As a person engaged in sports training for more than 20 years and breeding dogs for sports for about 10 years, I regularly come across a discussion of this topic. Unfortunately, the topic of sports with a dog is very poorly covered in the media and many people do not even know anything about such a fascinating activity with a dog as sports.
For most dog owners, the main desire is to teach the dog to walk in place and give a paw, still to guard, although they themselves have little idea how they want the dog to do this. In the world there are a huge number of standards and disciplines in which competitions are held. These are the standards related to obedience (Obedience,, BH-VT, IBGH, Rally-obedience), with activity and games (dog-puller, agility, fly-ball, cani-cross, bike-joring, riding), with search (trace dog, rescue on water, IRO, nosework), protective disciplines (rings, defensive service), all-around (IPO, IGP, monitoring), grazing, hunting competitions and many others. For each of the disciplines, special requirements for the abilities of the dog and for the breed. However, there are common qualities that are necessary for any dog to play sports with it – it should be active, resilient, easy to get out of stress, and most importantly – want to engage in any activity with its owner. As a referee, instructor and acting athlete in IGP (formerly IPO), I want to dwell on the dog for the IGP sport.
Dogs breeds for IGP training
Самые популярные породы для этого спорта немецкая овчарка рабочих The most popular breeds for this sport are the German shepherd working lines and the Belgian shepherd malinois also working lines. Dobermans, Giant Schnauzers, Rottweilers are also well trained and perform at competitions. You can deal with such breeds as boxers, Hovawarts, Dutch Shepherds, German boxers, Bosserons, Cane Corso, White Swiss Shepherds.
Working and show lines in dog breeds
In many breeds there is a division into shows and work lines. What is it, you ask. This means that the parents and other ancestors of your dog either went to beauty shows or to training contests. In some breeds this division is so strong that often dogs of one and the second direction are not alike, but nevertheless they are one breed.
This separation misleads novice owners. After all, a puppy from Beauty Champions will not always be good for doing sports training with him and vice versa, the title Champion in working qualities is in no way connected with the show results of this dog and its descendants.
Therefore, if the goal is to take a puppy in order to engage in sports training with him in the future, then you need to check how much his parents have succeeded in this training. And mom, too. After all, often bitches with rather mediocre working qualities are knitted with outstanding males in the sport and advertise these puppies as very promising for the sport. But we must always remember that working qualities are inherited from both parents.
Working qualities – what is it?
Working qualities – this is the ability of a dog to be trained in any discipline.
As a breeder and trainers all rolled into one, I often see how children will inherit from parents not only the behavior in different situations, but also some styles of performing skills – how they sit down, how much they can quickly turn around, how fast they run to the owner on command . And it’s not worth talking about the inheritance of strength and fullness of grip on the sleeve, activity in barking – this is already understandable.
Why, when choosing a puppy for shows, people carefully study the line of dogs and choose their parents very carefully, and when they take a dog to train it, they do not take this into account.
Of course, the achievements of parents in sports, as well as the achievements of parents at exhibitions do not give a 100% guarantee of the quality of the puppy. However, greatly increase the chances of it.
What qualities a dog must have to do IGP?
First of all, activity. The dog should always be ready for any activity. But! Activities with the owner. Those dogs that just love to run with other dogs, destroy everything in the house that cannot be left alone in the car – are not a good dog for sports! I’m tired of explaining this. Where did people get the opinion that the dog is the destroyer of everything and everything must certainly become the instructor’s dog and he will win everything with it. No!
A good dog for sports should also be able to instantly calm down. After all, she needs the strength to work with her owner. She should always be ready to go to class, so she needs a good rest. And she can rest, if she calms down well, knows how to relax in any situation. After all, when you go with her to competitions in another city, she will have to spend the night in a car or in a hotel and she will need to relax, and not continue to be active where she does not need to.
The dog must have expressed instincts – food, prey and protective. Those. she must love to eat. Do not be hungry. After all, we will not starve her to go on the trail and begin to learn a new exercise. She should be glad to perform any difficult exercise in one feed. Not because I did not eat a day. But because it is activity with the owner, and it is always cool, and because food is also cool, she loves to eat.
Prey instinct – this means that the dog loves to chase the toy, actively !!! grab her and be satisfied with her possession. Moreover, when, in order to get a toy, it will be necessary to overcome difficulties – a barrier to jump or aport to bring, the desire and passion for receiving toys should not weaken.
The protective instinct, it is the instinct of self-preservation, must be active. Those. when a threat appears, the dog should not demonstrate avoidance and defense, but should actively move forward. This is very important for further training in the protective section.
Among other things, the dog must have a social instinct. She should want to work together with a person, and enjoy this work.
Resistance to stress. And the ability to continue after stress is also very important. After all, if we train a dog in familiar conditions, she will not have to forget all her skills and in stressful conditions – away, at competitions, in the presence of strangers, when the owner is worried, etc.
Among other things, she must have the ability to learn quickly. Accordingly, she must want to learn.
And, in principle, it can be a dog of any breed, if all her qualities are well expressed.
It doesn’t matter what discipline the owner will choose if he has a dog with working inclinations, every minute of communication brings joy and inspiration, prompting you to go to the training ground again and again to learn new skills and go to the result together.
Good luck in your joint training, friends!
And let there be a dog in the life of everyone who is passionate about training that will breathe new meaning into this process and make it the most important hobby in life, as it has become with me and many of my friends!