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My 4 year old female GSD is currently trained in pet obedience. We've earned here cgcu and cgca as well as TDI. I'm wondering if it's too late to start any type of IPO training with her. She absolutely loves to work for me and does best when given a job. With that being said, we are looking for continued training venues. Her food drive is over the top and the ball/toy drive is average but she's interested in watching the flirt pole but doesn't express any interest in chasing it.

We currently make regular visits to the local veterans shelter and she loves on the men there. I am wondering if I pursue IPO, would that affect her ability to continue doing this outreach we have.

I'm not necessarily looking to title her in IPO, rather trying to find a good outlet for her desire to train.

Any advice is welcome!
 

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My guess is that she might enjoy IPO obedience and IPO tracking. You don't have to do protection to train in IPO. There's lots to learn in obedience and tracking.
 

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I believe one of the therapy dog organizations, can't remember which one, does not allow any type of protection training which would mean no IPO. As Middle said, you could do the obedience and tracking, but if you would like to continue with the therapy dog work you should avoid the bitework. It is a silly rule, but it is their rule and you have to abide by it.
 

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I do IPO with a lady who has an older Dobie that she did all the very advanced AKC stuff with (UD?) and her dog took to bitework like nobody's business. She is excelling. She has a fantastic relationship with her dog. That said, you won't know unless you try:) There was another grown dog that showed up once to give it a try and had zero interest. So just give it a shot!

About the TDI- I am not familiar with all of their certifications and I have seen conflicting reports from location of certification to another-but some will not certify Service Dogs, and they may have rules about protection sports too. I don't know this, but it is worth checking.

If you did not want to or if it turns out you can't do bite work, you can always go for your BH and then advanced tracking titles. If you don't care about titles at all, you can just go enjoy IPO club and only do the portions you and your dog like doing.
 

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I personally know a dog that holds a TDI and also IPO1 and PDC so I don't think it will interfere with you continuing therapy/service work. There's always AKC Obedience and Rally as options. Cynosport has Rally and UKC has similar options as AKC.
 

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Just seconding other venues: AKC obedience, AKC Tracking, and Cynosport Rally is a very fun and welcoming place to start.

I compete in all of those plus maybe our favorite, dock diving!
 
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