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Old 01-18-2014, 01:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a 9 month old dog who is just getting the basic obedience down. Later I would like to start her in personal protection (if the trainer thinks she is fit for that).
1. Does a dog have to do schutzhund/IPO training in order to be good at protection work?
2. Does a dog that excels in IPO necessarily do well in real life with protection? I am not very familiar with IPO but if those IPO dogs encountered a real life attacker/burglar would they act differently than when they are doing Schutzhund?

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Old 01-18-2014, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just a heads up, but vague thread titles may get passed over by the experienced people you want info from

IPO is a sport and many dogs view it as a game. Dogs trained in IPO may or may not "help out" if you were to find yourself in some predicament. You don't have to train in IPO as some kind of precursor for PD training. Hopefully others with more experience will post with better details.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is a tough question...mostly because it really all depends on the dog. There are dogs that will protect/bite a true threat without any training, there are dogs that won't bite any human due to training (most pets are taught not to put their mouth on humans), there are dogs that will engage a sleeve or a tug but won't engage a human, there are dogs that will run away and hide, there are dogs that will bark and make a big fuss but really not bite, there are dogs that will bite out of fear when cornered, and there is everything in between.

The biggest difference between a "personal protection" dog and a Schutzhund dog is more than likely the amount of pressure the PP dog has had put on it during training in order to withstand a true attack and a threat that might fight back. A Schutzhund dog doesn't get tested to the same level of pressure that a PP dog SHOULD get tested to. I know someone with two HOT IPO3 dogs and on IPO2. She said that one of the IPO3 dogs would probably be able to withstand the decoy/threat fighting back, the IPO2 dog probably would as well, but the other IPO3 dog probably wouldn't withstand any type of large pushback from the threat. But none of these dogs have ever been trained or tested in a situation where the decoy/helper would actually fight back and try to get the dog off.

This answer really depends on your trainer, your dog, and what you want. No one can answer your question as to how an IPO dog would react because 99% of IPO dogs have never been tested in a real life situation. It's also extremely difficult IMO to replicate every single possible scenario the dog might encounter in training and that's why most people will tell you that a PP dog is born and not made. A dog with solid nerves, a dog that isn't scared of anything at all, a "natural."

Does working a dog in IPO give you a better idea that your dog is more likely to defend you than a dog that isn't trained in IPO? Probably...but that might also have something to do with the fact that the majority of people that don't train in IPO don't play tug the same way, don't allow their dogs to ever put their mouth on a human, and tend to correct any kind of aggressive or guarding behavior in their dogs.

I think you really have to understand the commitment it takes, and understand what you're expecting out of your dog. In my opinion, IPO gives you goals, gives you benchmarks to reach, and will give you the satisfaction of accomplishing something. Training just a PP dog...you really have to make your own goals, and as someone (I'm assuming) that hasn't done bite sport of any sort, you're not going to be very good at seeing the week to week progression of your dogs biting and reaction to pressure. I'm assuming this because I'm in the same shoes you are and its extremely hard to notice the small improvements a dog makes week over week. You also need to really trust your trainer and trust that they know what they're doing because YOU have no idea what is right or wrong at this point.

Be very careful, if you trust your helper/decoy then you can believe them, but also remember that at some level they do make money the more times you come and the longer you're training.

Last edited by martemchik; 01-18-2014 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Depends on the dog and depends on how you approach the training.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. Im not really sure if/how I can change thread title?

I am meeting with a trainer next week so he can evaluate my dog and see where we need to begin. She still has work to do with basic obedience.

I respect the dogs & owners who do IPO. I have watched the training and it is unbelievable the talent those dogs have. My friend belongs to a club and they train 3-4 times a week. She has been encouraging me to join but I am reluctant since my dog still needs work in basic obedience. Of course I am sure she would be the best IPO dog (lol) but I don't want her to think she can only bite a sleeve or it's just about having a good time. I have been in a position where a well trained dog could of helped me avoid a bad situation, not neccessarily by biting but with alerting me and shutting the threat down a second so I had time to react.

I realize not every dog could handle the pressure of PP and if the trainer says perhaps she could I will pursue it, if not I am still happy to have her.
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