First IPO class and questions - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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First IPO class and questions

Bruno had his first IPO class last night.

Round 1: The trainer wanted him to engage with the tug/flirt pole but he was very distracted by the new environment and wanted to check everything out instead of play. He tugs well at home and goes pretty crazy for it but he wanted to run around and sniff everything, jump on the boxes, etc.

So what he had me do was stand in a corner with Bruno on leash and he walked toward Bruno in a threatening manner (hard eye contact, posturing, snapping a whip on the ground). Bruno was a little unsure at first and seemed to want to go behind me. But I didn't let him and then he let out a little growl. The trainer exaggeratedly backed off. And then came back and Bruno started barking at him. Repeat a few times.

Round 2: The same scenario but Bruno handled it all with much more confidence - he was barking aggressively from the start and straining to get to the guy. We let him advanced toward him a bit and Bruno pulled hard to get toward him - he seemed more sure and confident - ears forward, pulling hard on the leash. He tried to toss the tug to Bruno, but Bruno was very focused on HIM and not the toy. Totally ignored the toy.

So I guess my question is - does this sound okay? I thought this activity would be fun for Bruno and if it's not I don't want to do it.

But he didn't seem overly stressed out at all and afterward was fine walking around with the trainer etc.

Also, will Bruno get over his distractedness and get into the prey/tug part of it? Is it normal for a dog to not want to tug the first time? Or is this a sign that his drive isn't enough for it?
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:23 PM
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I think first time evals can be hit or miss...I wouldn't take that as an indication if he has the drive for the sport or not.

How old is he? Maybe let him be a spectator during protection and let him mature a bit?

My dog is almost 3 and his first instinct is to check out new surroundings until I remind him what he's supposed to be doing.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:23 PM
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How old is Bruno?

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:25 PM
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How old is Bruno? Sounds fine to me. Believe me, Bruno loved it!! The trainer made Bruno feel like he is big and strong and invincible and can control the world! What dog wouldn't love that?

I am 100% sure that Bruno will get over being distracted by the environment once he understands what he is there to do. He will be focused on work from the moment he comes out of the car.

Some dogs don't 'get' the play tug part, but they love doing the protection work. If Bruno is old enough and mature enough and clear headed enough to be able to switch on for work and switch off when not working, then don't worry about the playing part. So far it sounds like he did very well for a first time, showed a lot of good reactions, quickly gained confidence, and recognized when the trainer was NOT a threat, and was able to relax - I'm sure you got a lot of good feedback from the trainer, you would have if you came to our club with Bruno.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Oops, sorry. He is 3-4 years old. We got him as a rescue about year ago so not 100% certain on his age. We were told he was around 3 yrs old at the time.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:28 PM
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Sounds good to me and good timing on the decoy's part -crucial!!!!

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Castlemaid View Post
How old is Bruno? Sounds fine to me. Believe me, Bruno loved it!! The trainer made Bruno feel like he is big and strong and invincible and can control the world! What dog wouldn't love that?

I am 100% sure that Bruno will get over being distracted by the environment once he understands what he is there to do. He will be focused on work from the moment he comes out of the car.

Some dogs don't 'get' the play tug part, but they love doing the protection work. If Bruno is old enough and mature enough and clear headed enough to be able to switch on for work and switch off when not working, then don't worry about the playing part. So far it sounds like he did very well for a first time, showed a lot of good reactions, quickly gained confidence, and recognized when the trainer was NOT a threat, and was able to relax - I'm sure you got a lot of good feedback from the trainer, you would have if you came to our club with Bruno.
Okay, good. All I want is for him to have fun and if he doesn't like it then we can find other activities. I just thought he seemed to have the personality for it. I guess I just expected it to be more like a game of tug. The other dogs seemed to be treating it more like a game to get the sleeve and prance around in victory but Bruno wasn't interested in that. (yet? He does like to bite/tug at home and is pretty nutty)

We did get some good feedback from the trainer but I forgot to ask about Bruno's lack of tugging. Interest in the toys. I mostly was asking about his defensive response.

Thank you!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:32 PM
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sounds like a typical first lesson. It is a good thing for the dog to want to check out his surroundings. Make sure to follow the instructor's directions. The hardest part can be the human's part.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 02:41 PM
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All dogs are different - doesn't make one dog better or worse because some love the tug game, others don't - you have a good trainer there that he didn't fixate on the lack of tugging (some trainers would).

Very common for new dogs to be somewhat distracted the first couple of times they come to training - no biggie.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! I really had no clue what to expect so just wanted to make sure this is fun and good for him and I am a bit of an over-protective mom
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