What is IPO or Schutzhund?




The tracking phase is the first phase of the day at IPO club.  Tracking develops a dog’s scenting ability, mental soundness, and physical endurance.  First, a track is laid by walking across the field, dropping several small articles along the way.  After a period of time, the dog is directed to follow the track while being followed by the handler on a 33 foot leash.  When the dog finds each article he must indicate it, usually by lying down with the article between his front paws.  This first activity of the day teaches a dog to intently and carefully follow a track and indicate articles.





The obedience phase comes next, and is done with the dogs working in pairs.  One dog is placed in a down position on the side of the field and its handler stands at a distance from it while the other dog works in the field.  Then the dogs switch places.  The types of obedience practiced include: heeling exercises (including heeling through a group of people), one or two recalls, three retrieves (flat, jump and A-frame), and a send out where the dog is directed to run away from the handler straight and fast and then lie down on command.  The obedience part of the day emphasizes a dog's accuracy, interest, and enthusiastic attitude while working.



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The final phase of the day is the protection phase.  The helper wears a heavily padded sleeve on one arm and there are several blinds, placed where the helper can hide, on the field.  The dog is directed to search the blinds for the helper. When the dog finds the helper, it indicates this by barking.  The dog must guard the helper to prevent him from moving until recalled by the handler. At specified points, the helper either attacks the dog or the handler or attempts to escape.  The dog must stop the attack or the escape by biting the padded sleeve. When the attack or escape stops, the dog is commanded to "out," or release the sleeve.  During this phase, a dog learns to show the courage to engage the helper and the ability to obey the handler while in this high state of drive.






How can you get involved?


This is a link to the S.V. in Germany This is a link to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America-Working Dog Association, Inc. (GSDCA-WDA) This is a link to the WUSV

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