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In your personal experiences, how old is too old to start training your dogs in Sch/IPO? I have an approx 6 y/o and 2 y/o GSDs both female. I would kinda like to start working with them on this. I understand that there are certain desires in the breed, certain intangibles that you would want the dog to have prior to training but this will be for non competitive reasons. This would be more home protection and helping me to start the learning curve of all this. My dogs have obedience to basic commands i.e sit, down, no etc. but nothing advanced i.e. bark, bite, bark and hold.

Are my dogs too old to start this training evolution or can an old dog still be brought up in this world?

Thanks for any advice.

-Kyle
 

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This all depends on the individual dog. I just pulled out my old man (8years old) and he's great on a sleeve and devistating in a suit. He had no foundation training at all except for some little PP agitation and bites on a leash then nothing for years. He lacks some drive in the track, still flashy in OB, and great in protection work. I am super careful with him because of the fact he's older. I have to tell him to stop or he'll run himself into the ground.
 

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Interview some trainers. I just started my 2-1/2 rescue male with a SchH trainer. He was honest, and said it will take patience, and we will be probably be limited. We're just really beginning attention and basic commands. The trainer and I agree that I am probably 3-4 dogs away from my dream dog, but this training is really more for me than my Jack. So, even though this particular dog doesn't really have IPO potential (poor genetics), I'm training with that ultimate goal in mind for a future pup. I'm training *myself* IPO style, and he's my "practice" dog :) At the same time, I'm putting the principles in use with my 8-yr old Weimaraner, as well. Honestly, she's picking up on things faster than my GSD. Concepts that take him 3 sessions to work out, she gives me in 5-10 minutes! Best part is, the dogs and I are having loads of FUN! But again, it's really about *me* learning the training style that I will use in the future for my dream competition dog.


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No, they are not too old, though the 6 year old is getting close. My first schutzhund, Treue SchH3 CD CGC, didn't start protection work until she was 2.5. She had been tracking and we had our BH and CD before that so obviously I was training. She wasn't a totally raw dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Schutzhund

Ok, sounds hopeful. Like I said no plans to compete with my current two GSDs but in the future, hopes and dreams of competing and having a kennel are large.
 

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No experience here personally, but I have friends who have police dogs that they got at 2-3 years old and they do fine learn everything. Of course dont also so I guess it depends on the dog
 

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In my experience, you nor a dog are ever too old to start learning. My first experience with Schutzhund/IPO was with a dog who was 4. He was titled with a BH at almost 6. I never expected to take that particular dog to an IPO3 or compete in regionals. I expected to learn, work, have some fun and that's just what we did.

I think as long as you are realistic about yourself, dog, and what you want to accomplish why not go for it? Everyone had to start somewhere. As long as both you and the dog enjoy the training, yet take it seriously (as in most clubs will have you pay your dues to see if your interest is genuine) then you will be in for some fun.


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