IGP (formerly IPO and Schutzhund) was used as a test of the German Shepherd Dog breed to ensure the best genetics and traits were passed down while breeding. Today it is a popular sport which takes time, patience and dedication. It involves three parts-obedience, tracking, and protection. After learning these, a dog and its handler may enter a trial for a chance to earn a title for the dog. There are many titles for dogs, which appear in pedigrees, but for IGP there are three levels; 1, 2, & 3. You do not need prior experience to begin training for IGP.
In IGP, your dog will to learn obedience for more than formalities. It serves as the line of communication. Obedience includes:
There are many steps in between to teach these categories. However, if you learn obedience well, your dog will be proficient in said categories.
You may have heard you cannot teach a dog how to track, he already knows. That is true, but you can practice. Tracking is an exhilarating and amazing sport as you will be shocked to find out just how powerful a dog’s nose is. Professional K9s teaches tracking from puppy to competition. Often using technology to map tracks with satellite GPS, a more mathematical approach is taken to understanding and analyzing each track. Tracking is best started young, as is everything in IGP. Puppies begin training as young as 8 weeks old.
An aggressive dog that barks and lunges at other dogs or people is not the same as IGP protection or personal protection. While that stems from insecurity and fear, a dog trained for IGP Protection has courage, confidence, genetics and drive. An often misconception is it is up to the genetics of a dog to be successful in the sport, because without genetics, he will not bite. At Professional K9s we begin training to build confidence and increase drive as soon as 8 weeks old. Genetics play a role in IGP, however character development is a big factor as well.
Emma Tabei, owner and lead trainer of Professional K9s, is proud to offer the service of personal travel coaching. If you are competing to title your dog, you will have the support of your trainer with you, regardless of the location.