What is IPO & Schutzhund training?
To put it simply; these are two terms for a the same sport. The sport of Schutzhund was developed in Germany to test a dog’s ability to perform and obey in addition to ensuring certain bloodlines as it pertains to tasks related to being protection dog. At Rising S K9, IPO training and Schutzhund training is really only the begining. This title ensures that the dog can hold up to the stress that this training can bring. Every Rising S K9 is Schutzhund or IPO ranked. All of the protection skills our dogs learn start from this foundational sport.
What is the difference between IPO & Schutzhund?
IPO stands for “Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung”. IPO training was formerly known as Schutzhund training but in today’s modern format of the sport; there is virtually no difference between Schutzhund and IPO. IPO is just the International standard, and at one time, it had a different set of rules. Following rule changes in 2004, where the SV (all breed Kennel Club of Germany) began conforming to FCI rules for Schutzhund, the standards are now virtually the same.
The techniques of IPO or Schutzhund training, originated in Germany and were developed as a primary method of producing top level German Shepherd dogs and testing the dog’s capacity for being a protection dog. These tests were geared to identify suitability of individual dogs for work in several formats:
It is a common belief that these tests are necessary to continue to produce dogs of the highest level for the purposes of working in protection and also to weed out those dogs that can’t handle the added stress.
There is no specific breed requirements to participate in IPO shows; although German Shepherds so seem to dominate many of the Schutzhund and IPO competitions. Any breed can technically be trained in Schutzhund work, but the truth is; not all dogs and not all dog breeds are suitable for this work. Rising S uses German Shepherds because they are a smart and confident breed making them an ideal candidate.
IPO / Schutzhund is a three part SPORT which includes Tracking, Obedience and Protection. The dog must pass all three phases in the trial. To succeed in the protection aspect of the sport, the successful IPO candidate must possess a basic level of instinctual drives, solid nerves, desire, and willingness to perform the work with their handler.
The specific drives which must be present are PREY (the desire to chase an object based on visual cues) and FIGHT (desire to defeat the prey object). While it’s helpful if the dog possesses other drives, they are not nearly as essential as strong prey and fight drives.
When discussing the dog’s “nerves”; we are referring to the dog’s instinctual confidence. A dog that gets stressed and worried easily is known as “nervy” dog. These dogs often display unpredictable aggressive behaviors that are triggered by fear or stress. A dog with confidence or “solid nerves” does not see a threat in everything. These dogs depend primarily on the instruction of their handler and are much easier to train.
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