I started IPO training in March last year, with my then 6 year old female. I posted about it and figure a little update is due, as a proud owner and handler.
She has proved many doubters wrong, and advanced a long way since we started despite her age and being a WGSL. When we first approached the club, I was just content with a BH, thinking she was too old to do much else. Well... she showed me! The TD and other experienced handlers have been very impressed with her, and I doubt I will ever own another special dog quite like her... she truly defies all odds. I am incredibly proud of her, and extremely grateful for the experience and knowledge I have gained along the way with her, to help me in the future.
She is very strong in her tracking, and is starting to grasp indicating articles. She loves protection work, and her chewing has improved a lot (we didn't think we could work through that) after our TD came back from a Tobias Oleynik seminar/workshop with new knowledge. She is well on her way to earn her BH. I was doubtful about her focused heel, but since Nov, it was as if a light bulb turned on in her head. I lost a bet on that, but it was a good bet I was happy to lose.
I finally have a couple of (low-quality) photos of Janka, courtesy of my husband, who has since caught the IPO bug.
Here she is, doing the bark-n-hold. It was her first time on the platform, 3rd time doing the exercise. She tried to get a few dirty bites in, but was a lot better with self-control.
Her favourite part and her reward...
The most valuable lesson I learn is, never give up and keep at it... and that even an old dog can and will excel in learning new tricks. This is not an easy sport - it requires heavy commitment driven by passion, but the rewards are priceless.
[i know the leash is embarrassing, but between dressage and ipo training, i have to budget quite a bit!]