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Categories: Schutzhund

Q. I purchased a 2 year old dog that is already trained & has a BH in IPO but I am new to the sport. One of my club members suggested I go back to basics and start with food training even though the dog is more advanced. Do you have any advice?
Hello, I've purchased a 2 year old, fully trained dog who has already earned a BH, and who tried for an IPO1 twice and failed protection both times, but earned 72 and 93 in tracking, and 80 and 70 in obedience. Since buying the dog, I realized I was teaching him bad habits because when I first got him, he snapped into position really quickly, but I didn't know how to reinforce him because I knew nothing about IPO training until about a month ago, when I started showing up at Schutzhund Club training every weekend. My dog was trained with the Michael Ellis method, and I'd like to know what you might suggest I start with. He is very ball driven, and someone in the club suggested I start him at ground zero trying to motivate him with food again. While I appreciate knowing how his trainer taught him everything with food, before she changed his drive to the ball, I have been trying for three weeks to get him back on being lured with food and then I get to the club with the helper and he won’t focus on me at all.

A. I agree with your club member. I start any new dog as if they have no training at all, even if they are a completely trained, titled dog. You need to establish a training relationship with the dog so starting at the beginning is good, especially since you are new to the sport.

I would hold off on any protection training until you have a good grasp on how to work him in obedience.

I'll link the videos I believe will be helpful below. There are more videos I would suggest later but these will get you going... Good luck with him.

  Response:

Okay, thank you! It makes more sense to hold off on protection training if I'm going to start from the beginning. It doesn't make any sense to me to work with him in protection if I don't have the basics down and I'm so uncertain of what I'm doing with him. I was afraid to "redo" everything that he's already been trained to do if there is a possibility for me to just catch up with him, but holding off in protection is actually a better solution, so I can just slow everything down until I have confidence. I appreciate your response.
  
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