be granted Probationary Member status (no vote at club meetings).
Probationary Member status is for a minimum of 12 months. Full membership is by invitation only.
WRSC Membership and training fees are £260 per calendar year. Individual Membership is £20 payable at the start of each year (or point of membership acceptance) and each person’s training fees are payable by £20 monthly standing order, is preferred.
In addition to WRSC membership, you must also join the GSDL Working Branch within your first 6 months of membership. The cost is £45 for a single membership, £56 for a joint membership (one vote) and £60 for a family membership.
Before you are ready to enter a trial you will also need to obtain a performance book for your dog. The cost for this is £10
In summary, your first year of training is likely to cost you £445 (not including all the toys, food, entries, and attendance at guest trainer seminars which we hold which are geared towards improving your skills).
After one year you may be invited to be voted into Full Membership if you have attended club meetings, events and supported the Club objectives.
Over the years you will, as most people do, accumulate a vast array of toys and equipment if you remain in the sport.
In your first year however you can start with a very basic kit. You will need:
- A harness for protection work. Look for a harness specifically designed for agitation and protection which is well padded in areas that are likely to rub.
- A standard leash with clip fastening
- A fur saver chain link collar
- A crate or method of containment appropriate for securing your dog when you are away from your vehicle at training
- A 10m line for tracking and protection
- Whatever treats or toys motivates your dog (we commonly use tiny pieces of hot dog or cooked chicken, chopped to around the size of a 5p) This is so that the dog doesn’t have to stop to chew the treat before continuing to work.
- You may choose to buy a bite roll in French linen or jute to play tug with your dog at home.
6. Training Rules
As a prospective member you should review the Club training rules which are posted on our Club notice board.
7. Thirst for Knowledge
We don’t expect you to know it all when you get here but we do want you to push yourself to learn and develop. We want you to attend workshops with other specialist trainers, to go seminars, chat with other people and ask questions. We want your knowledge and understanding of the sport to grow and develop. Our club has hosted seminars and workshops with helpers and specialist trainers from around the world, and will continue to do so.
We tend to conduct a more ‘hands-on’ style of training and instruction, which means you will see all of our members being accompanied through their obedience and protection routines with other members and trainers. You should expect that you would be instructed in a similar manner. Remember this is a club training environment, not a one to one lesson. We encourage all members to keep a training plan or log to actively record your progress. This will also help if a trainer or helper with whom you previously worked is not available at any given session.
Most of our communications are done via email. If you do not have email you will need to contact the Secretary and confirm training times and locations.
Non members / visitors must request permission to attend in advance of each session.
A training fee of £ 5.00 per person per session including tea/coffee
Chairperson: P James
Secretary: A Brooks
Treasurer: C M Spurr
Trainer: K Sullivan
Tuesday: 12:00pm till late
Sunday: 11:00am till late