For new members: 

GSSCC membership is mandatory within two weeks after joining our club, this membership offers insurance protection for training. We encourage and value dedication, therefore our annual membership fee is non-refundable.

Because IPO involves three phases, it does take a substantial amount of time. Additionally, it is not a solitary endeavor and we need members who are willing to help one another by attending training regularly and staying for the duration of the sessions. Our members are also expected to support club-sponsored events, by helping out or supplying entries.

We are an IPO/Schutzhund club. That means that obtaining working IPO titles is our goal. Remember the three phases: tracking, obedience and protection. If your goal is to obtain tracking skills, we can help with that but it is important for our members to understand protection work and support it as a club function.

You are free to come out and watch training (without your dog) and encouraged to ask questions. In that way, you can determine whether the sport itself and also the training style are what you are searching for. There are many styles as there are individuals; take your time and find the right fit for you and your dog.

As a prospective member you will be require to 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. The training director will observe and evaluate your relationship with the dog and its drives. The Training Director will advise you of his/her opinion concerning the abilities of the dog. Please understand that these evaluations aren’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings; they are an honest appraisal of the potential of the dog in this sport. Sometimes that means that a young dog simply needs time to grow up. Sometimes a dog doesn’t have the heart to participate. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfectly lovely companion, just that this particular sport is not the right choice. We do not believe in forcing participation on an unwilling candidate…this should be FUN!

If you are interested in the sport and do not presently have a dog, the best advice we can offer is to take your time! Watch the dogs in the club and if there are qualities you like about them, inquire where they came from. Research other breeders and ask questions. Don’t rush into a puppy without a great deal of thought. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the sport before leaping into a purchase.

Regular and Advance obedience


Seminars with guest speakers

IPO Training and Testing:  Originated from Germany, this type of training produced many top-level working dogs, now it is a standard for working dogs. Certification offers by GSSCC. (For additional information, please visit: IPO training includes:

•Tracking: The depth of difficulty differs based on the title being worked towards, but tracking is all about testing a dog’s ability to not only scent but also about his ability to stay focused enough to follow the scent without distraction or frustration.  It is also a test of how confident a dog is and how well he works in front of his handler.  The dog will be required to properly identify articles (by alerting in some fashion such as lying down on or near the object) to his handler that have been left on the track by the track layer.

•Obedience: The obedience work is of a high level that is designed to test the dog’s intelligence, desire to work and please its handler, its ability to take directions from its handler, and its ability to work under stress (heeling around other people, during noises like gunshots, etc.) The obedience work includes heeling work, retrieval work (including over an A-frame obstacle), recalls, send outs, stay, along with position related work such as sit and down.  It is important that the dog is a happy worker and interested in what he is doing.

•Protection: This is the most misunderstood of the three phases of training and is normally the one the general public focuses on.  During training and trialling, there must be a ‘helper’ to do protection work.  A helper is a person that will be wearing the padded bite sleeve.  This person will also be concealed behind a blind and at more than point during the test will either attempt to escape or pretend to threaten/attack the dog or handler.  Initially, the dog is required to locate the helper when he is hidden and hold him there for the handler.  When the helper attempts to escape or threatens the dog or handler, the dog is to actively apprehend the helper by biting the bite sleeve.  A dog must be confident enough and strong enough mentally to handle this work, but he must also be sensitive to handler commands and release the sleeve when requested.  It is hard to call a dog off when he is working at a high, excited level (or in high drive mode) so it is imperative that he is trained well enough and is responsive to handler commands.

• It is important to note that temperament is a very important aspect of all levels.  There are multiple things that are integrated into the testing for evaluating temperament.  If a dog cannot pass these elements (by showing fear, nervousness, extreme aggression, sound reactivity, weaker nerves, etc.) he will not be able to pass a test.

**Please note that the dog who is participating protection training must be 12 months or older. Temperament assessment is mandatory. The owner must sign a waiver prior training.

Due to increasing number of requests for visiting our club, we’ve made slight changes to visitors who want to see our field and programs, and we will only have an open house once a month

Join us at Open House for information session and program displays.
Connect with our faculty, engage in discussions and be inspired by the possibilities.
Meet instructors and current members who are ready to answer your questions and discover K9Force and its vision and success in competitive sports.

Whether you’re interested in day-to-day obedience, you want to explore your training possibilities, or you’ve got a passion for performing and competing- be welcome in our inclusive environment.

RSVP today! Send an email to :

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.

Do you teach my dog for me? 

No – you teach your dog. But we are happy to works with you on how to teach your dog and what you need to teach him. Especially if you are new – it can be quite daunting trying to figure out what is required. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

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.

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.

What do I need to know to get started? 

All you need is enthusiasm, an obsessive fascination with dogs and their abilities, and a willingness to learn.

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