In this video, we take a closer look at the sport of IPO, or Schutzhund, and see what is involved in the 'Protection' phase. IPO Trainer, Ashley Foster from Vislor Dog Training
, explains that this involves finding and detaining a helper playing the part of a 'criminal'. If the 'criminal' tries to attack the dog or get away, the dog is allowed to stop this by biting on the 'criminal's' protective sleeve.
The idea of training a dog to bite might worry some people, but it must be remembered that these are highly trained dogs who are extremely well behaved and whose handlers and trainers have to undergo a very strict vetting process before they are allowed to take part in the sport. In fact, the dogs themselves need to pass a behaviour test to prove that they are not an aggressive dog before they can even begin training or competing.
People may also worry about the idea of the dog being attacked with a stick but when Ashley quite happily beats his own wrist vigorously with it, we can be assured that it does not hurt.
Ashley explains the different types of protective clothing, what specific things the dog needs to be able to do for protection work at the different levels and how points are allocated. Early training of puppies for IPO focuses on the other areas of tracking and obedience and just general good dog behaviour. Control, of necessity, plays an important part in the sport throughout.