IPO is a very demanding sport on both the handler and the dog, and it does take a great match to have a successful team. Very often new people coming into the sport come in with all the ambition in the world, thinking they are going to podium in nationals within a year, but have no idea the amount of time and dedication it takes to make it there, let alone if their dog even has it regardless of training.
As our club is growing we have many prospective members wanting to join. We love this as we strive to be a super friendly and outgoing club that welcome anyone wanting to learn. However, it happens too often where someone new joins a club with goals of being the best, but after they find out the amount of work it takes, they slowly fade away and leave the sport. This is very heartbreaking on a couple levels. We always hate seeing club members leave, but it also means all the time and effort that the club has put into that team has been wasted. This isn’t just the coaches time and effort in teaching them, or the helper putting in effort into the dog, but also to every other club member who has had to wait their turn while the new dog has been worked.
With this in mind, we’ve designed an additional level to our club membership. We are calling this “Intro to IPO ™.” We never want to turn away new club members, but it isn’t fair for the rest of the club to have to make sacrifices to teams that do not stick or meet our core values. Intro to IPO™ have all of their members meet with their assigned coaches for one (1 ) hour, just before our regular training sessions on Sunday. This 1 hour training block covers beginning of competitive obedience and motivation, and membership will be for 8 weeks. During this time Intro to IPO™ member will be expected to train their dog in obedience and observe all three (3) areas of training: tracking, obedience, and protection. During this period, participation in club training sessions and their activities, attitude towards the club, its goals, and its members, and attitude towards the training itself is observed. These observations will play a part in the decision making process, should potential new club member decide to apply for full member at the end of 8 weeks period. In order to participate in the “Intro to IPO ™”, an initial evaluation will be performed to determine dog’s suitability for the program.
Intro to IPO ™ Coaches