BC for IPO - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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BC for IPO

Hello, new here.


I got a border collie cause I heard they were the smartest breed. Shortly after a friend introduced me to the world of protection sports. I wish I got a GSD instead cause I only have room for one dog! Love my BC but this is the sport for me, I see myself going very far...However I am willing to work with what I have, my border collie does love to bite things and she enjoys tracking bunnies on the trails.

I'm a very competitive person. Would it be possible to get a border collie to nationals?
(Ideally we want the podium but first we have to learn basic obedience. I have been told by many professional trainers not to train dogs at all until they are one year old, something I've seen challenged on this forum??. My dog is 8 months old BTW.)
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 11:30 PM
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Whoever says not to train a dog until they are a year old is pretty ignorant. Dogs are information sponges and the working breeds especially are looking for things to do from puppyhood. It's kind of silly not to provide an outlet through at least obedience training.

As for protection sport, well...BC's are indeed extremely intelligent, but you don't typically see many of them in that sport because they weren't really bred to do that kind of work. Border collies tend to control with their "stare", body language, and more of a "nipping" bite than a "gripping" bite and the concern I've heard is that it is extremely difficult to get the full, committed bite that you're looking for in IPO.

That being said, if you can find an IPO trainer that understands how to adapt the training to different breeds, you can certainly try and you may even be successful. It will all come down to an understanding of your dog's drive and nerve and how to best develop those for the behavior you're looking for on the protection field.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 11:37 PM
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I don't think border collies have the temperament to deal with the stress of bite work.
Getting to the Nationals isn't going to happen. Getting a sch1?? maybe
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by d4mmo View Post
I don't think border collies have the temperament to deal with the stress of bite work.
Getting to the Nationals isn't going to happen. Getting a sch1?? maybe
Honestly, it will depend on the dog. I've seen stranger things happen. We actually have a fairly frequent visitor at our store who has a Golden Retriever with a Sch3.

It would be a very long shot, but the best way to know will be to find a club willing to help you and start working.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pax8 View Post
Border collies tend to control with their "stare", body language, and more of a "nipping" bite than a "gripping" bite and the concern I've heard is that it is extremely difficult to get the full, committed bite that you're looking for in IPO.
I flirt pole my dog a lot and sometimes she gets overexcited and redirects onto my arms...when she does it is a beautiful full grip, even though it hurts I am in awe of this dog's power!! NO WORRIES there, friend.

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That being said, if you can find an IPO trainer that understands how to adapt the training to different breeds, you can certainly try and you may even be successful. It will all come down to an understanding of your dog's drive and nerve and how to best develop those for the behavior you're looking for on the protection field.
THANK YOU. We have a very close bond and I know her like the back of my hand.

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Originally Posted by d4mmo View Post
I don't think border collies have the temperament to deal with the stress of bite work.
Getting to the Nationals isn't going to happen. Getting a sch1?? maybe
Wow. You do not know me or my dog, yet you put a limit on what we can achieve!! This is not my first dog I have worked with, my training knowledge is vast. I grew up showing Papillons in conformation, and I did all the training on them outside of the show ring because my parents didn't care beyond that. I am driven to train.

I have a breed that is not perfectly suited for the sport, but I am willing to work NIGHT and DAY to get to the highest levels, even though it may be harder and more work than MOST could handle. My dog has amazing nerves, she does not startle easily and is ready to defend me at any moment. She is an amazing natural protection dog.

Last edited by BitingBC397; 12-11-2014 at 12:26 AM.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 12:23 AM
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I think the BC would struggle with the protection. However, they should rock the obedience. The only thing you can do is try. I would never say that it cannot be done. Being a first time handler, it would be a feat to make it to nationals with any dog. It will certainly be an uphill battle but weirder things have happened. I wish you luck!
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Honestly, it will depend on the dog. I've seen stranger things happen. We actually have a fairly frequent visitor at our store who has a Golden Retriever with a Sch3.
Stranger indeed, my dog is nothing like a golden retriever in temperament!! She is VERY protective of me, will growl at dirty looks from people who she feels a threat from. I would NOT be trying to do this if she had not shown me some talent and I did not feel made for this sport.

Last edited by BitingBC397; 12-11-2014 at 12:27 AM.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 09:14 AM
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You should find a club and get your dog evaluated - there are a number of Border Collies out there with SchHIII's - Can't predict anything about the Nationals, but just getting her titled would be a a big accomplishment.

I wouldn't worry too much about the Nationals to start with - you'll find that there is so much to learn that it is overwhelming, and just getting started is a big step. You will also find a whole new understanding of what is good temperament and protectiveness - what you describe is resource guarding, more than protectiveness and should be discouraged, but not to say that she does not have natural protective instincts that can be developed through training.

Most people (and I do mean MOST), start their SchH/IPO adventure as you have - they have a dog, find out about IPO, decide to try it, go as far as they can, pick up a few titles if they can, then move on to a more suitable dog that they can reach their goals with.

But that is years down the road - first step is find a club, and have fun!

Lucia


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 09:37 AM
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Technically, no, you will not be going to Nationals, let alone getting on the podium because there is no Nationals for BC in IPO. In the states you could work towards the AWDF championships which will get you to the FCI World championships. The USCA Working Dog Championship (WDC) also allows alternate breeds.

There have been BC with SchH3 in the past. Last one I saw was at the USCA Nationals in 2000 when non GSD were still allowed. BC tend to lack the power, hardness and aggression needed to get the points in protection. Not saying it could never happen, but those traits are very much against what a BC should be.

Waiting until a dog is more mature to work protection is not always a bad idea. I tend to do this, BUT I do track and work obedience with my young dogs.

Lisa Clark

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 09:48 AM
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Just a thought: People that train in IPO are serious. It takes a ton of dedication. Your dog should be able to do the OB and tracking but protection may be questionable. It's not an insult, it's just the truth.

You could save yourself a lot of grief by not being so defensive and listening to the people with experience that have posted here. IPO is worlds away from showing Papillons, or any breed, in conformation. You will learn so much about dogs, drives and temperament required to do the job if you listen. If you go into it with the attitude that you have "vast" experience, I think you will find it far more difficult. Just don't try to shove a square peg into a round hole at the expense of your dog's well being.




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