We at PronouncedK9 are excited to announce that we are sponsoring and hosting four non-sanctioned, for-fun Schutzhund competitions. The 2018 Challenge will pay out $30,000 in cash prizes. The first event took place in October 2017 and the next event is October 12-14, 2018. As long as the interest is there, these events will happen, as we have secured the funding to support them. However, we don’t want to stop there. Our goal is to create a league that will serve our members and allow the organization to, in essence, self-fund future events.
To best serve our competitors and as a part of our plan to continue this endeavor into the future, we are creating the Schutzhund Trainers League. To be eligible to enter the competitions, you must join the League, at a cost of $100 per year. Your membership admission will be date/time stamped, and your membership number will be assigned based on your order of membership into the League; the earlier you join, the lower your membership number. This is important because the competition will be limited to 32 dog/handler teams, and in the event that we receive more than 32 entries, entrants with the lowest membership numbers (the earliest members) will receive priority. If you aren’t one of the 32 that make it into the first competition, don’t worry. The League member list will continue to function as a competitor waiting list. Bottom line: the sooner you join the League, the sooner you get to compete for cash prizes! If you want to get involved but your dog is not quite ready to hit the field, no problem. Your low membership number will still get you first right of refusal in the next event that you are eligible for.
The Challenge will be a two-day event, accommodating 16 dog/handler teams each day. There will be an entry fee of $300. (Remember, that gets you a shot at winning $15,000!) We will hold a fair draw to determine competition order. There will be only one judge, which means there will be no flights. All 16 dogs will track in the morning, then will return to the event grounds where all 16 will do obedience before moving on to protection. The complete rule book will be available on the League site. The rules and points structure are based on the Schutzhund III routine from the year 1990, the two major exceptions being that a padded stick, not reed, will be used for the first four events, and that the judge will be conferring with the helpers before determining your protection score. Needless to say, courage and hardness will be paramount. No titles are required and none will be given; this is a non-sanctioned event. The top five places will be paid. Here’s the breakdown:
1st Place – $15000
2nd Place – $5000
3rd Place – $4500
4th Place – $3500
5th Place – $2000
We want to reward success, so these five teams, along with the next five high scorers, will be eligible to enter the next event. The other 22 teams will cycle to the bottom of the waiting list. Don’t worry, we won’t allow this list to become too long. If the membership grows beyond what we can support with these four events, we will happily host more events, allow more entries per event, perhaps even increase the payouts.
We have already stated that the first goal of the league, in addition to funding future events and acting as a competitor waiting list, is to serve our members and promote our competitors. The league site will act as an online magazine, which we are going to use to cover these competitions in an in-depth, professional way that has never been done before in dog sports. We want everyone to be able to get to know the key players in this organization. Each competing team will have a profile page to highlight their journey and accomplishments. We will be posting pre- and post-competition interviews with competitors, judges, and helpers. There will be breakdowns and discussions of notable performances as well as opinions from spectators. Top 10 competitors and other well-known trainers will be encouraged to submit training articles. It is our goal to make the League site as useful, informative, and entertaining as possible for our members. But most importantly, every event is going to be filmed in its entirety and made available for viewing on the league site. We plan for the film to feature running commentary of the performances.
If you haven’t already guessed, the long term goal of all of this is to promote this sport to the public, attract corporate sponsors, and ultimately gain some type of television coverage. Basically, we want to see our dog sport receive the same attention and respect as other professional sports. We at PronouncedK9 believe that some of the finest animal trainers in the world reside within the protection dog sports. We also believe that it is time to finally shine a light on these talented people and show the public what is achievable with a working dog. To our knowledge, no one has attempted to hold cash prize events of this caliber and promote them at this level. Many seem to think that there is no market for Schutzhund as a popular spectator sport, but we disagree. We believe that is not only possible, but is important for the future of the sport, which is why we have put in the work, secured the funding, and created this opportunity. Now we are asking for your support.