FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Have a Question?

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

We are a not-for-profit organization, and every member donates their time to the club.  In other words, K9Force is NOT a business.  No one profits from the club or gets paid by the club.  Annual member dues pay for club equipment, field rental, field maintenance, trial expenses, etc. The cost of training a dog for Schutzhund/IGP competitions can range anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the working capabilities of the dog. In summary, your first year of training is likely to cost you between $1,000-$1,200 (not including travel and attendance at guest trainer seminars which we host to improve your skills).

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A DOG TO JOIN?

No – quite a few people join while they are still looking for a dog. You can still be part of the group, enjoy the camaraderie and help out.

CAN ANY DOG DO THIS? 

Yes and no. The sport of IPO is open to any dog that can do the work, regardless of pedigree. Even mixed breeds and unregistered dogs are welcome. However, while there are no restrictions for size, a willing Parson Russell Terrier might have a hard time clearing a 1 meter jump with a 650 gram dumbbell in her mouth. Ultimately the sport is a heritage-working-ability test designed to test the German Shepherd Dog – and not all dogs are temperamentally or physically suited to do it.

However – the first stage is a basic title called a bH – and virtually any dog can do this.

HOW LONG DOES SCHUTZUND/IGP TRAINING TAKE?

IPO is not a gentle hobby and requires a great amount of dedication, time, and consistency. 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 is not a sport that measures progress in 6-week chunks like other dog training classes. We train twice a week – Wednesday nights and Sundays. Sunday’s training usually takes a good 8-9 hours out of the day. As a guideline, an average member in regular training seeking progress will attend club sessions twice per week and work at home on obedience and tracking. Training with our club is not a solitary endeavor 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 organized events.

WHAT TRAINING METHODS DO YOU USE?

Every dog is different, our initial evaluation will help us choose methods that are most effective for your dog. We use proven learning theory to develop methods that allow the dog to learn as quickly and as easily as possible. We are constantly working with top competitors and trainers to share and fine-tune our methods to create a dog that is confident in the work and happy and willing to perform. We use the steps of teaching and proofing that ultimately has your dog convinced that the exercises are actually ITS idea.

I AM NOT INTERESTED IN OBEDIENCE & TRACKING.  CAN I JUST HAVE MY DOG TRAINED IN PROTECTION?

No.  We are not a bite club. We are an IPO/Schutzhund club. That means that obtaining working IPO/IGP titles is our goal. Remember the three phases: tracking, obedience, and protection. All members must train and compete in all three disciplines without exceptions.

TRAINING. WHAT TO EXPECT.

We do not expect you to know it all when you start, but we do want you to push yourself to learn and develop. Our club sessions are not training classes.  We tend to conduct a more ‘hands-on’ style of training and instruction, which means you will see all 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-on-one lesson.

I WANT TO JOIN. WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

As a prospective member you will be required to undergo an initial evaluation to determine dog’s suitability for the program and attend 8 consecutive “Intro to IPO” training sessions, during which your dog will be evaluated for working ability and temperament. A stable temperament is foremost. We observe and evaluate your relationship with the dog and its drives.

 

Please understand that these evaluations are not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings; they are an honest appraisal of the potential of the dog in this sport.  More about Intro to IPO program & Membership

For addition question, please contact us.