Algoa Bay GSD Club offers specialized training for German
shepherds in order to keep the dog’s body and mind stimulated and make use of
the full potential of your dog. German shepherds fall in the category of working
dogs and if they are not exercised and worked they are likely to develop
destructive behavior out of boredom like digging up your garden or eating your
furniture. The training at Algoa Bay Club is geared towards helping your dog to
become a balanced family protection dog. All protection work is done as a sport;
we do not offer home protection training or any kind of training to make dogs
Our club training hours are every Saturday from 13:30 to about 17:00. Please
note that depending on the amount of participants classes can run longer or
shorter and therefore we do not provide exact time tables for the classes.
Information is sent out via our club emailing list, so please make sure that you
are added to the list once you have joined the club.
We welcome you to visit our training, so that you can get
a better impression whether the training we offer suits your needs. There is no
obligation to join the club immediately. We actually encourage that you visit us
at least 3 times before you join in order for you to be able to make a decision
whether our kind of training is the right one for you and your GSD. You can
bring your puppy with you when the final vaccination has been administered after
12 weeks. Please note that we require all dogs to be vaccinated against kennel
cough so please contact your vet and check whether this vaccination has be done
before bringing your dog to training.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our
committee members, they will be more than willing to assist you. Our training is
based on a so- called “blue point plan”, which means that every dog has a career
plan and via a blue point it can be tracked in which stage your dog currently
is. Please address all general queries to email@example.com
How to join the club
In order for you to become a club member, you also have to
be a member of the German shepherd Dog Federation of South Africa, with which we
are affiliated with. If you own a German shepherd that is registered on the
breed register, you apply for membership with both club and federation.
The secretary of the club will be able to provide you with
membership forms and all information regarding fees and membership rules. Club
membership fees are paid annually and include all training by the club.
Additional levies apply for entering trials and competitions.
If your German shepherd is not registered on the breed
register, then it has to be registered on the identification register of the
Federation. For this purpose it has to be made identifiable via either tattooing
or micro chipping. Then you can apply for membership with both club and
Our training program
Please note that our instructors are dedicated members of
our club who volunteer their time without payment. You can join our training at
any time through the year, as you will receive individual attention by the
trainers. It is important to understand that the trainers at the club on
Saturdays will teach you how to train your dog, but you need to put work in
during the work on your own as well.
1. Puppy teasing and socializing
Puppy teasing is meant to build drive in your dog via
encouraging him to chase a cloth or a sausage like cushion. This is the first
step towards protection work and we encourage everyone to join this exercise
from the age of 4 months. It also helps your dog to build focus during training
as all puppies are being worked together on the field. Don’t worry if your puppy
is not too interested into the cloth but rather the other dogs. This is normal
in the beginning as your puppy has to deal with being surrounded by many people
and dogs and has to process a variety of new impressions. The puppy teasing is
concluded by socializing of the puppies on the field which helps your dog to
build confidence around other dogs and people.
2. Puppy obedience (beginners class)
In puppy obedience you will be taught how to teach your
dog simple commands like sit, down and stay as well as heel work. A puppy’s
attention span is very short and the class is centered on making it fun for your
puppy so that it will be happy to work for you. It is essential that you bring
treats like soft food (eg viennas) and a toy so that your puppy gets rewarded
every time it gets the exercise right. Working together with your dog will build
a strong bond with your dog.
3. Intermediate obedience
From about six months of age your puppy will develop into
a teenager and start testing you. Simple commands that it easily obeyed to in
puppy class now seem forgotten. Your puppy instructor will let you know when you
are ready to move from the beginner’s class into the intermediate obedience. You
will learn in this class the pattern that you and your dog will have to walk in
the Begleithund trial. This class is also for members that after having passed
the Begleithund trials still wish to continue further with obedience without
having to spend the amount of time required to train for IPO.
4. BH training – obedience leading to
BH = Begleithund = companion dog trial
In order to enter a BH (Begleithund) trial, your dog has
to be a minimum of 15 months old. You will be required to perform a specific
sequence of exercises including heel, sit, down, walking through a group of
people in a figure of eight, stay and a recall. Those exercises have to be
performed both on and off leash. Through the exercise a second dog has to be in
a down position watching the exercises without reacting to them. The second part
of the trial is a temperament test in a busy area where your dog has to show
that it can deal with passengers, cars, bicycles and other dogs without
aggression or fearful behavior. Upon passing of the trial, your dog will be
awarded the title Begleithund = companion dog.
AD – endurance
The endurance trial is a 20 km track which your dog has to
be able to run next to your bicycle. The minimum age for entering the trial is
16 months and your dog has to have passed the Federation hip dysplasia scheme
and be awarded a grading of A. X-rays can be done from a minimum of 12 months of
age. The endurance trial is the first step towards breed qualifications for your
dog. Training for this is not done during training hours on Saturdays. The
instructors will help you by advising you how to train for this trial on your
own and members often meet to train for this trial together.
6. Protection training
and Breed survey
The protection training offered at the club will prepare
you for the protection training required in the IPO trial as well as passing a
breed survey. A breed survey is a breed qualification in which the dog has to
pass a short protection work routine as a temperament test and then receives a
breed description by a breed surveyor which will be entered into its offspring’s
pedigree. Dogs have to pass the endurance trial successfully, their DNA has to
be profiled and male dogs are also required to have passed a BH before entering
this trial. Upon passing this trial dogs are awarded the title Breed survey (Angekoert)
which is valid for 2 years. After 2 years a breed survey for life has to be
passed which leads to the permanent awarding of the title breed surveyed.
7. Breed show training (ring craft)
A ring is set up on the field and dogs have to be shown in
different speeds so that they can be compared against the breed standard. A
Breed grading can only be awarded in an official show with a breed judge
present. A handler will be showing your dog while your job will be to attract
your dog’s attention so that it will be willing to walk towards you in different
speeds required. Only dogs registered on the Federation breed register can be
shown and bred with.
IPO formerly known as Schutzhund consists of the three
parts of tracking, protection and obedience. Dogs have to be a minimum of 18
months old to be able to enter a trial. Tracking is taught through the year
whenever the need arises that enough members want to start with it again. The
protection work includes finding the helper in a hide, “hold and bark”, and
transporting the helper in front of the dog to the judge. The obedience is an
extended version of the BH which also includes a send-away and transporting a
wooden dumbbell over a jump and an A-frame like structure. For more information
please refer to your training supervisor.
In agility you teach your dog to maneuver through an
obstacle course via hand signals. Obstacles include tunnels, weaving poles, see
saws and jumps. Agility is open to all members that have passed the BH
qualification and do not want to participate in IPO training due to dogs’
abilities or time that has to be spent training. Agility is a fun way of keeping
your dog stimulated and you will learn a different approach of teaching your dog
with hand signals as well.
o Beach walks
Once a year the whole club takes your dogs together to the beach and socializes
them in exercises on the beach. This is usually followed by a braai in one of
the parking spots by the beach so that the humans can socialize afterwards as
o Year end function
In November of every year the club hosts the year end function to which all
members and their families are invited. The food is catered for by the club and
music is provided by one of our members who is a DJ. As an entry levy we require
all members to bring some dog food or a tin of dog food which the club donates
to one of the local animal shelters
Rules during training hours for everyone’s safety:
Safety first. Make sure that you are wearing appropriate
shoes and clothing and that you have the correct gear for your dog (leash,
collar or harness) so that you can manage your dog and avoid incidences between
All Dogs and puppies should be kept on a leash except under direct supervision
of one of the trainers.
Always watch around you when handling your dog for other
dogs and owners. Not every dog likes every other dog the same as not all people
get along. Don’t be disappointed if your dog doesn’t get along with everyone
else dogs. Socialization time is under supervision of the trainers that know the
dogs and can handle the situation if the need arises.
During protection work training all other dogs and
puppies have to be put into trailers, vehicles or travel containers which are
provided by the club. The dogs are very excited after the protection work, so
make sure that they have a free path back to their vehicle.
We encourage you to walk your dogs at the outskirts of the fields so they can
relieve themselves before training. Carry packets with you so you can pick up
Bitches in season have to be announced to the training
supervisor before training starts and they have to train last after all other
dogs have been worked. No bitches in season may enter the training field before
all other dogs have worked.
All dogs and puppies have to be up to date on their
vaccinations including kennel cough. Proof of vaccinations has to be presented
to the club secretary. Puppies are only permitted to training after their 3rd DHPPI
vaccination including leptospirosis, rabies (DHPPi + L+R) and kennel cough (KC).
Please notify your veterinarian that you require the kennel cough vaccination
because of frequent exposure to other dogs at training as it is not included in
the standard vaccinations.
Please bring water, water bowl, treats and a toy, adequate collar and leash
with you for training. If you are unsure which collar is suitable for your dog
please consult with one of the committee members.
You are welcome to bring guests and your children to the
club, as we train in a family environment. We also have a jungle gym on the
Please teach your guests and children to not approach any of the other dogs
without getting the permission of the owner in order to avoid accidents. Teach
your children not to approach any of the dogs in the trailers or put their hands
into the compartments. The trailers are a dog’s protected space and it cannot be
predicted how they might react.
No alcohol is permitted to be consumed by people handling
dogs during the training hours.
Treats and toys are very important for training as the
training is reward based. Don’t expect your puppy to just work for you because
it loves you. The bond between dog and owner develops during training.
Please communicate any ideas or improvements you would
suggest to one of the committee members. Feedback on the good and the bad is the
only way that we can give you the best service. Let us know if you would like to
get more in
Lastly, enjoy training your dog and the time you spend
together. Reward and praise your dog when he gets it right and don’t get
frustrated if he doesn’t get it at first. Simply try again. Dog training is all
about repetition and persistence.