Learning IPO foundation - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Learning IPO foundation

What is the best way to learn IPO foundation if I don't have easy access to a club? The closest club to me is about 3.5 hours away and in another country (club is in US, I'm in Canada)! There's another one a little bit further away but in Canada. I’d be fine with driving out to the club once or twice a month but every week would be too much. I think I’m going to have to do the majority of my learning and training on my own.

A forum member mentioned the Fenzi Academy to me. Has anyone else had experience with them? How did you like it? What were the pros and cons? I’ve done lots of online classes for myself, to get my degree (seriously, I live in the middle of nowhere!), and know that I can self-motivate.

And another member said that I could watch some training vids online too. Can anyone recommend any good ones?

Does anyone have any other suggestions? My puppy is 16 weeks old today, so I have some time for research, but I should get started pretty soon!
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 12:30 PM
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I go to my trainer every other week. It's a 3 hour drive, one way. She packs a LOT into one hour. The time in between gives me plenty to work on what I've learned. When I mentioned joining a club the advise was to not at this time and wait until next year when he will actually need field practice. Talk to the TD of hte club about lessons every 2-3 weeks. And start sooner rather than later. There is a lot of little steps they need to learn.




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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 12:34 PM
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My issue with this idea is that it’s really hard to objectively look at what you’re doing, and what your dog is doing, without that experienced eye. So…you’ll watch a video, go out and do things, and think you’re doing it right. But your dog is actually an inch off, or something else is wrong, but it’s stuff that you won’t notice because you’re handling and you really can’t see what’s going on.

You’ll also more than likely end up limiting yourself. Not developing enough or more drive, because you’ll think it’s all you can do because you won’t see the signs that the dog is capable of more. You’ll see your dog…having more drive than any other dog you’ve had…and think it’s a lot, where as in reality you can probably get more out of him and if you’re looking to compete/title at one point…you’ll kick yourself when someone ends up telling you in a few years that your dog was capable of more.

Another big point that I’ve seen is that too much obedience/foundation, hurts the protection work. Your dog doesn’t learn from a young age to balance the obedience and the protection and protection can turn into an obedience exercise rather than a natural thing for the dog. It takes a lot of time and back tracking to get that out of a good dog. The protection part brings up the fact that a large part of IPO foundation work does have to do with the gripping and biting behavior of the dog. Something that you can’t work on by yourself because you need to be able to set a deep grip (if not natural/genetic to the dog). This is also something that will waste a lot of time if done wrong as a puppy and then you decide to fix it when the dog is older.

If I were you, I’d really start going to other dog clubs…not just IPO and start connecting with people. A lot of times, helpers are around and doing the work, just not for a club. Or it’s just not a USCA club at the moment. Now…there’s always a risk of the helper not being a good one, but you won’t really know that unless you meet people that can tell you yes or no.

I'd really say that not doing anything...is probably better for your dog than you trying to do something based off of videos.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 12:40 PM
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Where in BC are you?

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in Rossland. Tiny little town in the West Kootenay. Right on the US border.

The Fenzi Academy offers a level where you video yourself training with your dog, upload to their site, and they will provide criticism on how you're doing. I like that option.

I get the point about not developing enough drive though. I could definitely see myself curbing him too soon.

I haven't done very much obedience with him yet - just sit, down, drop it, leave it and recall. We do a down from standing position. I don't teach stay - I think the dog should hold the sit, down or stand until released. That said, he doesn't hold it for very long yet! We've also been playing with a pully and I've been trying to make sure he always has the pad way back in his teeth before we start tugging.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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I don't really know how I would go about finding a trainer for IPO!

There's a local trainer, who just got an Aussie puppy the same age as my pup, who wants to teach her Aussie IPO. She's never done IPO before, but is a very good trainer otherwise. She's starting to get some recognition and has been invited to speak at some events in the US and western Canada. She thinks she has a good handle on what to do for IPO obedience and tracking, and wants to learn how to do, and eventually teach, bitework. She's willing to work with me for the bitework for free, since she'd be learning too. Would this be a good option?
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McWeagle View Post
I don't really know how I would go about finding a trainer for IPO!

There's a local trainer, who just got an Aussie puppy the same age as my pup, who wants to teach her Aussie IPO. She's never done IPO before, but is a very good trainer otherwise. She's starting to get some recognition and has been invited to speak at some events in the US and western Canada. She thinks she has a good handle on what to do for IPO obedience and tracking, and wants to learn how to do, and eventually teach, bitework. She's willing to work with me for the bitework for free, since she'd be learning too. Would this be a good option?
Contact the club you are interested in and talk to their TD about private lessons.

NO, do not have a person who has never done IPO teach you IPO!!!! There are to many little rules that you need to be aware of. ESPECIALLY bitework! You can screw a dog up quickly on a bad helper.




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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 02:34 PM
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Nothing out there outside the Island and the Lower Mainland, that sucks for you.

I'm with others - if you don't have an IPO club or an experienced trainer, it is better to do nothing and wait until you are in a situation where you can get the training help you need, than try to do it off videos. Seriously, mess up your foundation, and you'll be regretting every minute of it. There is a saying that "No training is better than BAD training". Many dogs start IPO when they are older - my rescue was 2 when I started OB classes with her (she'd been a stray who knew NOTHING), 2 1/2 when I joined our SchH club, and 2 months later we had our BH. But no WAY I would have been able to do any of this on my own without working with a group.

When people come to our club, the main thing we evaluate is the engagement and nerve of the pup (or older dog). We don't really care if the dog can sit, down, stay or recall in a perfect front, because that can be taught. What can't be taught is drive and the relationship already there. We sometimes get people who have been doing everything off videos, and they are a pain-in-the . . . . they act like they know it all, and they have HORRIBLE foundation on their dog, and won't listen to anything we say to try and help, because . . . that is not what Michael Ellis does in his videos . . .

Well, if you were doing things the way Micahel Ellis was doing it, you wound't have all these issues, horrible, weak bites, and lack of engagement that we are seeing, (but the person does not, because they have been working on their own, and don't know what they are supposed to see).

Not saying that is you, but wanted to illustrate that doing things on your own may be more a hindrance than a help.

If you wan't to do some IPO in the future with your dog, have fun with engagement and basic obedience, and leave the rest for experienced help - even tracking needs to be done a very specific way, and if you follow directions from someone who only does CKC or AKC tracking, you'll give your dog incorrect foundations that will be very difficult to fix later on.

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 02:37 PM
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I think there is a trainer, competitor and decoy in MI that does online training. I will look for it later: traveling right now.

Denise's focus is more on Obedience, rather than IPO.


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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 09-15-2014, 02:38 PM
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I will say this- I have done IPO foundations through Fenzi. I like their program a lot as a whole, because as you mentioned, you can video yourself to get feedback.

If you take a session, for something like this that you know very little about (not an insult!) you should absolutely pay for gold membership to upload videos d/t martemchik's points about little things that you won't notice that the instructors absolutely will. Train like you always do while videotaping. Don't change things to make yourself look better if that's not how you always train or you're going to create bad habits that no one sees to fix.

Love Shade's classes and philosophy. She has a lot of great stuff you can see on youtube, too. And other user's submissions are great to watch on youtube as well... you don't even need to be a student to look those up and learn from them a bit.

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