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IPO Training Update February 2016

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I thought I’d do a training update on my dog Zeus Sohn Von Holbrook Vom Krafthaus.

We started training him for IPO about a year ago when I joined a Schutzhund club in my area, and it’s been going reasonably well.  We trained hard most of last year, which culminated in our entering our club’s trial in October to attempt to get our BH degree, and were successful

In the update I posted in April of 2015 I made the statement “For now, every training session feels like I’m learning to dance with two left feet – and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”  Wise words indeed.  I still feel like I have training wheels on, but both Zeus and I have learned quite a bit.  Just being able to attend our club’s trial and see IPO in action was pretty valuable, as was seeing an all-Rottweiler IPO trial.

With the BH behind us, we’re now turning our attention to working toward an actual IPO I title – we’re in hopes of trialing in October.  The biggest hurdles for us that I see are:

  1.  Tracking – we’ve only scratched the surface here and need to put much more time and emphasis on tracking.
  2. Retrieves.  Zeus can jump the hurdle and go up and down the A-frame properly.  But teaching him to retrieve a dumbell going over the hurdle or up and down an A-frame will be challenging.
  3. Running blinds.  We’ve been doing a lot of bite work, and that’s coming along nicely.  Zeus barks well for a Rottweiler, so no big concerns there.  But getting him to run around a blind?  That may be tough.

One of the things that we did over the Winter “break” in the December/January time frame was to take some weight off of Zeus.  He’s down from a show weight of about 130 lbs to about 120 lbs.  Beyond that, the Winter months have been pretty lazy.

The good news is that Zeus is improving so much – here’s some photos of us working on his attention and focus:

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Most recently we’re working on retrieves and getting him really motivated to put objects in his mouth (preparing for a dumbell).

Here’s some photos of Zeus practicing going over the hurdle:

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On the protection side of things, Zeus is making great strides.  The work we’ve done here has been so good for Zeus and he’s really enjoying it.  Here’s a video done in early February – it was bitter cold but we still were out there as we are most weekends:

We’re still waiting for some better weather so we can start tracking – I think this is an area Zeus will do quite well in, particularly now that his food drive is up quite a bit since taking some weight off.

To further my education IPO and dog training, I’ll be attending the Tobias Oleynik seminar in Sterling VA this April:

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Hopefully this will help with my feeling like I have “two left feet” during training.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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