Observations from my first IPO Trial
I don't do dog sports, never have. But I have trained dogs for many years, and can appreciate the dedicated training required for this kind of event! It's not minor stuff, the dogs that are titled at these events are amazing, even the ones that fail!
Rocky Mountain Working Dogs is a great club, and nice group of people.
Heidi Theis, of theisoff German shepherds was the judge, and WOW was she amazing as well. She offered great and constructive advice both to successful and unsuccessful candidates, and always always with a goal of helping them become even more successful in the future!
Dogs can be "ready" and still decide to blow off a command at the worst possible moment. One dog, who scored in the high 90s on obedience, decided during the protection test that a ball just outside the trialing field was more important than finding the helper/decoy...she brought it back on the field with her looking very pleased with her choice...
The helper is more crucial to your success than I previously understood. One dog failed because the helper accidently stepped on the dog...so, of course, the dog bit him again and didn't want to let go...hard to blame him!
I have never cared much for the focussed heel, but some dogs make it look awesome.
The BH is actually easier than I had imagined, though still plenty tough.
I hate to say it, but I find myself thinking about how much fun IPO might be...
If you haven't seen one of these events in person GO! You'll be glad you did.
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain