Basic Information & K9 Etiquette For Guests

The following contains information about the german american hundesport, club and answers to frequently asked questions by guests and prospective new members. We hope that this handout will answer your questions and provide insight into the sport of Schutzhund, now known as IPO, and our club.

 The german american hundesport club is a non profit Schutzhund oriented dog training organization affiliated with the German Shepherd Club of America- Working Dog Association. We train in North Fort Myers, Florida. The club was founded by a small group of people who were interested in training and competing with their dogs in a mature, friendly and supportive environment.

We work together to achieve goals that we set for ourselves and our K9 partners. We celebrate the successes and try to laugh at our training mishaps together.

 Our members are from all walks of life with varied occupations and other interests. We are all, however, students of the sport of Schutzhund, and always looking to improve our training methods and skills. We are serious about training our dogs, but emphasize having fun during training.

If you are not familiar with the sport it is important to know that Schutzhund is a fun and rewarding sport for you and your canine companion(s) but it is very time consuming. It takes time and dedication to train and succeed in all three phases of the sport: Tracking, Obedience, and Protection. All members are required to participate in all three phases unless you are granted an exception by the Training Director and Board.

Training a dog from scratch to an IPO 3 title can take 3-4 years depending on the amount of time dedicated to training, the skills of the handler, and the temperament and workability of the dog. Few dogs excel in all three phases of the sport without a fair amount of problem solving. The sport requires patience and sportsmanship. We expect our members to help and support one another with training issues. We expect everyone to pitch in with any tasks that need to be done such as cleanup, trial preparation and execution. We expect our members to treat their dogs fairly and respect other club members, trainers and judges. Abusive training methods will not be tolerated.

 Prospective members are evaluated to determine if we can help you and your dog be successful in Schutzhund and if you will harmoniously intermingle with our club. If you do not attend group training, trials and seminars, and regularly train tracking and obedience, this is not the club for you. We do not train personal protection dogs, our dogs are motivated athletic working sport dogs.


 We will make an honest assessment of your dog during the invitational sessions and tell you whether your dog is suited for the sport. Protection work is not for dogs with weak nerves or dogs with very low drive. This does not mean that you have a bad dog, it just means that he/she is not suitable for this activity. Since membership is limited, we prefer to keep the membership slots open to dog handlers that are serious about  setting goals and achieving IPO titles. The membership as a whole invests a lot of time and energy helping one another succeed in obtaining various level IPO titles that range in difficulty from a beginning title of BH to the highest level of difficulty, IPO 3.


 We welcome guests and prospective members to visit the training sessions of our club. There are some basic rules and canine etiquette that guests or prospective members need to be aware of. These need to be followed as safety of the canines and handlers is a primary concern. There is a $ 15.00 fee per session for all non members with a dog. There will be a limited number of non member training slots available per session to be determined by the Training Director and Board.

 IMPORTANT – Please read carefully. You will be required to sign an acknowledgement of receipt and acceptance and a liability release on your first visit.

Initially we ask that you come without your dog to learn and and listen

All dogs on premise are required to be CURRENT on ALL VACCINATIONS. You the handler/owner may be required to provide proof of vaccination status, so make sure you have vet records available.

  You, the handler/owner, are required to keep your dog confined to a secure dog crate/kennel while the dog is not being trained. Dogs are not to be on the training field until it is your turn to work your dog. Dogs MUST be crated when not working on the field or during breaks in designated areas. This rule is not optional and you will be asked to leave the field if you show up with your dog un-crated.


 You the handler/owner can let your dog out to relieve him/herself as long as the dog is under control at all times. Dog(s) must use the designated area (NO relieving dogs on or near the field). You the handler/owner are responsible for cleaning up any and all waste left by your dog(s).


Dogs MUST be on a leash and under control at all times except when in a training situation that warrants off leash work. Handlers MUST have a leash with them at all times. Dogs must have collars on at all times. Dogs must be under the control of their handlers at all times or you will be asked to leave.


Safety is our number one priority. Do not approach any dogs without the handler’s permission. Under no circumstances will you allow your dog to approach another dog without a specific request from a handler.


  Clean up after yourself, clean up after your dog. No exceptions.


Ensure that you have plenty of water on hand for your canine and yourself. Bring your own dog gear, folding chair, sunscreen, jackets, treat bags, rain wear and bug spray.


Our training is for our Working Dogs. If you have other pet dogs, this is not the place for them. Please leave any pets at home.


 Bear in mind that this is a club effort and not individual lessons. You are required to be working toward a title. If you are just looking to train your dog, you may want to look elsewhere.


Wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Pockets are useful. Shoes must be closed-toed and have good traction. Sandals are not allowed during training sessions.

Club events require a lot of participation to organize and setup. If you have a special skill that will contribute to the organization, please volunteer. Getting the trial and field set up requires a lot of work and all participation is appreciated.


  Poor sportsmanship and any conduct that may be offensive to club members, or derogatory to the club itself will not be tolerated.


To keep training and eventually being voted in as a member, we will be watching for three things:

You must attend a minimum of 70% of the training sessions and you must train in all phases


 Prospective clients/members must show initiative and willingness to work during training  sessions, trials and events.


The dog handler team must show progress towards titles and the overall understanding of Schutzhund training theories and practices 


 The $15.00 session fee is to be paid at the time of each visit unless other arrangements are made by the Treasurer or the Board

 Download or Print Forms Here:   Basic Info & K9 Etiquette        GAH Waiver

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