I am new to IPO-training and need some answers to my questions. I have a 9 ˝ month old WL and I have been asked to come try out protection training with her. I do tracking and obedience with the already but this protecting phase had been very unknown for me.
My questions around this training is:
1. Does it increase any chance of my dog getting aggressive after training protection? I guess it will not but I want to be sure.
2. My dog pretty much never bark. She has been a very quiet puppy and I dont like her to do unnecessary barking. Maybe with age she will start barking more but will protection training somehow increase her barking?
3. How are they testing/looking at the dog if shes suitable for protection work? Mine has always had a strong preydrive, is that good or can it also be bad?
4. If you decide to starts training the protection part, how often do you have to train and can you stop it whenever you want or will it be any harm to the dog not to continue with it (many years?)? Is everything only a fun game for the dog?
Sorry for perhaps stupid question, but I want to know what I am getting into.
1. no, most dogs aren't more aggressive after being worked in IPO protection, though the confidence level may rise and make the dog more assertive.
2. You may have inhibited her as far as barking during protection, you need to let her know it is fine to bark, and the helper working her will reward the barking. Thresholds play into it as well...so encouraging the bark is important, barking will make the action happen.
3. dogs are started in bitework using prey drive, a flirtpole or the helpers movement to tap the dogs prey drive....then they should balance out the prey with aggression. Your dog should show confidence, move towards the helper and want to engage the helper.
4. Depends on your goals, many clubs want commitment and to be fair to the dog, you should train regularly. Doing an IPO routine takes quite a bit of training, the transports, working clean outs, the hold and bark, call out...many things to teach the dog. It isn't just grips, sleeve slipping.
Most handlers become addicted to the sport, so be warned, lol
IPO Protection is a 'game' but some dogs take it seriously, some dogs are in it for the fight, some are in it to win the sleeve. It all depends on the dog, and how they are worked.