Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Southen MD, USA
I'm new to IPO too. My IPO dog is also a family pet. He's not treated any differently in the house than my other two. When I first got Isen who is now 7.5 months, my breeder, training director and other experienced people in the sport said to socialize and make sure everything is positive. When playing tug, the puppy ALWAYS wins. Make sure there are no negative experiences with other dogs/people etc. I took Isen to different places using food as a reward. All this also helps to create a bond with your puppy. My goal for Isen and I is to have fun, learn about the sport, and win some titles at the club level. My long term goal is to one day be competitive at a higher level. That comes with experience : )
Club dues vary depending on the club. Some club lease training fields, others like my club own their field. Club dues for my club are $400/yr. You also have dues for DVG which for new member (myself) are $125 the first year. Our club meets twice a week, some club meet more, some less. On days when we do not train, I train at least 3 of those days, most of the time I can get 4. Training sessions on my own consist of Obedience under distraction, tracking and playing...lots of playing. Protection is done only when I'm at the club. When we're at the club we get to demonstrate our progress throughout the week and take note of our "homework".
When I first started, the training director said something that really stuck with me. "We do not make you come, but this is a group sport. You can not train for everything on your own. Whether its walking through a group, another set of eyes to give you pointers/corrections, or help with protection...you need more than one person to really train. People get out of their dogs what they put in." This statement really stuck with me and I do my best to always make it to training.
When new dogs come to the club, our training director evaluates the dog's temperament, prior to the person paying money to join. The BH is a temperament test that tests the dog's temperament to determine if he/she can move towards IPO. Other organizations also train for the BH. One is Search and Rescue dogs. The BH is important because it shows the owner and dog have control and the dog has a solid temperament.
I do not live in California so I can't help with offering a club. The best thing is to look on line for several clubs in your area. Contact them and visit them. Look how the club is ran, how the members interact with each other, talk with them and the training director. Look at how he trains. Do you approve of it? Some clubs use different methods of training. This is important because YOU need to be okay with how they work your dog. Make notes about each, and go with the one that works for you! Don't forget to have fun!
SG Isen Vom Kavallerie IPO2 AD BH CGCA CGCU TC (GSD)
Devka von der Felsenstadt (GSD)
Red CGC (GSD)
Gypsy BH CGCA (lab)
At the Bridge....Charlie and Shiloh