Trip to OG Melle

Congratulations Chris Goodridge!

The National Committee would like to extend its congratulations to Chris Goodridge who recently spent time in Germany and became an SV licensed helper. Below is an article he wrote about his trip:

My Trip to OG Melle

I first met Herr Heiko Grube (Vice President of the SV) during the British National Championships last year where I was the long work helper. I subsequently met him again at the Irish Nationals Championships where I was the Short work Helper; Heiko judged both trials.

After seeing my all round trials work he invited me to come and train in Germany. At the end of March this year, I arrived at Hannover airport to be greeted by Heiko, who I would be staying with during my visit. We set off to Heiko’s house in Melle, one and half hours drive away, for a good chat, little dinner and few drinks before bed.

The following day we arrived at the training ground of OG Melle, Heiko’s club, for 10am to be greeted by the club members and head trainer Joachim. The club its self was what they in Germany called small, but what we in the UK would call large; they had 45 members, a large club house and outdoor seating area, there was also a changing area and dry room for helpers. The ground is well sized, flood light and fenced off.

We got straight down to protection work. I worked many dogs at various different levels, Joachim instructed me of the current training they were doing and some of the little training issues dogs had, this was also highlighted to me during training. During the morning police dog handlers arrived to watch me train, from watching they asked if they could work their operational Malinois on me. We did operational protection scenarios. This was good fun and a good experience, the standard was very high I feel sorry for any criminals in Germany!!!

Later that day Mike O’ Connor arrived to work his dog’s on me. I met Mike at the Irish National Championships last year, where he went on to win the trial. Mike is from a different landsgruppe but liked me as a helper, so especially came to work on me, he worked with me during me whole visit. I first worked with his younger dog, 10 months old, very nice young dog. I then worked his older dog Hunter to help prepare him for a big upcoming trial in the Netherlands in April. The translation became a lot easier now Mike had arrived as he could speak both languages (something I will need to try and start!); I had a great first days training. We finished at half six, I later met up with the club for a nice Greek meal and few drinks.

Friday Morning I was up and down the training ground for 8am. We first started with Obedience, there we two dogs working at any time, during which all other members were on the field supporting and helping each other, this was great to see. From the obedience we got straight in to the protection. I had a chance the day before to see and work all dogs, some of which had some issues. I spoke with Joachim and Mike to help translate to the handlers some ideas we could work on. Between us we did some very nice good quality training, reflecting in good quality work in the dogs; everyone was very happy and pleased and understood how to continue the training.

Other trainers and handlers from local areas arrived and I went on to work Schutzhund 3 dogs under trial type conditions.

At the end of the morning I had an interview (along with Heiko) with the press. I explained my involvement with the sport and how I sought to better myself as a trial and training helper and thus improve the sport back in the UK.

During lunch I was told how I performed as a helper and that I have impressed many people during my short time in Germany. I was asked if I wanted to be apart of the SV, this would expand my trial helper work abroad. I have since become a member of the SV and a special member and helper to OG Melle.

Following lunch I went to the tracking fields nearby to watch the club dogs tracking, from tracking I helped Heiko prepare Reena his three year old bitch for the Korung. This was followed by working the rest of the Club dogs.

On Saturday Heiko left early to go to the SV Headquarters in Augsburg. I went with Sabine (Heikos wife) to the Korung training. This was an hours drive but in the same Landsgruppe. I met many helpers including Marcus, who I has been in England before, and is the long work helper for the second GSDL WUSV Qualifier in Sheffield this year. From the Korung training we went back to OG Melle to work the club dogs again.

Sunday I was up at 4am to leave with Heiko for a trial at OG Hannover (Same Landsgruppe). This was due to tracking starting at half seven. It was a one day trial with 10 dogs entered and 2 apprentice (training) Judges. The club had a large club house and canteen, the field was like a stadium and was equipped with flood lights.

I was able to see the Judging process, paperwork, and the expectations of the Judges at close hand. We did not finish from the trial until half six, from which we went for a meal and few drinks.

The following day and my last day! I was down the training group for 10am to train the club dogs and say bye to all the club members. I was picked up by Joachim from Heiko’s house at 4pm to travel back to Hannover airport.

A big thank you to Heiko, Sabine, and all my new friends at O G Melle for their hospitality and friendship; I will be back in Germany for the WUSV in October and may be the end of the year to Melle.

I would like to thank Heiko and Sabine Grube and all my new fellow club friends at OG Melle for their great hospitality, I look forward to seeing them all very soon

Current major trials to date:

  •  British National Championships 2007 Long Work Helper
  •  First WUSV / FCI Qualifier 2008 Short Work Helper
  •  Third WUSV / FCI Qualifier 2008 Long Work Helper
  •  British National Championships 2008 Long Work Helper
  •  Irish National Championships 2008 Short Work Helper

By: Chris Goodridge