Visitor info

Big Sky Working Dog Club
Visitor’s Agreement

Big Sky Working Dogs welcomes you to participate in our training in support of the sport of IPO/Schutzhund. As such, we base our training on teaching our dogs to be willing partners in tracking, obedience and protection. Our members primarily have German Shepherd Dogs and Belgian Malinois, but we appreciate a good working dog regardless of the breed. As stated on our website, if your dog is mentally and physically sound, has a confident and stable temperament, loves to retrieve and play tug, is not dog aggressive and you think you might be interested in learning about the sport of IPO, you’re welcome work with us and then decide if you wish to join the club.

What we are not:

  • Our club sessions are not training classes. We are here to work our own dogs and obtain input from other club members. You should watch, ask questions, and then be prepared to train on a regular basis on your own. We will help you but we will not train your dog. If you want more instruction and wish to progress more rapidly, we strongly encourage you to take classes especially if you do not have a background in classical and operant conditioning.
  • We do not do personal protection training. IPO is not about personal protection and a successful dog/handler team must be proficient in obedience, tracking and protection.


  • Please keep your dog on leash and under control and ask if you should bring it onto the training field or into the building if we are training indoors.
  • Do not let your dog socialize with other dogs unless specifically told by the other handler that it is acceptable (this is rare – we are here to bond with our dogs, not let them bond with others).
  • Be courteous of dogs and handlers who are working.
  • Feel free to ask questions and talk with a club member about what someone is doing with their dog while they are training.
  • And we expect you to enjoy yourself and learn!

Visitors will be charged $10 per session plus any fees associated with use of the facilities. Full Members will be expected to participate in all three phases of training if you plan to be part of the club. After three sessions as a visitor, we will evaluate your dog and inform you if we think your dog is or is not suited to the sport of IPO. Some dogs are not suitable for protection work. That’s OK, there are still ways you can participate and earn titles in obedience and tracking if you wish to become an Associate Member. Note that the requirement to track is waived for October through April.

If you wish to visit during a seminar please contact ahead of time for location, times, and cost. We welcome auditors but participation availability and cost for a seminar with a dog will be at the discretion of the club.

Please read and sign the visitor’s agreement, available here in Adobe pdf or MS Word, and bring it with you when you come to visit.