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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So ... Ronja and I are back home from Vermont where we competed in the Green Mountain Iron Dog. We had a blast. It was pretty awesome getting to compete, meeting everyone, meeting lots of gorgeous dogs.

The event was held at Camp Dudley, just outside the town of Colchester. It's a YMCA summer camp and we were able to stay Friday night. I drove up together with my friend Jess and her dog, Max, and since we were the first ones arriving, we got to pick our room. One of the cabins had a two-bed room, so we used that and the dogs got to be loose in the room over night. (Ronja slept on the bed with me.)

The main competition was the 1.5 mile Iron Dog course, which has various obstacles (water, culverts, smoke house, fences, etc.) and tasks for the handler to complete (such as collecting "evidence" items, remembering the license plate on a truck, and shooting "bad guy" targets with a pistol), plus an obstacle course for the dog, obedience portion, and a dog carry at the end. It was one heck of a long 1.5 miles, I tell you that. :D Did I mention you had to run it either wearing a ballistic vest or a flotation vest?

Very proud of Ronja - she did ALL the obstacles really well, including the narrow dog walk, the jumps, going through the fence, going into the water. She did awesome. She had a great time, too.

We placed second in my division (females, 30-39) and got a medal and a pretty engraved bowl as a trophy. (Ronja wasn't interested in the bowl, it didn't have any food in it.)

We also did the 100 yard dash (6.78 seconds) and the building search (20.21 seconds) but didn't place/win anything in those.
 

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Awesome! Sounds like you both had a lot of fun. :)
 

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Wow.. that sounds like a blast!!!

Congrats on the placements!
 

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sounds like fun!!!! congrats on your placements!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
:D Thanks! I am SO proud of her for doing so well ... and for trusting me enough to follow me into the WATER! (She's not much of a water dog ...)


Are there other competions similar to this? Is is a yearly event?
I don't know whether a lot of states have an Iron Dog competition, but I know for a fact that both Virginia and Vermont have one annually. Vermont's has been put on by the Vermont Police Canine Association annually for the past 9 years and is open to both law enforcement and civilians. Virginia's Iron Dog is law enforcement only.
 

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WOW that sounds like such fun and a HUGE congrats to you both!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How did you train for that?
We didn't actually specifically train for it since we did not know what the course would entail and it was our first time doing it. But a lot of what is required is very basic obedience (sit/stay, come, etc.) and trust between the dog and handler for the dog to follow you through a fence or into the smoke house.

The obstacle portion is something you can train for by having your dog jump over things, walk up or across a narrow area (we did park benches, for example), and such. Once a dog knows "up" or "jump", you can probably get them over the A-frame without too much of a fuss, or over those road blocks and such.

Since we arrived the night before, we were also able to try out the dog-only obstacles before the run. We figured since the police dogs train on those all the time, it wasn't really giving *us* an unfair advantage to have a go at them before the actual run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! That sounds like a world record for the 100 yard!
LOL Yes, the 100 yard dash was for the dogs only. The handlers either sent the dog or called the dog. (I sent her - there was a bite sleeve on the other end to catch her.) Building search was also dogs only, the handler just announced and then sent the dog, and called him/her off once they made a bite.
 

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would be fun to see! wonder how GSD's would do competing with other dogs in the dash?

Our male GSD seems very fast when he is chasing his ball but who knows compared to say a Dobe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wonder how GSD's would do competing with other dogs in the dash?
The event was primarily German Shepherds and Malinois, being originally a law enforcement only competition and law enforcement K-9 teams made up the majority of competitors. In general, I believe the Malinois got better times than the GSDs but there were some darn fast GSDs out there, too.

Do you have any pictures?
I didn't take a lot of pictures, but what I took can be found at - Dogs for Defense K-9

The event organizers (VT Police K9 Association) had someone take photos and, hopefully, will have some of them on their website or their Flickr soon. They did post some to the Facebook already but more are to come. Ronja is in one of the Facebook pictures (picture of three dogs in a down/stay - she's on the far left, K9 Casko in the center, and my friend Jess's dog, Max, on the right.) Their site is Vermont Police Canine Association and links to their Facebook and Flickr.
 
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