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 – you will have a “spotter” - a coach who 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.
How do I learn what to do?
We will assign a “spotter” to help you with learning to teach your dog.
What do I need to bring for my first time out?
You will need to bring a crate, so your dog can be comfortable and safe in the car between sessions. She will need her collar, and a leash. We can talk about the types of collars and leashes and how to use them as required. You will also need water for your dog if it is a warm day. You should also bring whatever you use to play with your dog or reward him. This could be a ball, or a tug, or some treats. We also like to see proof of vaccination or titres for new dogs.
What training methods do you use?
The short answer is – whatever is most effective for the 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 tried and true steps of teaching/proofing/securing that ultimately has the dog convinced that the exercises are actually HIS 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. That said – there are no allowances for size – so while a Parson Russell Terrier may be willing – she might have a hard time clearing a 1 meter jump with a 650 gram dumbbell in her mouth. Ultimately however – 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. It is common to see other working breeds such as Rotweillers, Dobermans, Bouviers, Giant Schnauzers, Malinois, and Dutch Shepherds participate, as well as some rarer working breeds, such as Russian Terriers, Cane Corsos, and Dogos Argentino.
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.
What kind of titles can I get?
The initial “starter” title – which is a prerequisite for all the others, is a bH.
After that – some of the available titles are:
IGP1 IGP2 IGP3 FH 1 FH 2 OB 1 OB 2 OB 3 TR 1 TR 2 TR 3