IPO and Working Dog Training Yay or Nay? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
View Poll Results: Is it a good idea for me to train him in IPO?
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation IPO and Working Dog Training Yay or Nay?

I have a 5 month old pup who's got a great brain and a great structure. I am wondering if anyone can give me more info on IPO and working dog training for them, do you like it? Is there a way to do positive reinforcement training? Will he still be good with kids and my cats if I train him to IPO? Does it have a risk for causing aggression? He's starting service dog training for a mobility support for my mom, would this cause issues with IPO or vice versa? I've looked at some of the clubs info but it's not really helping me figure out whether or not I should or shouldn't and if he'll only go into guard on command or not. I want him to still be able to do his therapy and service dog work but I'm desperate to try out dog sports and he has the brain to do it all. I'm worried about him possibly becoming aggressive.

Thanks,
E.M.S.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 02:05 PM
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Ellie - where in PA are you?

First, not all German Shepherds can do IPO. A lot depends on the breeding of the dog, temperament and drives.

I love IPO.
good with kids and cats - is temperament, not training.
No it does not cause inappropriate aggression.

Yes you can train with positive methods but at some point you will have to put pressure on him. How will they ever pass the courage test in protection if they don't know how to work thru pressure?

I think if the dog is going to be a support dog for your mom, the conflict would come in on the handler end. IPO dogs have one handler They bond with that one handler. Will they work for someone else? Yes. But part of this sport is the bond between the dog and handler.

And more importantly, in a service dog that same bond with handler and dog.

I think you will create conflicts in his brain on who his handler is in this particular situation.




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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Ellie - where in PA are you?

First, not all German Shepherds can do IPO. A lot depends on the breeding of the dog, temperament and drives.

I love IPO.
good with kids and cats - is temperament, not training.
No it does not cause inappropriate aggression.

Yes you can train with positive methods but at some point you will have to put pressure on him. How will they ever pass the courage test in protection if they don't know how to work thru pressure?

I think if the dog is going to be a support dog for your mom, the conflict would come in on the handler end. IPO dogs have one handler They bond with that one handler. Will they work for someone else? Yes. But part of this sport is the bond between the dog and handler.

And more importantly, in a service dog that same bond with handler and dog.

I think you will create conflicts in his brain on who his handler is in this particular situation.


I get that it could cause some issues, he's got IPO in his pedigree and has a good mix of dogs related to him. He's got 5 K-9 unit dog "cousins" as well as a bunch of service and therapy dogs. He has a nice even temperament and is incredibly mature mentally. He's evenly bonded between my mum and I leaning more towards his bond with me. I'm thinking of maybe just doing enough to get a title maybe a little more over time. We originally got him for me as an ESA but some circumstances changed. I've done all of his training so far and we have a week left of his S.T.A.R. puppy class so I'm working at the next classes to start. He's going to be evaluated again by the breeder to see if I can go into a handling class for conformation with him. We're based out of Chester County and he spends his day at the Vet clinic with me and my mum
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 11:25 PM
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Jax08 made a very good point when he stated that an IPO dog bonds with its handler and a service dog bonds with its handler. If the handler were the same person, it might not be as much of a conflict. If your mom needs a service dog, it's best that she get one you won't be using in dog sports.

The other point Jax08 made, that not all dogs are suited to IPO is also valid even if your dog has siblings that are police K9s. Each dog has its own temperament and drive and that will determine in the long run if the dog is suitable for IPO or not, not its pedigree, although it will make it more likely. If he is, be prepared to devote most of your free time and them some, and then even more, to his training, especially if you plan to title him. If not, there are a lot of other great dog sports you can participate in, including tracking, obedience, lure coursing, and herding to name a few.

Best to find someone knowledgeable in your area that can walk you through all the options and explain what type of work needs to go into each for titling. And definitely browse these boards some more. Lot's of luck with him if you go for it!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 11:45 PM
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I do "urban agility" with my girl and we both love it. When I have the chance, I take her to unpopulated parks and run her through some agilty stuff. Slides, benches, stairs, tunnels, and under equipment. Agilty is a lot of fun for us in our generic way. I think we would both love actual agility training, but we can't for a number of reasons

I don't have experience in IPO or service dogs, but I would assume agility would lend it's self to a good cross over with service work than IPO would. But, like I said, I'm certainly not an expert in either area. Hope you get some great advice on those who do have experience with both! And I second that Jax08 has very valid points
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 01:29 PM
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A lot of regulations with service dogs are confusing to understand. Some places do not allow a service dog to be trained as a guard/protection dog. Best to research what is and is not allowed in your specific area. My service dog is a Siberian Husky and he doesn't have a guard/protect mentality. A stranger can walk right by my dog & he won't even lift his head. But out in public, that works great as a service dog cos he's not going up to people causing a disturbance. Our other husky would not have the mentality to be a service dog because she thinks everyone's sole purpose on Earth is to pet her.
I do believe the right dog & trainer/handler could do both. I have seen some amazing videos of dogs doing intense bite work & then turn around & have a child hanging all over it. But I personally believe "most" people don't have the ability to to bring a dog up to that level.
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